Everyone's talking about BIM – now there's some help for specialists to understand it

New guidance has been published by NSCC and the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group to provide Specialist Contractors with a practical understanding of the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM).

The First Steps to BIM Competence: A Guide for Specialist Contractors (click here to download a copy) was developed by a BIM Working Group set up by NSCC and SEC Group in collaboration with the University of Northumbria’s BIM Academy and officially endorsed by the Government's Cabinet Office. It explains the benefits of investing in BIM technology and training to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

The BIM Working Group is designed to keep the specialist sector informed on developments regarding BIM, so it does not lose out on work opportunities and is in a position to work with Government to ensure a smooth transition to the mandatory requirement for the use of Level Two BIM on Government projects by 2016.

David Frise, the Chairman of the BIM Working Group and Chief Executive of an NSCC member organisation, the Association of Interior Specialists (AIS), welcomed the guidance. “Both public sector procurers and private sector clients are increasingly demanding that BIM be used on their construction projects in order to achieve efficiency savings through the elimination of waste… and we have reached the stage in the adoption of BIM where the specialist contracting sector has a key role to play in system design and integration.”

BIM is a collaborative way of working throughout the life-cycle of a project through the creation, collation and exchange of shared 3D models and intelligent, structured data attached to those models. It is intended to enable businesses to make informed decisions on the design of a project, ensuring any potential problems are identified and resolved early on rather than on site when it’s too late.

The implementation of BIM forms part of the Government’s drive to reduce costs within the construction industry by 20%. It is hoped the initiative will increase efficiency at all stages of project life-cycles.

The joint government-industry BIM Task Group, set up to support the objectives of the Government Construction Strategy, has emphasised the importance of raising awareness of BIM throughout the supply chain. This new guidance will go a long way to explaining the use of BIM to the specialist sector.