Help on hand for kitchen houses baffled by BIM


Kitchen houses that haven’t yet got their heads around Building Information Modelling (BIM) have been offered a helping hand through a special starter guide released by the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ Group (SEC).

The publication, which is actually a three-way effort between the SEC, the National Specialist Contractors Council and the University of Northumbria’s BIM Academy — has been endorsed by the Cabinet Office.

Digital building modelling has been around for some time but it is now being given added focus by the Government’s stated aim of introducing 3D (dimensional) BIM on government construction works by 2016.

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Kitchen houses wishing to get involved in certain government works will therefore need to demonstrate a degree of BIM compliance in future.

David Frise, chairman of SEC Group and the NSCC BIM Working Group, said the free guide would help contractors begin the process of becoming conversant with BIM.

“We are at a crucial stage in BIM adoption where specialist contractors will have a bigger part to play in system design and integration,” he said. “Public sector procurers — and also private sector clients — will be demanding more BIM-enabled projects to deliver efficiency savings through the elimination of waste.”

While the guide identifies the potential that BIM can offer, Prise warned that there is a danger of BIM becoming a “blunted tool” unless the contracting industry addresses some key issues around areas such as early stage supply chain collaboration and the over-emphasis on CAPEX rather than OPEX.

“The tangible benefits associated with BIM — especially reducing design risk and facilitating faster delivery —can only be fully realised when procurement and contractual mindsets change,” he said.

Prise added that current feedback from the specialist sector continues to highlight some “major concerns”, including the use of prequalification questions requiring the adoption of a certain type of software and the problems of interoperability between the different software platforms.

“Again these are issues that we must confront if we are to achieve a critical mass of BIM use within the sector,” he said.

Distributors can download a copy of the ‘First Steps to BIM Competence — A Guide for Specialist Contractors’ here.

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Andrew Seymour

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