22 Jun 2012

Benefitting from BIM (Birmingham)


Richard Pearce, Associate at Arup 
and member of the NextGen Midlands Committee writes...

The BCO NextGen Midlands Committee hosted their first “out of town” event at The Arup Campus in Solihull. The event titled "Benefitting from BIM” attracted attendees from across the sector include interior designers, architects, project managers, and contractors. 

The first speaker, Colin Magner (BIM Manager at Arup), explained some of the principles behind BIM and how, as an industry, there has long been a need to provide a more integrated process for delivery. Colin explained that BIM is far more than 3D modelling; with the information that is stored in the model being of value to designers, contractors and ultimately end users. “One version of the truth” is the focus, with drawings, schedules, and specification data all originating from the same model. Change the lighting on the layout view and the associated schedules change automatically. 

Colin explained how Arup see the best value in BIM when all parties start designing in BIM early, say at RIBA stage C. BIM is all about collaboration so it’s important to remember the needs of others in developing the model. 

Richard Hartigan, Senior Associate at Eversheds, attracted a number of questions following his presentation on the Legal Implications of a BIM environment. Richard highlighted that it was key to identify the legal issues at the outset of the project to ensure that they could be suitably covered in contract. A key message was that although only the JCT form of contract refers to BIM, the principles of our legal system are well set up to deal with issues that may arise under Joint and Several Liability. 

Richard picked up on Colin’s introduction to the BIM coordinator role, and highlighted that this new appointment would introduce a multitude of practical and commercial issues including, scope of services, powers and timing. 

The third and final speaker was Richard Draper from Birmingham City University. Following the development of the BIM for phase 1 of their City Centre Campus, Richard was employed by the University as their BIM manager. Richard explained how the University were early adopters of BIM and how that came with challenges particularly around implementation and procurement. 

Richard explained that one of the key drivers for implementing BIM was the University’s requirement to move to a more pro-active / preventative maintenance regime to improve their service to their internal clients. They included the requirement for the contractor to provide the University with an as-built BIM. The contractor will be delivering a 3D asset and facilities management software package that integrates with the BIM and provides the University with a single source for all of the associated data. 

The University have mandated BIM on the 2nd phase of the City Centre Campus which is currently out to Tender. With the development of the industry over the past two years, Richard is expecting to see further developments in the capabilities of the contractors and a more interactive tool delivered at completion. Richard also confirmed that the University is now looking to record its existing estate in BIM using 3D laser scanning to create a point cloud that will be delivered as a 3D model. 

Through experience it would seem that BIM will soon be touching everyone involved with the built environment. With the continuing development of the software tools available to designers, more robust contracts suited to collaborative working, and the delivery of easily accessible interactive FM platforms it seems that we can all benefit from BIM. 

kindly supported by        
Benefitting from BIM
Wednesday 13 June 2012 (17.30)
The Arup Campus, Blythe Valley Park,
Solihull, West Midlands


Interested in finding our more about BCO NextGen? Click here to visit www.bco.org.uk