Best BIM Bad BIM: Bernadette Lord

Credit: DSG Quantity Surveyors
Credit: DSG Quantity Surveyors

Answered from either a personal or industry-viewpoint perspective, Best BIM Bad BIM sees a member of the #GlobalBIMCrew divulge their best and worst BIM experiences and what they have learned from both. In today’s edition of BBBB, Director and Head of BIM at DSG Quantity Surveyors, Bernadette Lord reflects on the company’s works on Baglan School in Port Talbot and advice for companies hiring Building Information Modelling specialists who aid them on a project.

What is Bernadette’s Best BIM Experience?

We’ve been working on BIM projects for about two years now, but my best BIM experience has been a very recent project – Baglan School in Port Talbot.

Very interestingly with this project, the client was unaware that there was a model of good quality within their tender enquiry. It was only when our client issued us the tender design information that our BIM team, recognised, that they had a great set of 3D models, of which we could use our 5D BIM technology to measure and bill significant elements and incorporate them into our traditional bill of quantities.

Working with BIM models is a more efficient way of measuring and gives us as the quantity surveyor a more detailed perspective of the complete building. Of course as with all current projects there was still an element of 2D measurement that had to take place, but the majority was completed using our 5D BIM software.

A key part of BIM is collaboration, and we were very lucky to have such a detailed model to enable us to carry out so much of the work using 5D BIM. We wish to thank Stride Treglown, the architect on the project who produced the model and were a fantastic help during the bill preparation process. It really does go to show that if you have the right team in place, BIM really works.

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What is Bernadette’s Worst BIM Experience?

The worst BIM experience I’ve had to date was again very recently. The project in question had a large amount of steel work involved. When we began to measure the steel – in order to produce the bill of quantities – the quantities on the model differed substantially with those on the 2D drawings. After investigating further, we realised that this had occurred because changes had been made to the model during the design process, but the 2D drawings had not been raised to reflect the design development.

This is a real demonstration that collaboration is everything; had the design team worked together with a coordinated approach to the design, the issue would not have occurred.

There is an upside to this however, had we not have been using BIM technology, the issue may not have been identified, and instead would have been found out when the project was on site, resulting in major problems for the client.

What lessons has Bernadette learnt from both?

One of the main lessons we’ve learnt, from both, is that the quantity surveyor must be appointed sooner in the process to enable them to advise the design team on the relevant protocols required for 5D BIM. This will result in higher quality models and more efficiencies being realised, whilst also reducing the 2D quantification that is currently being carried out on all BIM projects.

We’ve worked on a number of BIM projects, with a range of companies, who are at different stages of their BIM journey. My advice is to partner with like-minded companies who are using BIM technology in the same way – collaboration is key.

A word of warning though, many consultants are claiming that they are BIM specialists, without having worked on a BIM project. Prior to appointments we would recommend that case studies and testimonials are provided demonstrating BIM experience.

Learn more about DSG Quantity Surveyors by visiting their official website. You can also follow them on Twitter @DSGQuants.

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