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NHS and Ministry of Justice to spearhead BIM use

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The NHS and Ministry of Justice look set to be among the early adopters of building information modelling, hoping to roll-out BIM in trial projects early next year

Mark Bew, chair of the BIM task group, which will feed into the Efficiency and Reform Group Steering Committee, said they were among those that he hoped could be using pilot projects early next year, reported sister-title Construction News.

The BIM steering group, full details of which will be unveiled in September, will tie into each of the different task groups established by the government as well as reporting to ERG Steering Committee chairman Andrew Wolstenholme.

When fully formed, the BIM steering group will produce ‘high-level mobilisation plans’ for different public sector clients. These will identify areas of BIM that need to be addressed immediately, including producing clauses for standardised contracts.

Bew said: ‘The goal here is to deliver a better performing supply chain and the requirement of the client is now different in that it has never been this explicit on its demands with the supply chain before.

‘We will look at each government department, take the strategy and develop it for each one as they all have their own specific requirements but we will mainly be looking at carbon and cost data when producing strategies.’

Bew said there has been a positive reaction to the government’s decision to mandate BIM, but admitted that some contractors wanted to achieve higher standards quicker across the industry.

However he said the government had set achievable standards so that smaller contractors could be brought up to speed quicker and added that Level 2 BIM will not require a massive overhaul of existing contract structures.

‘We have set some pretty good targets and they are achievable. With all the other pressures on the industry at the moment it is sensible to aim for Level 2 so that we can build confidence and get people on board,’ he said.

‘I am determined to get an enduring system in place and one of the biggest tests is getting this airborne within four years. There are a lot of big steps to take which is why we have set achievable aims and rushing in always ends in failure.’

Bew added that he doesn’t expect to see fully-integrated BIM Level 3 in the UK by 2020 and that although it is an exciting opportunity for the industry, contractors will be using BIM tools in 10 years that are not even on the market yet.

‘I am not saying it is not achievable and I am excited by it but it is not going to happen by 2020,’ he said. ‘Our understanding will grow with emerging technologies but for now starting to see carbon data in a geographic information system will be more helpful than trying to achieve Level 3 BIM.

Meanwhile Constructing Excellence is set to issue a call looking for representatives to sit on a new BIM in 2020 group to examine the next steps for the industry as it looks to achieve Level 2 BIM and move to Level 3.

Director Jonathan de Souza said: ‘We don’t want industry to lose sight of BIM Level 3 and the benefits that could come with it. We want to work with a small number of companies to try and understand some of the barriers to take-up in particular.’


Tier one contractors are tooling up to meet the challenges of BIM with Interserve set to spend around £100,000 on training and programmes in the coming year.

BIM project co-ordinator Graham Neal said: ‘We have a close relationship with consultants who have been using BIM but we have never taken full advantage of that but we are now integrating BIM into our construction.

‘Our major supply chain members are already on board and some like steel frame fabricators have been using BIM for a lot longer than we have - We are now using BIM systems to show the type of projects we want to put together.’

Kier process and engineering managing director Graeme Forbes said the contractor has set about providing a fully-integrated BIM platform to extract data needed to show full cost savings.

He said Kier has been using BIM technology for several years but had been researching the best way for each project member to input data through a BIM platform.

‘Our experience is that there are big benefits to be had but you can’t sit on the sidelines. BIM enables a world where there is greater consistency and reduction of risk,’ he said.

‘The size and complexity of a project helps for seeing BIM benefits; we might not use it on a £250,000 hall refurbishment but would for a £1 [million] R&D facility.’



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