Balfour Beatty’s Trebilcock offers BIM optimisation advice

Credit: Balfour Beatty
Credit: Balfour Beatty

Balfour Beatty‘s Director of BIM has offered advice to Building Information Modelling implementers in his latest blog post.

As a guest on, Peter Trebilcock cites personal experiences in which he has seen companies charge more for their work if they are to adopt a BIM process for a particular project. According to him, “using BIM shouldn’t add cost to a project”. He wrote: “Sometimes it is a tell-tale sign of the lack of BIM experience when a consultant asks how much more is the client willing to pay for them to do work in BIM. Did they charge clients extra when they switched from drawing board to CAD in the early eighties?

Trebilcock elaborated on this point further, explaining that the various sizes a building/infrastructure can be and the fact the amount of BIM components needed can differentiate immensely mean that adding an additional charge to a price is simply guess work.

“Many non-BIM literate supply chain members when asked in tender documents for their work to be submitted in BIM, their tender package comes back with an extra £25k-40k added for the BIM factor.

“It is impossible to give a set figure for how much BIM may add or save because not only is there a vast band width of ability but also the scope of service might differ substantially depending upon the size and type of project as well as the particular set of employers requirements.”

For companies wishing to optimise their costs, the Chairman of the UK BIM Steering Group offers a series of points to consider. Firstly, he mentions that designers must undertake work in an appropriate manner – other elements of the team need to keep the designers in check: “Ensure the key designers undertake their work in appropriate manner. It’s more difficult to lever the benefits if the design has not been undertaken in BIM in the first place.”

Trebilcock also sheds light on the need for standardisation and simplification. He explained: “The British construction industry has a great capacity to provide an intellectual rigour to devising processes and standards yet it has a propensity to overcomplicate what needs to be done. The BIM4Clients group and UKMCG recognises the need to provide guidance on how to draft EIRs. The rule of thumb with any tender documentation is the shorter and simpler it is, the lower the bid.”

To read Trebilcock’s other pieces of advice, read his blog post by following this link.

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