068 RCI 0417

RCI April 2017

FLAT ROOFING & WATERPROOFING BIM COMMENT BIM Level 2: “Are you in the 90% that believes we’re not ready?” Back in April last year the UK government’s BIM mandate came into force, requiring all centrally procured public sector building projects to be BIM Level 2 compliant, which represents a significant milestone on the journey towards the digitalisation of the built environment. However, despite BIM being very much the industry ‘buzzword’, many people still do not fully understand BIM, its capabilities or where we are on the roadmap towards Level 3. This was highlighted in the results of NBS’ 2016 National BIM Survey, which revealed that 41% of respondents are still unclear on what they need to do to comply, with 90% perceiving the construction industry as not ready for BIM. So what does Level 2 compliance actually mean, what are the benefits of it and what challenges does BIM face now and in the future? Introduction to BIM Level 2 Until now most organisations have been operating at BIM Level 1, which involves them publishing and maintaining their own data. Level 2 distinguishes itself from this with the introduction of collaborative working, not in the way in which 3D models are shared but how the associated information is exchanged between various parties throughout the delivery of a project. Design information about all the key components of a building is shared through a common file format in order to make a federated BIM model, encouraging people to consider the needs of others involved in the design process. This is the method of working set as a minimum target by the UK government for all publicly funded construction work from April and is defined in greater detail in the government’s standardisation document PAS1192-2:2013. Benefits of BIM The adoption of new technology and processes is 068 APRIL 2017 RCIMAG.COM By Nigel Blacklock, technical director at Bauder always going to be met with a certain degree of resistance, however if BIM delivers all that it promises to, regardless of what your role is in the construction of buildings, it will benefit you. The fundamental benefits outlined by the government are lower costs (through the reduction of waste), faster delivery and lower emissions; but beyond this is the opportunity for greater levels of quality control, collaboration, efficiency, asset and risk management, maintenance, sustainability and exploration of ‘what-if scenarios’. These benefits will be experienced throughout the supply chain from designers, surveyors and engineers through to suppliers, contractors and main contractors, but arguably the greatest beneficiary of BIM will be facilities managers who will not only be better informed about the composition of their buildings but also have the opportunity to become more involved in a project earlier on and influence design decisions. Using data provided in the standardised ‘Construction Operations Building Information Exchange’ (COBie) spreadsheet format, the UK government’s chosen exchange for BIM object data, clients and project teams will now be able to compare and select products based on value and life-cycle costing rather than just price, which is obviously a far more sustainable approach to construction and something that fully matches our ethos at Bauder. Challenges for BIM The UK is undeniably at the forefront of BIM development and adoption, much thanks to the lead and support of the government, however for BIM to realise its transformative potential, further investment and change must occur. One of the key challenges that needs addressing is the broad gap in BIM knowledge and skills across the industry, with 28% of NBS’ survey respondents describing themselves as not confident in their BIM understanding or capabilities. BIM is currently being led by the design and construction community, however it is the responsibility of all of us in a position of knowledge to help educate and encourage those who are yet to embrace Nigel Blacklock, technical director at Bauder: “it is clear that while BIM continues to have the backing and financial support of the UK government, it will continue to grow in popularity and adoption both in the public and private sector; with there already being significant evidence of BIM implementation in private housing, offices and leisure” Above: Bauder BIM Library. Left: BIM objects from Bauder BIM, so that we as an industry can move forward. Another significant challenge is the sheer lack of BIM objects currently available and more specifically the lack of bespoke objects available, which may explain why, according to NBS, only 37% of people use the models from project inception through to completion, suggesting that for most people BIM is restricted to design stages. Generic models definitely serve a purpose and for some products are sufficient, however for companies such as ours where many system permutations exist it is paramount that as the project progresses through to construction, the objects are entirely accurate and therefore have all the relevant COBie data, which can only be delivered as part of a bespoke model. Obviously specifiers can easily alter the objects themselves, however this may have a detrimental effect on associated guarantees unless verified with the manufacturer, and also defeats one of the main objectives of BIM, which is to reduce the amount of time and resources needed to complete designs and projects.


RCI April 2017
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