BIM implementation in the private sector

BIM implementation in the private sector

Is the private sector falling behind publicly funded projects when it comes to BIM implementation?

In 2011 the UK Government announced that all centrally-funded public-sector work would “require collaborative 3D BIM (with all project and asset information, documentation and data being electronic) by 2016”. With that 2016 deadline rapidly approaching there is a gulf developing in BIM implementation between the public and private sectors.

The Government’s 2011 Construction Strategy outlined a need for change in the “poor and inconsistent procurement practices” of public sector construction spending but did not tackle the private sector. As a result Level 2 BIM is being specified on a growing number of live and tendered public sector projects while the private sector doesn’t seem to be keeping up. According to Barbour ABI data 1 in 5 publicly funded projects are utilising BIM compared to a comparatively low 1 in 10 privately funded.

A survey compiled earlier this year by Construction Manager, the magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building, noted that awareness of the Government’s 2016 deadline was significantly lower among private sector clients and SMEs. A result that is not surprising considering that the mandate solely targets centrally-funded Government projects, which is also a sector that SMEs feel excluded from. The report continues to reveal that amongst respondents, 60% of private sector clients see themselves as being under-prepared to implement BIM in 2014.

Sainsbury's develops first BIM supermarket
Despite the private sector lagging behind there are a number of projects that are leading the way when it comes to BIM. Barbour ABI recently reported that the first ever Building Information Modelling supermarket project for food retailer Sainsbury's is currently in development.

Due for completion by the end of 2014, the project involves the erection of a retail superstore along with an associated petrol filling station in Thanet, Kent. Main contractor ISG will complete the project which is trialling BIM at the request of the convenience store conglomerate. The supermarket will review the widespread roll out of BIM across its future projects. Barbour ABI values the project at £25,362,000.

BIM improves design and construction of 240 Blackfriars
Another influential project to make use of BIM is the high profile 240 Blackfriars Road development located near The City in London. Property development company Great Portland Estates found that BIM was able to improve the design and construction process beyond their initial expectations. GPE expected the main operational benefit of BIM to be clash detection; an application which allows computer processes to check certain rules like code regulations and any possible structural issues during the design phase.

In reality BIM had many benefits on the 240 Blackfriars project. BIM allowed GPE to undertake construction rehearsals in a 4D timeline to identify sequencing and logistics issues to ensure the programme was as efficient as possible. BIM also allowed the company to achieve sustainability objectives by increasing off-site manufacture and reducing waste on-site. GPE state that by implementing BIM they significantly reduced the risk budget for the project. When summarising costs associated with implementing BIM the company claims that for every £1 invested in the process that saved approximately £2 in the contract sum.

While it may be the case that the private sector is falling behind the public sector when it comes to implementing BIM a number of key projects demonstrating the benefits of the process could lead the way in encouraging take up throughout the construction industry.

Useful links:
• For more on BIM from Barbour Product Search click here
• Read “The BIM journey...Ready to take to the road” for more on the CIOB’s BIM survey
• For more about ISG’s use of BIM for Sainsbury’s, Westwood Cross click here
• Read “240 Blackfriars: a BIM journey” here
• To sign up for project data from Barbour ABI click here

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Posted by
Lauren Easton - Editorial Account Manager

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