Arup: BIM partners to be “selected on capability rather than price”?

Credit: Arup
Credit: Arup

A new blog post praising Building Information Modelling and the collaborative nature of working that it creates has raised a debate on the way project partners will be selected in the future.

Arup‘s Andrew Maher pencilled his thoughts on BIM, a process he describes as successful due to the fact it “generates a financial return”. Maher does not sit on the fence, he thinks that when done correctly, BIM will “achieve results”, suggesting that if project partners can get the work done and boost efficiency, they will be selected regardless of the price they charge.

Maher cites his experiences shadowing The Big Room, a University of California San Francisco project team responsible for delivering a completed, digital version of the new Mission Bay Hospital. Maher recalls visiting at various points during the project lifecycle and being impressed with the work on each occasion he returned.

The main positive aspect of a BIM workflow that the Global Leader of Digital Innovation highlights is how the team’s separate parties managed to work cohesively, and without a multi-party contract. He said: “Despite not having a fully collaborative multi-party contract, collaborative behaviours were driven by the client and committed to by the whole project team. Success was linked to key measures that were revealed to all and these were kept simple, such as minimising the number of clashes in the virtual world, resulting in little rework on site.”

The ability for Big Room members to listen to one another and completely understand their individual role was also a strong point in Maher’s opinion: “At the beginning, everyone had agreed what they would do, who was responsible for what and they worked together to create smarter ways of solving issues over the details and building up the components of the hospital.

“There wasn’t double handling of information as each party added their own conventions or rebuilt models.”

Finally, Maher lists the reasons as to why he thinks the Big Room were so successful, characteristics that should be present in all BIM projects.

“The Big Room facilitated communication and collaboration – just as any room filled with enabled enthusiastic experts would – but BIM does not demand literal cohabitation to achieve results. It does require open communication, shared working platforms, common goals and understanding, and a fluid approach.”

If a company can provide those qualities, regardless of their fee, they will be all set.

Click here to read the entire Arup blog post.

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