BIM software providers need to “consult closely with the contracting community”

Credit: B&ES
Credit: B&ES

The President of the Building and Engineering Services Association has called for Building Information Modelling software developers to work more closely with the communities they serve.

In a new guest article from Modern Building Services, Andy Sneyd explained: “The software providers need to consult closely with the contracting community to ensure we are getting models that allow us to fine tune designs and hand over buildings in good operational shape.

“If we don’t get the models we need, how can contractors be expected to make the system work — particularly with the fast approaching 2016 deadline [in the UK] for Level 2 BIM to be adopted on all public-sector projects?”

As targets become increasingly “more ambitious”, Sneyd believes the models need to be able to do more at the design stage of a project in order to cut costs even further: “We should be able to use the models to track and manage resources and materials at the construction phase as well as monitor work-phase completeness,” said Sneyd.

“Detailed and high-quality commissioning data should also be included alongside the design information. More and better data from the design team is essential if we are to satisfy clients looking for better performance standards from their buildings assessed against progressively more ambitious financial targets.”

Due to companies investing in new technologies in order to make their buildings/infrastructure more efficient, Sneyd believes that ironically, these technologies can result in greater costs. In addition to improved software, improved attitudes from project team members concerning collaboration will also enable BIM to reach higher towards it’s potential.

He elaborated: “The great irony is the very presence of sophisticated technologies aimed at reducing energy usage and improving comfort actually can make a building more complex and, therefore, hard to manage and control. Some of that complexity can be ironed out through better collaboration and communication at the fit-out and commissioning stage, but that depends on having the right BIM model with the data where (and when) we need it.

“BIM might one day save us money and make our processes more efficient — it isn’t doing that at the moment — but it will first drive massive change in the way we all interact and exchange information. If we can’t keep up with this change, we will be dropped from the process, and other people will step in.”

Read the rest of Sneyd’s extensive blog post by clicking here.

Do you agree with Sneyd? Does the industry still have a long way to go before 2016?