Report: Australia’s Defence sector wants greater use of BIM

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

Australia‘s Defence department have called for an increased utilisation of Building Information Modelling within their sector and beyond as work on the country’s biggest defence facilities project has drawn to a successful conclusion.

Laing O’Rourke have completed the Moorebank Units Relocation development in Sydney, a $870 million, 60-building powerhouse that will house the likes of the Army’s School of Military Engineering and Land Warfare Centre amongst other facilities. Different buildings on the site include instructional and teaching spaces, gym and 50m heated indoor pool, chapel, museum and live-in accommodation.

The project is the largest defence-related project since World War II and will lead to the employment of 2000 people locally and nationally.

Speaking with Financial Review, Managing Director of Laing O’Rourke, Cathal O’Rourke commented on the project’s success: “We have a phrase in the business that we build something twice. Once in the virtual world where we make all our mistakes and then in the real world where we deliver it in a much more efficient way.

“Through collaborative working we managed to set the budget, set the timeline and achieve that. It actually came in under budget and returns money back to them [the Department of Defence]. So you can get great outcomes when you do it. What you need is a brave customer.”

The great outcome referenced above has inspired the department’s Executive Director for Capital Facilities, Processes and Compliance, Bob Baird to realise that BIM is the way forward from now on: “We were in a very strict time frame and the time frame was met. The target date to get this completed was October this year. It’s been achieved. It’s the way for industry to go in the future.”

Baird also commented on a potential mandate for all Department of Defence projects to require BIM implementation. Whilst he is complimentary of the process, no concrete requirements for it will be issued just yet. “”We will raise the topic of BIM in the industry brief,” said Baird. “At this stage, we’re not going to mandate it, but we will encourage it.”

Read the entire article on the project here.

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