Time has come for BIM to show its potential
The UK drive to achieve its carbon reduction commitments has given rise to an evolution of innovation and reform. This process has involved the development of new and exciting technologies, but existing technologies have also been waiting in the wings.
One such technology, building information modelling, has gained prominence recently. It has become the government’s chosen means of developing standards to achieve supply chain collaboration that obtains full value for money from public sector construction projects.
BIM has not quite been plucked from obscurity, but the technology is not currently in everyday use through the entire supply chain.
There is also likely to be incomplete understanding in the client procurement department, so implementation of the Government Construction Strategy will be phased in over five years.
For public sector procurement, the BIM standards compliance overview will be from the client, and the supply chain role will be clear. At whatever stage the supply chain organisation becomes involved, it will be required to provide 3D digital versions of layouts, plans and diagrams, capable of coordination with client BIM software.
Although the impetus is derived from public service construction projects, this is a fundamental step change for the industry. Awareness and appreciation of this digital management discipline will not be isolated to procurement contract clients.
Whatever the project funding source, the potential for development cost savings and ongoing building performance benefits will attract clients. Contractors will value being able to obtain and rely on a comprehensive visualisation of the project in action.
Whether the drive for BIM technology to be applied on a particular project comes from the client or the contractor, the ability of the supply chain to collaborate and coordinate will be essential.
Indeed, supply chain involvement in the use of BIM technology may for many not be optional.
To what extent this will involve hardware, software and training costs will vary from business to business - and the present economic situation will hardly make additional expense welcome.
But the phased implementation of the technology in relation to procurement building projects does provide a breathing space if one is needed.
This will enable the formulation of common modelling standards; the resolution of any legal or contractual problems regarding ownership; and the initiation of processes for sharing digital information.
Supply chain businesses already familiar with interacting in a BIM environment, or in a position to collaborate if required will have an important part to play in the development of an industry-tailored BIM solution.
Source : http://www.hvnplus.co.uk