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GGP January 2015

B U I L D I N G I N F O R M ATION MODELLING A window to the future The first article on Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the November issue of GGP outlined what BIM is and what it means to the glazing industry. Here we will look at the UK Government’s BIM initiative and how that is promoting BIM adoption.. In May 2011, the Cabinet Office published the ‘Government Construction Strategy’. This document called for ‘a profound change in the relationship between public authorities and the construction industry to ensure the government consistently gets a good deal . . . ’. It acknowledged that the construction sector contributes 7% of gross domestic product − worth about £110 billion per annum, and the aim was to reduce construction costs by up to 20% by 2015. An important objective in the strategy document was to encourage the use of BIM and digital technology – the requirement was for ‘fully collaborative 3D BIM (with all project and asset information, documentation and data being electronic) as a minimum by 2016’. The extent of this requirement has been clarified on the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ area of the BIM Task Group website “The UK is in the enviable position of being among the world leaders in BIM adoption and implementation.” (www.bimtaskgroup.org). It applies to all centrally procured government projects, a definition of fully collaborative (level 2) BIM is given, and confirmation is provided that there is no minimum project value. The strategy document is supported by a BIM Industry Working Group publication ‘BIM Management for value, cost and carbon improvement’. This support document provides valuable guidance on the implementation and benefits of BIM. So, what impact does the government strategy have on glass and glazing suppliers and installers? If you are part of the supply chain to a government project, you will have to engage with the BIM process by ensuring that the supply and management of your glazing data is compatible with that of the overall project. If use of BIM is mandatory for the project design team, they will be looking to incorporate system and product manufacturers’ BIM objects that facilitate the assembly of multidisciplinary information. This does not only extend to the physical representation of a BIM object but also its embedded performance data. Consider, for example, a BIM object for a double glazed unit; its physical attributes will include overall size, glass and cavity thicknesses; its performance attributes will include Standard (BS EN 1279), and thermal, solar control and light transmission values. The ‘I’ in BIM is for information, the more comprehensive and easy-to-use the better. Also, if the design team incorporates a manufacturer’s proprietary BIM object in their model, product substitution by the contractor will be far more difficult. UK BIM adoption Is the UK leading the way in BIM adoption? The ‘NBS International BIM Report 2013’ suggests we are one of the most advanced nations in its implementation. The ‘NBS National BIM Report 2014’ reinforces this suggestion: ‘The UK is in the enviable position of being among the world leaders in BIM adoption and implementation. The industry backs the government’s BIM direction’. The 2014 document is the fourth annual national report produced by NBS. The reports are based on surveys of multi-disciplinary construction professionals, with over 1000 respondents in 2014. The first NBS BIM report was issued in March 2011 and it provided an assessment of the construction industry’s attitudes to BIM, based on a survey in late 2010, shortly before the issue of the ‘Government Construction Strategy’. At that time, only 13% of construction professionals were using BIM, with a further 45% ‘just aware’ of it. The 2014 NBS BIM report, based on a survey in late 2013, reveals that 54% of construction professionals are using BIM, with a further 41% aware of it. Awareness of BIM has risen from 58% in 2010 to 95% in 2013. The main reason for this rise is likely to be the government’s 2016 deadline for use of BIM on public sector projects − but what are the other reasons behind such an increase in the adoption of BIM? One is that design teams appreciate the visual and graphical quality, multi-disciplinary collaboration, coordination and retrieval of information, and cost efficiencies. Manufacturers also appreciate providing accurate product information in their BIM objects that not only ensures correct selection for projects, but also incorporates guarantees and requirements for future maintenance. Your digital future? Picking up on the benefits of manufacturers adopting BIM, there is a particular incentive for door and window manufacturers to participate. The statistics for the most downloaded objects from the NBS National BIM Library recently have doors and windows occupying five of the top 10 places! At present there are objects in the library from nine door manufacturers and three window manufacturers. Are other manufacturers gaining a competitive edge over you in this essential component to the digital future of construction? Find out more at: www.nationalbimlibrary.com 82 www.ggp.com January 2015


GGP January 2015
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