Balfour Beatty’s Trebilcock asks: “Who is measuring BIM?”

Credit: Balfour Beatty
Credit: Balfour Beatty

The UK Government has set various environmentally-friendly, sustainable targets that that they hope the country can attain by their respective deadlines. Can BIM help reach those aforementioned targets, and if so, who is measuring it?

As part of the 2025 Construction Strategy, the Government has aimed for the UK to lower delivery times, greenhouse gas emissions and project costs (key performance indicators, or KPIs) by 50%, 50% and 33% respectively. It is widely recognised that BIM will have to be widely implemented for the United Kingdom to do this, yet who is in charge of identifying the magnitude of BIM’s impact?

Investigating this in his latest guest post is Balfour Beatty‘s Peter Trebilcock.

The BIM Director examines the notion that at the moment, government and industry focus tends to look more closely at how BIM data will be managed “(which is of course very important) and how it can be captured and handed over for operations (equally important)”. He believes that whilst those points are imperative, more focus should be on not how the data is managed and handled by asset managers, but more so on how efficient BIM has enabled the project to become when facilities managers receive it.

“But given the significant focus on achieving substantial performance improvement, I have yet to come across a client (government or otherwise) who is asking for evidence of the lowering of costs, the reduction in programme or the lowering of emissions through the use of digital toolsets.

“Why is this? Perhaps it will be self evident in the resultant tender price, programme duration and carbon data. However we all know it takes many things and people to realise success on a project and even less to go wrong. What are they looking for specifically for the BIM stats?”

More emphasis needs to be placed upon the improvement of safety and off-site construction implementation too according to Trebilcock. He wrote:

“No one seems to be asking for evidence of how BIM is improving safety, how it dovetails into off-site construction, how it saves estimating time or how it is helping to eradicate rework. Many can demonstrate these advantages through impressive stats and case studies, but does anyone care? Published case studies and hard ROI BIM data is hard to come by in the UK.”

Trebilcock closes by writing that he believes the Government need to look in closer detail at public sector BIM projects so that they don’t struggle to collect positive KPI evidence in the future: “We cannot dictate to our clients what they should ask their suppliers to report and record, however I suspect the government will find it difficult to evidence it has met its KPIs without a closer scrutiny of its BIM projects and a more consistent and systematic measurement of improved performance.”

Click here to read the entire blog post.

Do you agree with Trebilcock? What else do you think the Government needs to focus a little more on?