Technical Feature: BIM

17th February, 2016

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David Bampton, Eurobond Technical Services Lead, looks at the challenges facing the construction industry as the BIM Level 2 deadline approaches.

BIM will soon be required on all Government projects; how ready do you think the industry is ahead of the 2016 deadline? 

I do applaud the fact that there is a current line in the sand as it shows a willingness and a commitment by the government to adopt BIM and the obvious benefits that brings. Speaking purely from my own personal experience, I think that different parts of the industry are at different stages.

Architects and suppliers seem to have taken to BIM quite well, as the benefits to them are quite tangible. Where the lag may be more apparent could be M&E engineers, and sub-contractors. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, I know architects who still draw with a set of Rotrings, and I know sub-contractors fully suited in Tekla, but as far as I've noticed, that seems to be the trend.

Contractors and architects large enough to pick up publically funded projects will certainly be ready. Companies like Boyes Rees Architects and Interserve PLC have been producing hospitals and schools whilst utilising BIM for years already. You can bet that as soon as companies who start losing tenders because they aren't 'BIM ready', they'll soon catch up.

Do you think adopting BIM is more a cultural than technology challenge?

Unfortunately I think it's both. Although BIM is not actually linked to the software you use, it will surely be the norm; if you haven't got the software to work collaboratively, you may be out of luck.

One aspect of the industry that I have been enjoying seems to be the BIM camaraderie it has created in the market. Everyone seems willing to talk about BIM, to educate one another and share information. I've had countless discussions with other BIM content creators and users about best practice, general advice and the usual "how's the BIM going?". From industry leaders down to novices, everyone seems very open to sharing information and knowledge, even between rival suppliers! The excellent work being done by the BIM Task Group and organisations such as Excitech running seminars and webinars are also helping to prepare the industry for the launch.

In your opinion what are the main benefits of BIM for the building product manufacturer?

For manufacturers and suppliers such as us, I would say the key thing would be early integration and contact with a project. With BIM objects being company specific - especially when you start looking at BIM Level 2 - once the architect has used your BIM object on his model, it's as good as being in the specification. In some ways it's the new form of NBS, but with a tendency to lock the specification a bit more, as the inevitable "or equally approved" would cause a lot of extra work for someone if the model was changed further down the line.

How can users access the Eurobond BIM library?

All of our BIM objects are freely available to download from the Eurobond website.


Dave B