UK Construction Online’s Matt Brown spoke with David Philp, Chair of the Scottish Government’s BIM Working Group, about the Scottish BIM programme ahead of Scotland’s BIM Level 2 mandate in April 2017.
Can you tell us about the Scottish BIM Programme?
A key recommendation within Scottish Government’s Construction Procurement review was the implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) to Level 2 by April 2017. The review set out the following recommendation which was endorsed by Scottish Ministers:
‘The use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) should be introduced in central government with a view to encouraging its adoption across the entire public sector. The objective should be that, where appropriate, construction projects across the public sector in Scotland adopt a BIM level 2 approach by April 2017.’
The Scottish Future Trust (SFT) are supporting the delivery of these requirements and have created a BIM Implementation Plan, Scottish BIM Delivery Group to support procuring authorities within Scotland to implement BIM Level 2 from April 2017. This roadmap sets out a combination of focused actions including:
- Pathfinder projects,
Does the UK’s BIM mandate make easier in a sense to get Scottish firms to get on the BIM journey?
Undoubtedly the HM Government mandate and the creation of the BSI suite of BIM standards has helped create a firm foundation for industry. The BIM requirements of the Scottish Government will further advance this journey in Scotland and create appropriate digital journeys for the Scottish Public Sector procurer.
Can you tell us a little about how the Scottish BIM implementation will practically be applied?
We have developed a three stage approach to implementation in Scotland. Firstly the public sector client will, early in the procurement process, utilise the SFT BIM Grading tool to determine the appropriate Level of BIM maturity for their project, either Level 1 or 2. Secondly they use the Return on Investment (ROI) calculator to help inform the business before finally the “How?” which is informed by our departmental specific BIM navigator portal.
What advice would you give to Scottish firms looking to take their first step on the BIM journey but aren’t sure where to begin?
Get to know the British Standards in relation to BIM, they are free to download and are available via http://bim-level2.org/en/ Make sure that you target Level 1 BIM maturity as your first milestone, it is imperative that this foundation is in place before proceeding towards Level 2. Benchmark where you already are in your journey, the SFT and promoting the BIM Compass http://bim.knowledgesmart.net/sft/as a useful and agnostic way of doing this. Have a strategy based upon where BIM will give you and your customer’s added value.
Is it the case that BIM is as much about changing people’s mind-sets as it is about the technology?
Yes it is important that BIM implementation is seen as much about improving behaviours and ensuring better ways of delivery than it is about the technology. Creating more collaborative ways of managing and delivering information is at the heart of BIM. BIM in its various guises is becoming a metaphor for industry change, the client “pull” is helping drive innovation and set a compelling vision of what a digitised sector would look like using computer readable data.
That said the technology is the vital enabler and should be given equal consideration, it should however always be appropriate to the outcomes that an organisation wishes to achieve – don’t by authoring tools when all you need is a free viewer. Understand what plays you need, create a functional requirement and work from there.
Are there any new technologies that you have seen recently that have got you excited?
I have seen a lot of improvement in AR/VR offerings which is great however I have witnessed some incredible examples of machine learning and cognitive workflows especially around generative design that got me real excited.
What’s was you thoughts Digital Construction Week this year and what involvement did you have?
I was doing a talk on the improved functionality that Level 3 might offer and the benefits that it could enable especially in the operational delivery and how real time data and analytics can support. It was noticeable at this year’s DCW that as well as the BIM discussions there was more of a wider zoom out and embracing of a more general digitisation of construction which was refreshing.
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