BIM Recommended for UK Government Procurement

This week the government’s chief construction adviser Paul Morell indicated that Building Information Modelling (BIM) will become a key part of the procurement of public buildings.

A Building information model or BIM Model - JTB World

Image by Jimmy Bermark

So as a building contractor – what will this mean to you?

What is BIM?

BIM is not a piece of computer software, it is a method of working. There are many different computer programmes  that can be used for BIM , and they seem to be gravitating toward a common solution. A BIM, is  a Computer model that contains all the information required to make a building (Quantities – not details).

BIM is a database.

This database often uses a 3D model to coordinate all the elements. For example, when you add a door set to the model it is also added to the Door Schedule. If you change the size of the door – the door schedule changes to suit. The door schedule is just another view of the database held in the BIM. 2D Drawings are another view.

BIM for Building Contractors.

As a principle building contractor you my have to take over the  BIM from the Architect in order to leverage the data contained in it – just like taking over the GA drawings  now. As a sub contractor you may increasingly be asked to provide 3D models that can be included in the BIM model for coordination.

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Right now, the BIM model is only detailed to the same extent that a 1:50 scale drawing would have been detailed in a 2D drawing set. It is not necessary to include highly detailed 3D models of elements such as Architraves or skirting’s – at this point the BIM model is mainly used for quantities and analysis, the details are drawn separately. However, this is a only limited by the current crop of PC’s and I expect that we will see more use of cloud computing to expand the amount of detail the model can hold in the future.

I don’t see the need for manufacturing drafters to go out and learn BIM software such as Revit, you won’t be using BIM modelling programmes like these to create shop drawings, but in the future we all might need a seat of Revit (or similar) in our office, in order to share information between disciplines.

The adoption of new technology is lead by the Client.

The Government is one of the biggest clients in the UK! Government adoption will accelerate the adoption of BIM software. Maybe it’s time you (or your Boss!) started looking at how BIM will affect the design process in your company.

BIM Recommended for UK Government Procurement – Between the poles
BIM to become part of public procurement process –

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Read more about Building design software and how it might effect building contractors here.

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