BIM Voice: Greg Davies – What does BIM mean to you?

BIM Voice - Greg Davies

BIMcrunch has become a platform for a plethora of elite industry names to become guest writers on the site and share their thoughts and opinions with the #GlobalBIMCrew. In the first BIM Voice of 2015, Operations Director of Concerto Support, Greg Davies discusses cultural barriers that often block BIM whilst giving advice to make sure construction contracts are done right.

What does BIM mean to you? Cultural and contractual considerations

There are key considerations for any organisation preparing for BIM, which go beyond the setting up of tools, processes and procedures. Whilst of course these elements are essential to allow an organisation embarking on a project to effectively collate and communicate BIM related data, it is pertinent to examine how ready the organisation and project team really is from both a cultural and contractual perspective.

Are the key stakeholders involved in the project aware of the BIM requirement and prepared to considered this requirement whilst undertaking property related work? By sitting down and discussing across the table what BIM means to you and to your contractors, you are removing barriers that could cause serious flaws later on and for the whole lifecycle of your asset.

Cultural barriers to BIM

We have found again and again that there are often barriers in front of BIM enablement because not everyone involved understands BIM as a set of requirements nor applies this understanding early enough in the process.

In order for BIM to mean something post handover, establishing the level of information needed must be discussed at the very start of the project. This information must come from the various groups that will not only deliver, but also operate the building. This mean that Architects, Mechanical and Electrical Engineers, user of the building and Facilities Management teams must collaborate early on and discuss and agree upon this at the business case stage of the project.

Having these types of conversations with the various teams involved in the whole life-cycle of the building allows you and your organisation to define what level of information needs to be collated to deliver the project successfully. For example, imagine a situation where there has not been any real communication between the Architect and the FM team in the early stages and what problems that could create during the operational life of the property.

It is only from this process that the client can really establish what BIM means to them and only then can the BIM data be captured as a project deliverable and conveyed in a robust legal and contractual framework.

Setting up BIM in the contract

Does your organisation and project team understand contractually the level of BIM you need and are you prepared to communicate that information effectively and commercially to your supply chain?

Building this requirement into contractual tender information ensures the commercial framework is in place for the contractor to factor in a realistic price for BIM in their initial bid. As part of the submissions for that bid, there must be a section specifying the collation of BIM and delivery and management of BIM related data. It is also essential to ensure there are commercial definitions within the contract, which makes it clear that the information collated is owned by the client commissioning the work.

When a contractor produces work that has been commissioned by a client, this information is of course owned by the client. However, a typical scenario demonstrating lack contract definition for BIM would be where the contractor may have collated a good level of BIM information and either A, they don’t release it to the client or B, they want to charge the client for the release of that BIM data. This is a large and often overlooked area of why BIM isn’t adhered to – because the client does not specify the BIM requirements as part of the tender phase or importantly, does not understand what level of BIM the contractor needs to adhere to.

Feeding BIM into your legal and contractual framework with your contractors validates that the contractors are aware that there is a BIM requirement, they are aware of what that BIM requirement looks like and this allows them to ensure they can deliver it and more importantly ensure the costing to do that is embedded as part of their submission.

With a robust framework in place ensuring everyone is on board with BIM and that it is clearly set out in the contract will provide the best possible start. From then on, the use of effective tools, processes and procedures can work on the back of this foundation to facilitate its successful delivery long term.


Concerto offers property project, asset and facilities management solutions, which facilitate complete integration and successful delivery of the BIM environment throughout this process. To learn more, you can visit their website here, call 0844 8589171 or email

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