BIM or not to BIM


Key issues for public sector agencies include:

  • assessing whether the costs of requiring the delivery and use of BIM models are outweighed by the asset whole of life benefits;
  • identifying minimum threshold values of projects on which to require use of BIM to design, construct or manage assets;
  • assessing whether local suppliers (designers and constructors and asset managers) have the skills and resources to build and use BIM models;
  • ensuring smaller firms – whether designers or other consultants, or constructors – that are slower than others in using BIM are not disadvantaged;
  • determining whether existing legislation, policies, or procedures are flexible enough to allow the early appointment of constructors to project teams to be part of the design process; and determining the extent to which internal BIM or other project management capability is required when requiring the delivery and use of BIM models by suppliers.

Other related issues arise in considering the scope for government agencies and private sector clients to encourage those suppliers to bid for design or construction work and then carry it out using teams that integrate designers, trade contractors, and head contractors. The conventional approach common to most project delivery strategies, involves design work being undertaken by designers appointed by a client sufficient to enable the client to seek proposals and prices to construct an asset. This approach leads to constructors (including trade contractors who provide a head contractor with sub-contract proposals) being excluded from initial design.

If a different approach is taken, regardless of the project delivery strategy selected, and constructors (including relevant trade contractors) are involved in initial design as part of an integrated design team, the power of BIM to facilitate more effective collaboration focused on meeting client objectives is optimised. This approach may challenge existing policies and procedures to ensure the selection of suppliers is transparent and deliver value for money, and alternative policies and procedures to be put in place. Again, clients whether public or private are addressing these issues in different ways. Guides produced by ACIF and its government counterpart, Australasian Procurement and Construction Council, identify the issues and suggest alternatives that have been tried elsewhere to inform those who are working in this field.

Read the full article here


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