BIM Voice – Richard Lane: “I have the best job in the world”


BIMcrunch has become a platform for a plethora of elite names from the Building Information Modelling sector to become guest writers on the site and share their thoughts and opinions with the entire #GlobalBIMCrew.

Following on from his inspirational presentation at a recent London BIM Region event filmed by The B1M, Crenova Consulting, BIM Task Group and Thames Valley BIM Region‘s Richard Lane is our latest featured columnist.

The Director and Lead Consultant of Creonova Consulting, a KnowledgePoint brand, describes how BIM can deliver transformational change across the construction industry and the wider UK economy.

I Have the Best Job in the World

The consensus amongst several studies puts total waste within the industry between 3035%, equivalent to around 5% of GDP. In other words, 5% of this country’s output is wasted. But it gets worse… Construction enables pretty much every other industry in this country – so you can effectively add to that 5%, the knock-on effect on all those other sectors. If construction companies are able to specify projects correctly and carry out projects with optimum levels of efficiency, that means better environments for education and for health and ultimately better business outcomes too.

And it’s not just about buildings, construction is also very much about infrastructure, the transport network being a case in point. Inefficiency gets driven through the entire economy. So, if we can fix that issue, then it does truly represent a great opportunity to really improve the economic and societal impact that this country can deliver.

In fact, BIM is like a Trojan horse for change. It is a catalyst for other things to occur. I’ve worked with many – particularly public sector – clients. Historically, most say they are too busy to think about doing things better. They are so driven by their operational goals that they never take a step back and see that what they are doing is inefficient and wasteful.

That’s why having BIM as an agent of transformation and the mandate to drive that change forces people to take the time to step back and reflect. They start to introduce changes that have nothing to do with BIM but that opportunity has given them the chance for wider evaluation. That means we see issues like whole life efficiency; exports; the image of the industry and skills development all being driven from a change that originates with the introduction of BIM.

So, we see all of the target outcomes outlined in UK Industrial Strategy: Construction 2025 document suddenly appear a lot more achievable. When I first saw the numbers I must admit I did not fully believe them: delivering a 50% reduction in the overall time from inception to completion for new build and refurbished assets, for example, or achieving a 33% reduction in the whole life cost of built assets. Now I think these are actually a little bit soft. I think we can do even better than that by 2025!

So, to go back to my point about having the best job in the world. Dan Pink in his book ‘Drive’ looked at the research around motivation for individuals and found that it was not driven by financial reward it was driven by three factors – autonomy, mastery and purpose. I believe the transformation that’s being driven by BIM enables everybody to achieve all of these three. We get the opportunity to be autonomous.

The leadership for BIM transformation in this country is not coming from the top executives, its coming from people at working level, people in different roles who are passionate about making a difference. They are not driven by financial reward. They are doing it because they are passionate about the subject, not because they are the top executives in their organisations.

Government has been trying to change construction for 70 years. But with the UK BIM mandate and the movement within the industry, we have the chance to get it right this time. So please join me. If we all embrace it then we can really make this level of difference and change to our country. And if we can have that level of purpose in our work… why wouldn’t it be the best job in the world?”

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