Educating a University on BIM Standards and Execution Plans

Northeastern University

Meet Northeastern University

Northeastern University is a prestigious educational institution occupying 73 acres and some 100 buildings in the heart of Boston. The team responsible for estimating, scoping, and managing capital construction projects has long envisioned leveraging leading-edge technology in support of a better designed, operated, and maintained campus. Northeastern sought to adopt modern project delivery practices like BIM and virtual design and construction for new buildings, renovations, and improvements.


University staff, including space planners and lawyers, intended to onboard the latest AEC industry practices in the region and codify them into BIM design and construction standards that could be integrated into Revit. This would allow Northeastern to equip their project managers with the tools and workflows to support a more detailed and sustainable level of design in their projects while maintaining budgets and schedules.


Microdesk was contracted to review the current processes Northeastern was undertaking and identify areas of opportunity as they related to software like Revit. During the partnership, BIM standards and a BIM Execution Plan template were developed as well as asset classification, data requirements, a document handover checklist, and a BIM project decision matrix.


Through this project, Northeastern was able to inject their newly developed BIM and Revit standards into an ongoing project and use a decision-making matrix to qualify future projects for BIM use.  The team is also now equipped to communicate requirements with stakeholders. Their shared understanding of the BIM lifecycle also led to productive negotiations around an upcoming BIM pilot project culminating in a 350,000-square-foot research center.

Northeastern has completed these early steps toward their ultimate goals of implementing BIM technology to manage construction and operations. They continue to partner with Microdesk in drafting and communicating a long-term technology strategy, delivering team-member training, developing a BIM 360 cloud sharing environment, integrating its Archibus asset management database, and documenting existing conditions in BIM.

*Microdesk is doing business as Symetri and has changed their name as of 6/26/23. 

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