It is often assumed that Building Information Modelling is used in relation to buildings and infrastructure projects when as a matter of fact, it can be utilised within many a different field. One such alternative area of implementation is within the water industry.
ACO Group‘s recording studio ACO on Air recently sat down with MWH Global Engineering Director Andrew Cowell to discuss how BIM has thus far impacted the water industry and whether adoption has been successful or slow on the whole.
Cowell discusses his experiences of the British Water BIM Conference, an event that took place in April. He said: “There are a number of conferences that focus on BIM, but they tend to be multi-sector and we felt that we wanted to run a conference that focused on the water industry to see what BIM could bring forward for the water sector. It’s been interesting to see some of the things that came out of that conference. When we start to look at the water industry, BIM principles can apply but they are applied in a slightly different way.”
Discussing whether BIM adoption is widely apparent within the water field or whether companies are just being driven towards BIM down to their ambitions, Cowell stated: “I think a lot of it is ambition at the moment; there are a number of some really good trial projects going on. The real benefit that comes out of the application of BIM is in the asset lifecycle information management that goes right through into the operations phase so it helps to combine CAPEX and OPEX and really plays into the TOTEX agenda which is the agenda that’s been very much driven into the water industry.”
Cowell also addressed any potential barriers his industry would have when it came to BIM adoption. He said: 2I think some of the things in the water industry that could be seen as potential barriers is that the water industry has a lot of legacy information, which is very often contained in disparate systems. I would say that one of the issues the industry has to contend with is with that legacy information we’ve got.
“I would also say that one of the issues we have to contend with is quite often, people think of BIM as a technology solution; actually, BIM is as much about the people and the processes and changing the way we deliver our services into the water sector as it is about the technology. We have the technology, it’s about changing the culture and the way the industry operates which is the big challenge we face.”
Watch the entire interview with MWH’s Andrew Cowell below.