CIBSE – Elevator PDT ready for review

Recently the British CIBSE organisation has release a BIM “Product Data Template” (PDT)  for elevators. If you fill your project data into the file, the result will become the “Elevator BIM Product Data Sheet” (PDS). The PDS should be sent to the architect or builder along with the 3D BIM model data.

The Excel PDT file can be downloaded at:

PAS 1192 bsi.-London Masterclass passed

This week I passed the PAS 1192 masterclass by the bsi. I am currently sitting at Heathrow airport and using the time to collect my impressions.

The bsi. infrastructure / destination dispatch elevator

Probably not important to anybody else except me.

The bsi. Building has a destination dispatch system in their elevators, so I had the chance to take some pictures.
As you can see, inside the cabine there is no option to pick a floor. First time to me to use a destination dispatch elevator system. In all cases I reached the floor with a maximum of one intermediate stop.

People that are working here daily were very used to use this type of elevator. An unexpected overcrowed situation happens, since just one of us picked the destination floor for the lunch in the first floor but all went in. As a result, and since the dispatch system can not know, other people on intermediate floors could not enter the lift any more.

Training findings

Thanks to the trainer David Churcher learned a lot about PAS 1192-2 and PAS 1192-3, pronounced “the pass”!
David is one of the authors of the PAS and has therefore the best understanding of the sense and meanings.

These are my major findings:

  • BIM is a process, not a software or tool
  • There are a lot of acronyms to learn and understand: AIM, AIR, BIM, BMS,…, COBie,..IFC, … to XML
  • two major phases are to be distinguished, the creating phase of a building and the operational phase.
  • The phase in between is called soft landing phase.

The building phase
If elevator companies are talking about BIM, they are mainly thinking about this phase; how to design the elevator and how to “get the 3D building model”. But this is just one piece of the Project Information Model (PIM) that is used during the design and construction phase.

Another important aspect of BIM is the “Softlanding phase”
This was also new to me, it defines the time from passing the built elevator to the operations team until everything is working fine. This might be a few weeks but may also take 1-3 years, depending on the complexity.

It’s all about Assets
To me, that might be my personal opinion, its all about assets. If you think about the the 3D BIM model, this is just one piece of a puzzle. At the end of the day, the elevator is installed into the building and becomes an asset.
From an organizational (the owner of the building) persective, the building phase is just the way to get an asset “in operation”.

That means elevator instructions, maintenance plans, etc. are also part of the BIM Information, in particular as part of the AIM (Asset Information Model).

The final phase, the breakdown phase, might be the latest stage of the asset.

Image from the PAS 1192-3, (C) bsi. 2014

The green area defines the information (incl. 3D information) during the lifetime of the asset. Phase 1-6 are the different construction phases where most of the information is produced (Project Information Model (PIM) phase). During operations additional information (like maintenance data) is collected about the asset (elevator) and added to the AIM.

“Moving from a product modeling world to a process modeling world”
This was one of the overall messages by the second trainer Brian Atkin.
This masterclass explained the new BS 8536-1:2015 standard about “Briefing for Design and Construction”

It adresses 2 points:

  • the final operations team (e.g. facility managers) should be involved in early stages
  • a commitment of the design and drafting team for an appropriate softlanding phase

To the elevator industry that could mean: “Flawless start-up on an elevator system is achievable – it just needs to be a priority”, a derived message from Brian.
As a result all elevator companies should have a BIM expert, who could part of a “Working together” team and takes care on the proper integration. This BIM champion can also guide collegues for the new challenges that are arising here.

Thanks to Brian Atkin for this first hand information.

Brian Atkin, director of THE FACILITIES SOCIETY

The training is really recommended for everybody who starts with BIM. I booked 3 of 4 days. Course 4, about COBie I have to attend at a later time. Unfortunately my calender did not allow me to attend.

I learned a lot and received well structured materials.

Thanks again to David Churcher about the interesting conversations with regards to lifts (his term) and elevators (my term)  🙂

New local OTIS-US BIM solution “BIMCreate”

Recently Otis US has released a Revit BIM plugin for some of their elevators. This is a good idea since architects and planners need some guidance how to add elevators into their building.

Here is some feedback on my tests:

You download a plugin installer from the Otis website. The installer itself will then download the complete program. That took 10 minutes and worked fine. I had some issues to run the software, due to the fact that I had European regional settings. The Otis developers helped me to solve this problem.

Starting the app:
Similar to other addins, it is started from the “Add-Ins” toolbar from within Revit.

Supported elevator types:

2 models are supported so far:

  • Gen2 Underslung
  • HydroFIT model

Selection Values  and Input Parameters:

The next steps are requesting the typical elevator inputs to determine the correct elevator type and size. The floor level list is automatically taken from the Revit building . This saves time since it omits the work to enter floor to floor heights.

After pressing “Generate” it took a few seconds to generate the Revit family and I was able to add it to my building.

Technical results:


  • Revit family can easily be configurated
  • No need to enter floor to floor heights
  • Approx. LOD 200


  • No option to change the Revit Elevator once it is generated
  • Not yet available for Revit 2016
  • Local US solution, Not available globally

Having their elevators available within Autodesk Revit is in general a big plus for elevator companies. The icon on the toolbar emphasizes Otis to the architect. I am sure some architects will love that app. Other will not because they do not want to install, update and maintain Revit plugins of different elevator companies.

This new application confirms our experience for the need of an elevator application within the architects CAD program.
Since 2011 DigiPara delivers a professional elevator application for Autodesk Revit (Digipara Elevatorarchitect) that is used by more than 16,000 architects worldwide. It offers elevator configuration, different LODs, shows sales reps and automates quotation requests. The OEM version allows elevator companies to show an individual company logo on the Revit toolbar.

For more Information:

Download the OTIS tool:

DigiPara Elevatorarchitect for Autodesk Revit:

Have you ever heard: “Levels of BIM maturity”

Ouuh, there are some many different “levels” BIM experts are talking about: Level of Detail, Level of development.

Today I came across another one from the UK: “Levels of BIM maturity”. (For the article click here)

There are four levels available; level 0 to 3. Below please find my interpretation of these 4 levels for elevator companies:

Level 0:
This is the level several elevator companies are still living in: Delivering 2D elevator drawings to their clients, paper-based or as an electronic document.

Level 1:
The elevator data is shared in 3D to the client. Btw, the data is loaded by the client into the building model to evaluate wrong sizes, interpherences, etc.

Level 2:
Construction sequencing  (4D) and cost information (5D) may be added to the model.

Level 3:
In this process the 3D/4D and 5D elevator data are installed into the digital building model using web services. Also lifecylce management information (6D) is automatically added.

Level 3 is still far away from realization, but first tools are already going that way.
With DigiPara Elevatorarchitect, architects can install a “Complete-elevator 3D BIM model” (see image on the right side). An LOD 300 elevator model is calculated on the elevator manufacturers server and installed into the 3D building model. The “Request a quote” functionality shows the right direction for getting cost information (5D) on the fly.

Thank you to Nick Orr, Director at JohnsonBIM guiding me to this initial article: Click here for “BIM levels explained”.