by   |    |  Estimated reading time: 2 minutes  |  in Engineering, Construction & Infrastructure

The construction industry is in a state of change and many in the industry are confused about what the new world is going to look like and what action to take.

There are some big questions that the industry is struggling with. Consider some of the facts.

The UK and the historical Commonwealth countries operate using different business practices from many other countries in the world such as the USA.

Traditional UK and Commonwealth business practice looks like this:

  • Quantity Surveyors dominate the landscape.
  • Bills of Quantities are the dominant contractual structure and are used to control estimating, bidding , contracts and cost control.
  • Contracts and sub contracts are managed using valuations against Bills of Quantities and applications for payments are the dominant method of claiming money.
  • These business practices started in 1859.

What other industry has completely different business practices across the world? What is best industry best practice? Why are the above business practices unique to the construction industry?

We don’t see Quantity Surveyors or applications for payments in shipbuilding or oil and gas construction, for example.

Are these UK business practices still best practice or simply a 150 year old habit? Bill of Quantities-based contracts are in decline so will they disappear? Will BIM force these historical business practices to change? Does BIM make Bill of Quantities-based processes redundant?


Should BIM act as a complementary tool to make it easier to generate Bills of Quantities so the two can work on harmony?

Here are some thoughts on what the new world may look like:

  • BIM models will be the master data source of asset design data.
  • The BIM model will be capable of integrating with the Project Plan and WBS.
  • The estimating process will move away from a Bill of Quantities based process and be driven from the BIM data model. The Estimating tool will not have to be the BIM design tool itself but a tool that will use the data from the BIM model.
  • Contracts that are based on Bills of Quantities will eventually disappear
  • The BIM model will be integrated with the Project Execution software to drive all execution processes from the one common data source. This will include Planning, Procurement, Sub Contract Management, Construction, Installation and Commissioning, Project Cost Control, Quality Management , Progress Tracking, Project Accounting, Planning and Materials Management
  • The BIM model data will be able to be sorted into work packages and then integrated into sub contract packages, or driven into a procurement or manufacturing plan
  • We will move from a document driven process to an integrated data driven process
  • Asset Data will be moved automatically to the Maintenance module and will be integrated with the BIM Model.
  • We are moving to a much more integrated world.

These are some thoughts on where I think we are heading.

Where do you think the industry needs to go?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *