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News archive - May 2016

A ‘way to go’ to meet Government’s BIM demands

A ‘way to go’ to meet Government’s BIM demands

Despite the Government’s mandate for the adoption of BIM Level 2 for all centrally-procured construction projects having come and gone, the industry still has a ‘way to go’ to become fully compliant, it has been claimed.

Speaking at the recent Ecobuild 2016 event in London, Stephen Crompton of collaborative software provider, Group BC, said: “Everyone has heard of BIM, but I think that when it comes to Level 2 and what the Government wants from those involved in construction, based on my experience, we have still got some way to go.

“We must make sure we don’t just do it for technology’s sake, but because there are real problems to solve.

“BIM is not for the good of our health. It’s all about making better decisions.”

The collaborative use of BIM Level 2 in all government-procured buildings, including centrally-funded NHS facilities, became mandatory last month, with all asset information relating to a project becoming electronically shareable.

BIM – or Building Information Modelling - is the process of designing a building collaboratively using a system of computer-generated models, rather than separate sets of drawings. It offers considerable cost and time savings and much greater accuracy, avoiding errors as multiple teams input into a design over the course of its creation.

Crompton said: “A rich 3D model is incredibly useful for making decisions, but what is even more important is the information it contains, such as special data and documents.

Structured content

“This structured data allows us to make decisions automatically that would have previously taken days and weeks.”

Also speaking at the conference was David Miller of David Miller Architects. The company was a very early adopter of BIM back in 2008.

Miller said: “We saw very tangible benefits and efficiency savings very early on and since then we have been sharing our models, despite up until now not being contractually obliged to do so.

“There is no barrier to the size of project BIM can be used on and it is a fantastic tool for managing quality.”

Commenting on the specifics of adoption he said: “We restructured our office for BIM. We have one long desk to show how collaboration is necessary. We can give training, but most of the knowledge sharing happens informally, so the ability to communicate with each other is really important.

“The office layout is a physical represeantation of what is going on with collaborative BIM.”

Cost efficient

Cost-wise, he said that, as early adopters of BIM, the company spent around £12,000 on software training and time out for training and to increase the quality of hardware. Overall, it spends around £30,000 a year on BIM.

He added: “Early on we did not see much in the way of efficiencies, but when we moved into a climate where we shared models, we saw a real increase in productivity and over 18 months we have seen a noticeable increase in efficiency.

“Since we adopted BIM, we have had profitable growth and 90% of our business is now repeat business, and that’s a consequence of customer satisfaction.

“This is a real opportunity for smaller organisations to use digitally-driven processes to lead the way rather than follow and for designers to build a holistic approach to buildings together.”

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