Barrister David Pliener talks BIM responsiblity, it’s effect on PI Insurance

The benefits of Building Information Modelling are widely recognised, yet are there some potential legal negatives that need to be addressed?

David Pliener, a Barrister at Hardwicke Chambers, has identified some potential legal issues that may be overlooked when using BIM.


Firstly, Pliener addresses that some teams (perhaps featuring partners that are inexperienced at using BIM) may clash over not knowing who is responsible should a problem within the build arises. If a problem was caused by the 3D modelling software itself and not any of the design teams, who is to blame then?


“Aside from teething trouble (and the training necessary to use BIM), the main concern is that greater collaboration risks a blurring of the lines of responsibility, stated Pliener. If there is a design error, will it be more difficult to establish whose fault it was? Also, who will be responsible for errors caused by the BIM system itself?”


Writing for BCL Legal Recruitment‘s website, Pliener continues by examining potential risks to an architecture firm’s Personal Indemnity Insurance.


“The Construction Industry Council issued a Best Practice Guide for PI Insurance when using BIM, in which they concluded that insurers did not consider that Level 2 increased the risk profile because an adequate audit trail was built into it, allowing professionals to identify their own work. They stressed, however, that Level 3 was a wholly different matter.”


Pliener also discusses BIM’s impact on premiums and potential unintended consequences. Click here to learn more.


Do you agree with Pliener’s statements?