The purpose of the federation strategy and the Information Container (model) breakdown structure is to help plan the production of information by separate task teams to the appropriate Level of Information Need at each project stage.
What does it mean?
The way you do complex projects and systems manageable is to break them down into smaller parts, which is effectively what the federation strategy is doing. It is trying to make information management more efficient by breaking it down, but not so much to the point where it becomes a burden.
The breakdown of information containers relevant to their disciplines should be outlined and defined in the BIM Execution Plan (BEP). The breakdown of these information models should consider further splitting of the models (due to size or package) at later stages and should be planned for.
Identifying and breaking the information down into packages/zones at an early stage will ensure the stability of models and the size.
A term defined by ISO 19650 describes it as an information container structure taking into account purpose, Level of information need and security of the information (permitted use)
The term aimed to help the production of the information by the task teams during asset delivery or operational phase
It consists of the requirement for subdivision of a project spatially to allow multiple task teams to work on Project Information Model (PIM) simultaneously, for the right purpose and with the correct Level of access to the information to ensure security.
Although the standards do not explicitly specify the responsibility for establishing and management of the federation strategy, it is clear that the task has to be completed during information planning activities.
Therefore, it implies that the responsibility for setting up lies with the Appointing Party (client) or his representative during the ‘assessment and need’ phase of the information management process. While the responsibility for the management of the volume strategy would be transferred onto the Lead Appointed party, i.e. Tier 1 Contractor
Example of container breakdown structure:
- Departments divided into specific rooms named in line with an agreed naming convention
- Task Teams separate Project Information Models (i.e. Revit models) containing the discipline-specific systems, hosted on BIM360 and saved in specific information containers (folders) and with saved in line with an agreed naming convention.
Example of Federation Strategy management by the Lead Appointed Party
- establish and manage the container breakdown structure.
- set-up CDE where automatic federation of individual task teams Project Information Models (i.e. Revit model) is possible i.e. BIM360
- set-up specific spaces and crossovers for the individual systems to be modelled within agreed boundaries
- set-up clash detection/avoidance requirements and maintain the process
- federated model quality checks, reporting and issue-resolving lead