WMCCE: Time to get on board BIM

The West Midlands Centre for Constructing Excellence (WMCCE) is backing the Government’s drive to get more companies to adopt a new virtual system of constructing buildings.

The organisation, which represents the region’s construction industry and is committed to promoting best practice within the sector, said businesses needed to get on board with Building Information Modelling (BIM) or risk being left behind.

Phil Wilson, executive director at WMCCE, said: “Some companies are ahead of the curve and are already using BIM on construction projects but there are still a lot of companies that are either not aware of it or have yet to adopt it. If they don’t get on board soon they will be playing catch up with the rest of the industry.”

BIM is the latest technology to be used in the construction industry. Buildings can be built ‘virtually’ using 3D modelling, with information such as plans, material specifications, structural performance, manufacturers’ details and maintenance requirements stored so that it can be shared between all those involved in the project, rather than each party preparing its own set of drawings and information.

Last year the Cabinet Office published the Government’s new construction strategy. The report stated the Government’s intention to require collaborative 3D BIM, with all project and asset information, documentation and data being electronic, on its projects by 2016.

“The Government has firmly set its stall out with regard to BIM and it’s now up to the construction industry to adopt and implement the system into standard practices and procedures,” said Mr Wilson.

“As an organisation committed to the promotion of best practice within the construction industry, WMCCE is fully supportive of the Government’s push to get more companies to adopt BIM.”

To promote the benefits of using BIM on construction projects WMCCE recently held a conference in Birmingham to show practitioners from the construction sector how it can make the design, construction and management of projects more efficient and cost-effective.

More than 100 people attended the event at Birmingham Science Park Aston, which included a presentation by David Philp, head of BIM implementation at the Cabinet Office and BIM programme director at Balfour Beatty, on how the Government intends to drive the roll out of BIM by 2016.

Mr Philp said: “A large part of BIM’s success will be down to education and training, ensuring that new entrants to the construction arena have the apposite blend of knowledge and skills. Of equal significance is the need to ‘unlearn’ much of the existing workforce approach and dispel some of the myths surrounding BIM.

“We are aware of both scalability and localism, and we intend to ensure that our programme is well understood and can be adopted by all (irrespective of company size) without barriers. To this end we will be creating regional BIM hubs in 2012 to help disseminate our programme and get valuable feedback from around the UK.”

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