June 2012 – BIM
A year ago, the idea that all government construction projects of any significance would have to use building information modelling might have seemed fanciful.
Chief construction adviser Paul Morrell was bullish in urging the industry to embrace BIM. He saw it boosting innovation and driving down cost.
“Stop hiding under your duvets”, he told contractors last year.
Morrell will soon move on, but construction –with the possible exception of surveyors – appears to have heeded his words, and leapt on the BIM bandwagon (see p14-16)
Or, it may be that what he was urging the industry to do, it was doing already – such is the impressive level of uptake among the major players. BAM, for example, has shaved £350,000 off the cost of the £60m Leeds Arena project. The contractor reckons 100% of its work will be delivered by BIM in two years’ time.
Of course, BIM requires high levels of investment in software and training – resources which are easier for the majors to find than SMEs. There is the concern that, despite government promises about small firms getting a bigger share of the public sector pie, it has issued a diktat which only the big boys can afford to follow.
Perhaps Morrell’s successor can find a way for SME contractors to join the BIM party?
Access & Scaffolding