BIM Voice: Asta’s Jason Ruddle

Credit: Asta Development
Credit: Asta Development

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. Jason Ruddle, Managing Director of Asta Development shares his thoughts around three aspects of BIM which are front of mind in this important final year before the first BIM deadline arrives.

2015 is shaping up to be a great year. In talking to customers we can feel tangible BIM momentum. Much discussion inevitably centres on the ‘run-up’ to 2016 – although we’ve all been on this path for a long time. Our customers have helped us to shape the BIM version of our flagship planning software and today we are excited about a BIM-enabled future, but we wonder: is the industry yet fully ready? We can see a few final challenges.

Enterprise-wide BIM

It is tough to get BIM embedded throughout what are often complex organisations. If BIM is to succeed as a business tool it must be fully and completely established, and there are barriers. Cultures rarely change evenly: if only part of the organisation signs up to BIM, they cannot create a meaningful BIM statement or drive BIM to benefit the whole organisation. Some firms span several professions, and designers, builders and facilities managers have embraced the ideas and tools of BIM at different rates. Other companies do not yet have enterprise-wide tools for key elements such as planning and project management. When any core process is done disparately and to different standards it is hard to move quickly to a new company-wide set of collaborative processes.

BIM for all

Asta works with over 90% of the UK’s leading construction contractors, and their readiness for BIM is progressing. However, because we are nearing the point that BIM Level 2 will become mandatory, it is inevitable that BIM will start to impact downstream players more intensely. Though still not yet universal, many tenders being put together now have ‘BIM inside’ to a greater degree than any that preceded them. By the time those break ground, all the subcontractors at the time should be ready to receive information driven from BIM-based plans, because that is where the managers who brief them will receive their own information. FMs for those same buildings will benefit from all the rich digital planning that we do today – so we must decide how that will dovetail with their current workflows and asset management systems. They should already be seeking out the affordable, appropriate solutions that will help them bridge into the BIM world, and planning ahead – because they will have the same challenges of how to extend and educate BIM thinking across their organisations as construction contractors.

Standardised BIM

The definition of BIM emerged long ago, and the goals for the UK public sector were clearly outlined. Much was left for self-development by the construction industry and the software industry that supports it. That is essential in a capital economy but, as a result, BIM standards have taken a long time. A common data environment and common standards for managing data are essential if we are to realise the benefits of BIM. IFC’s development over the past ten years has lowered barriers to file exchange. A generation of dedicated BIM business software is emerging, not just evolving out of CAD. It is our hope that, as other technical aspects stabilise, more perceived roadblocks will also fall away.

Author Biography

Jason Ruddle has more than 25 years’ experience in the construction industry delivering key software solutions, products and services to national house-builders, contractors and the supply chain. He is a highly experienced construction software specialist with a background spanning training, sales and business leadership and was formerly Managing Director at timber frame manufacturing and engineering software developer, Consultec UK Ltd.

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