What do you need to know in order to be building information modeling (BIM) compliant? Do you need to invest in new IT Infrastructure?
IFS and Construction News are hosting a roundtable event in the Gherkin, London November 28th to discuss these and many more questions surrounding BIM. Private and public project owners alike are either requiring BIM on projects or find it very attractive. In to a recent McGraw Hill Construction Survey, 71 percent of contractors are already using BIM. The United States General Services Administration has mandated BIM since 2003, and states like Texas have followed suit.
Other countries, including the UK, are not far behind this curve. In the UK, the government will require BIM on all projects of greater than £ 5 million in value by 2016. This will affect contractors, architects and building supply and component manufacturers doing business across Britain.
At IFS’ November event, senior executives from some of the UK’s leading construction companies, as well as government representatives and IFS experts will be in attendance, so it’s sure to be a lively and insightful discussion.
The deadline is looming for the UK Government’s BIM initiative, but what will actually happen and how will it affect construction organizations? Is BIM really such a fundamental change or should it be seen as simply a natural part of your business strategy in order to become more profitable? What stage of development are contractors currently at in adopting BIM?
There are varying views of what it will take to achieve compliance. Some suggest the only thing you have to do to be complaint is produce an Excel spreadsheet of asset data to the (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie) standard. What do the experts say? We’ll find out in November!
The end goal is of course to transfer data from the “as designed” to the “as built” to the “as maintained” asset structure in an efficient, accurate and timely manner. This is clearly still a major headache in the vast majority of construction projects today, which has given way to heightened interest in BIM.
It’s important to remember that BIM is a process, not a product. Even construction and contracting software and document management tools in IFS Applications are not “BIM IN A BOX.” Despite the fact that BIM is at the top of many industry professionals’ agenda, there’s still confusion around this. People are focussing on design software providers, such as Bentley and Autodesk, looking to them to provide a magical product solution.
We should ask ourselves, what business systems strategy should we adopt in order to optimize the BIM business process? Perhaps the answer lies in a more integrated approach to the problem.
Today, most construction and contracting companies have too many non-integrated business applications and lots of paper and excel spreadsheets floating around their eco-systems. This makes the BIM process very complex and inefficient.
Implementing a business application that manages all stages of the asset lifecycle (design, procure, build, install, commission, operate and maintain), along with contract financial control, human resources and project management elements may be the answer. With a single, unified and agile system, an organization can make great strides to streamlining processes and boosting efficiencies. Integrating such a solution with the BIM design tools should be the Holy Grail for construction professionals.
Feel free to add your thoughts on where you see this trend going, and the role of IT in the compliance process.