The Mathison Hall project is a prime example of the power of the Full BIM approach, and the advantages of digital project delivery. Mathison demonstrates the value of digital delivery when the Construction Manager takes the lead in technology implementation, by fostering productive & meaningful relationships between all stakeholders.


The main challenge of the Mathison Hall project, was Clarifying the Digital Deliverable; working with the Client to achieve a Digital Deliverable that fulfilled the needs for their FM and Operations group, without the university having to “rework” or “supplement” the deliverable as they had to on past projects. This meant that the most important activity for the VDC Team was working with the client all through the duration of the project to find a deliverable that was fit for the purposes of the university BIM-FM model.

EllisDon’s primary goal was to work with the University of Calgary, to refine their standard into a digital requirement that could be reliably implemented on future projects, and which could more consistently deliver the intended data the University needed for their building life cycle and maintenance.

Precisely because the University was highly capable of “fixing” or “supplementing” insufficient deliverables, meant that they often accepted incomplete deliverables, and were prepared to accept similar on Mathison; EllisDon however pushed the university to ask for the information their teams really needed and not to settle for deliverables that could not be used.

Not every aspect of the Digital Deliverable requirements could be changed post award, (as is often just the case with some contract types) but EllisDon did not shy away from those challenges, and brought the full talent of our Digital Project Delivery Team to implement real and workable solutions for the end users of the University.


The solution at the end of the day was, clear, consistent, and professional communication; Constant and ongoing BIM / FM Deliverable meetings with the client to distill down the needs of the client and then work tirelessly to secure that deliverable.

Going back to the concept of Digital Deliverables as a service rather than a product, let’s take BIM as just one example: If a Digital Deliverable like BIM is a product, then it is understood primarily as a single “thing” and maybe only secondarily as a list of ingredients. If however BIM is understood as a service rather than as a product, that is where the basic elements of project management manifest themselves into the minds of all involved: Scope, Schedule and Budget.

BIM is always a Deliverable, and in effective Construction Management it is either a deliverable for the client, or the Construction Manager. If BIM is a deliverable for the Construction Manager, it often takes the form of As-Builts / Record Model, data for an FM / Operations Database. If BIM is a deliverable for the Construction Manager, it often takes the form of Risk Management tool, a basis to track Critical Quantities, a means of Schedule Acceleration, and platform for Integrated Project Planning.

To successfully execute any deliverable, a CM must understand the scope, the schedule and the cost impact or budget required for that deliverable.

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