How Do we Sell BIM on Smaller Projects, to Independent Clients & SME Contractors? – Kelvin Donaldson

We have and continue to experience remarkably low demand for BIM from clients and lack of knowledge and enthusiasm from contractors:

  • Why is this?
  • How it can best be overcome?
  • What benefits it can deliver & to whom?

Working almost exclusively for SME clients, we do not have the luxury of a government client dictating what must be and when it must happen. Instead, we have an absolute commitment to BIM as a way to improve the productivity of our practice, the efficiency of our projects and the profit of ourselves, our project partners and ultimately our clients. However, amongst those key partners we find at best disinterest and often antipathy. This seems to contradict with the experience of many consultants in the South of England but also with practices working on much larger projects in Scotland. This session will debate the following questions and solutions in respect of these topics:

1. Many of our clients are commercial developers with little interest in the long term efficiency of their product. House builders just need to sell their products. In this aspect, the BIM debate overlaps with Sustainability, in that the commitment to life cycle efficiencies are equally lacking in a short-term approach to building. Regulatory changes have improved this, but there is still little to encourage the production of a complex BIM model to enhance the future management of their projects. In this respect, BIM has to be promoted for its construction benefits – a difficult sell on what are inherently simple builds. Regulatory mandating of BIM on projects would ensure the future maintenance of our building stock was much more efficient.

1/b) Many of our other clients are small businesses commissioning buildings for their growing operation & have a much more obvious reason to buy into BIM to enable more efficient management of their built stock. Many of them do not have the in house expertise to access the intelligent output of a BIM environment. This is a clear opportunity to sell expanded services.

2. By developing close relationships with contracting organisations and working in parallel with them to open eyes to a different way of working

2/a) By demonstrating the exponential benefits to building owners of a F.M. regime utilising a BIM environment and how much more that will deliver over the vast, dust covered piles of O & M manuals filling a room in each of their buildings!

2/b) By doing whatever you can to evangelise about BIM and get the word out to the end users of all buildings about how much more effective the maintenance and improvement of existing building stock could be in the future in a BIM based world.

3. Developing projects in BIM can deliver higher quality buildings more effectively for contractors; permit more efficient running and maintenance of projects for owners and almost as importantly, allow architects to develop enhanced services and roles in delivery


View the presentation now!

Kelvin Donaldson, Director, Gilberts