Building Information Modelling helps to collaborate effectively

18Jul14

Modelling Collaboration

New technology and ways of working are helping to break down barriers between the different players in the construction process. Integrated Project Delivery (IPD), which advocates the collective harnessing of all project participants’ talents and insights, is one approach that many in the industry think can make the process more collaborative.

“IPD allows discussion at the start of the project to create stronger links between all the various stages. It’s extremely important to break down the silos that exist in the industry,” says Gadonniex. “A lot of the siloed nature of the industry goes with the fear of losing one’s territory and not accepting the benefits of this type of collaboration, particularly when it comes to saving time and money.”

A central aspect of IPD is Building Information Modelling (Bim), which Watts describes as “a real force for collaboration, because it can’t really operate unless you have the entire team on board at the earliest possible stage – which encourages much earlier contractor involvement”.

Bim is a single digitally enabled integrated model of a building’s designs and specifications that allows all the various people involved in a project to see what has gone before and what needs to be done. “The biggest enemy of the construction industry was the arrival of email,” says Watts. “Two parties would make amendments to the drawings but they wouldn’t tell anyone else. With Bim everyone can see what has happened.”

Bim makes projects much quicker, smoother and cheaper, he adds, which is why the government has said that all new public sector buildings must be developed using the technology from 2016.

However, Bim is only being used properly on the largest projects, says Barry Connolly, a director at real estate consultancy JLL. “There is still a big disconnect within the industry. Architects and designers generally collaborate well, but even if they develop a project in Bim, the contractor will often do nothing with it because their own supply chains have not invested in Bim.”

Read the full article here.

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