Building Information Modeling – a tool Welsh Construction can gain from…
BUILDING information modelling (BIM) is catching the imagination and the attention of senior decision makers in Welsh construction. That might sound like a trite statement, but I know it to be a fact because none of the previous columns in the Western Mail have provoked the reaction received after our recent piece when we asked: who is afraid of BIM? Right now it seems no one is afraid; many people are curious and everyone is keen to learn more and determine how best it can be applied to the delivery of Welsh built environment projects.
This is important so BIM benefits all of the industry supply chain. Leading figures on the contractor, developer and design side, along with decision makers on the client side, have contacted CEW since the article in late March. In it, we explained we are setting up a task group to help the Welsh Government develop a strategy for its implementation with the aim of repeating the success CEW had when a similar task group delivered the No Turning Back report to Jane Hutt in 2010. As before, our task group will be headed by Mike Edmonds, a consultant and advisor at CEW.
We have the backing of the industry and the support of Paul Morrell, the UK Government’s construction advisor. The connection with Whitehall enables Wales to watch what happens in England as its construction sector applies BIM to public sector projects over £5m, then we can do it better.
CEW will be liaising with Mark Bew, chairman of the government’s BIM working group as well as working in partnership with BRE. Nick Tune, director of BRE Wales will be a key player in our work and the implementation of BIM within Wales. BRE is backing implementation of BIM in the UK construction sector. The CEW task force will be feeding into this work to ensure the industry has the opportunity to contribute to the research and develop ideas.
Watch out for a series of BIM events around Wales ranging from introduction to BIM to more advanced discussions. CEW has kick-started a public discussion about BIM. Everyone acknowledges now, if they didn’t before, that it has huge positive potential for the Welsh built environment. However, as we said before Easter, it has to be done right.
It is worth repeating something from the last column: if we take the UK government line that it is only applied to projects over £5m, it will be solely the domain of major players and schemes. BIM cannot be exclusive – it has to be a business tool that the whole of Welsh construction can gain from.
We need everyone in the sector to step up and share their ideas, comments and opinions to make sure we do all benefit from BIM. That means everyone in the supply chain from SMEs to the largest private and public sector clients. It also means the involvement of the various representative groups as well.
BIM is something everyone can gain from, so it is something we all need to work together upon and demonstrate to the Welsh Government that our industry can collaborate and add value. If you want to get it involved e-mail me, Milica.Kitson@cewales.org.uk or call us at CEW on 029 2049 3322.