A recent report by the RSUA BIM Task Group, chaired by Peter Monaghan, Change Manager, Southern Regional College, described a general feeling of optimism amongst its members who have implemented BIM Level 2 within a project. The report recognised the benefits of BIM Level 2 (though difficult to measure fully) in areas such as project visualisation, stakeholder engagement, clash detection and co-ordination of M&E with the building structure/fabric. Improved construction sequencing and buildability were also identified as BIM Level 2 benefits.
The report encouraged the development of resources by Construction & Procurement Delivery (CPD) to assist public sector employers in the implementation of BIM Level 2. It recognised the important role that employers have to play including the provision of ‘Employer Information Requirements’ (EIRs). The Task Group felt that there was a lack of BIM experience amongst employers and that this was reflected in the low number of informed EIRs being produced. This was considered to be a major barrier to the implementation of BIM Level 2.
The report highlighted the need for fee structures to be ‘re-profiled’ to reflect the additional early stage work now required in a BIM project in order to gain many of the latter stage benefits. The Task Group also felt that the Northern Ireland construction industry would benefit from the sharing of ‘lessons learnt’ through local BIM Level 2 case studies.
RSUA supports CPD in their goal to encourage BIM Level 2 adoption in public procurement processes. Procurement Guidance Note (PGN) 03/15 is seen as a valuable contribution towards achieving this goal. BIM has in the past been misunderstood by some as merely a 3D modelling process. Those RSUA members with experience in implementing BIM feel that the information management aspect is equally important.
RSUA sees collaboration through BIM as a positive step for the construction industry although it will not be without its challenges until all parties in the process have gained both knowledge and experience through education and application. Recognised BIM qualifications, informed by the industry, will help increase the number of BIM professionals available to meet these challenges.