Best BIM Bad BIM – James Eaton

Logo Credit: Laing O'Rourke
Logo Credit: Laing O’Rourke

Answered from either a personal or industry-viewpoint perspective, Best BIM Bad BIM sees a member of the #GlobalBIMCrew divulge their best and worst BIM experiences and what they have learned from both. Laing O’Rourke‘s ‎Global Head of Digital Engineering (BIM) and speaker at ICE BIM 2015, James Eaton is today’s interviewee.

What is James’ Best BIM experience?

My best Digital Engineering experience occurred just a few months ago – I was on site at the home of Manchester City, Etihad Stadium and met the project leader Tony Bush.

Tony has worked in the industry for over 35 years and we had converted him into a new DE world! When I asked him “So has DE made a difference to you?”, he answered that he could not have successfully completed the project without it! He stated the complexity of the project was huge and for him the “virtual world” had enabled him to plan effectively, communicate with numerous stakeholders and consider the high risk elements of the sequencing lifts to a level of detail he could never had previously achieved.

He also stated that going “into the site cabins to see all our staff – engineers, commercial, H&S, design managers, logistics personnel and project managers – all working in the model and using the linked data and information for their own respective roles was a tremendous result.”

For me this makes the strategy we drive everyday come to life and go from PowerPoint slides and presentations to real outcomes and a real difference happening where it needs to – on our projects.

What experiences has James considered Bad?

My worst experience occurred when I visited a project in Hong Kong two years ago. I asked a member of the team how the DE model was being utilized and he replied: “We haven’t managed to use it in last 3 days as the BIM guy has been on annual leave. We are waiting for him to come back and fire up the computer!”

When BIM is about waiting for the BIM “geek” to arrive and everything is channelled through an individual we just won’t unlock the opportunities that we have in-front of us.

What does James think can be learned from both his Best and Bad experiences?

Quite simple really; BIM/DE is about delivering more efficiently with new tools and processes to every member of the project team and project stakeholders including the Client – delivering true value to all.

When we move from people perceiving BIM as mandated and something being demanded from Government to the recognition that BIM will improve aspects of their own role and effectiveness then we will truly see one of the most fundamental changes to the construction industry and ultimately see construction projects being delivered faster, safer, cheaper and to a higher quality – predictability will emerge as the key outcome.

James will be presenting at the Institution of Civil Engineers‘ ICE BIM 2015 taking place on October 21st, 2015 at Park Plaza Victoria Hotel in London, United Kingdom. We are Media Partner to the event, and we previewed three of the sessions last month.

Expect more coverage from us in the coming weeks. In the meantime, register your interest by clicking here.

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