BIM: Timing is Everything

Ryan Simmonds, Sales Director of Metsec Framing

Published on: Tuesday, 17th January 2017

Ryan Simmonds, Sales Director of Metsec Framing, explores how time is a crucial element in the successful deployment of BIM.

A lot of talk about BIM

As a concept Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been around since the 1970s, and despite BIM Level 2 becoming a requirement for public sector projects over £5 million this year, research suggests there is still a significant number of organisations that don’t fully understand the complexities and time involved in a successful BIM project.

BIM is the process of designing, constructing or operating a building, infrastructure or landscape asset using electronic information. The objective of BIM is to satisfy the three components of a successful project; namely time, cost and quality, by managing the project using a more efficient and reliable method of work, and we, at Metsec, pride ourselves in delivering this.

We were the first cold roll steel forming company to be awarded BIM Level 2 and, most recently, the first tier two supplier to be awarded the BSI Kitemark relating to BIM. We’re one of just six companies globally to hold that award.

Take-up & Trajectory

Whilst statistics show a substantial increase in BIM adoption with 13% of projects using it in 2010, increasing to 54% in 2015, the RIBA NBS report also suggests a lot of uncertainty remains about what BIM is, when to engage with it, and its standard practices.

The report does, however also show that BIM adoption is on a steep trajectory. Within one year, 86% of people expect to use BIM on at least some of their projects, this number rising to 95% in three years and 97% in five years. If these projections are realised, BIM will become routine and near universal.

However, with the increased use of BIM, it is vital that all parties fully appreciate all the factors involved in delivering a successful BIM-modelled project. The most critical of which, I believe, is time.

Timing is Everything

Extra time has always been factored into projects, but with BIM the difference is working the majority of this time into the initial design stages to ensure all parties have agreed on the specification of the project, the products required and the building methods to be used. This greatly increases the likelihood of a smooth delivery, on-time and on-budget by reducing the number of design stages and amendments; reducing the risk of any potential delays.

Essentially, BIM enables you to build a project ‘piece-by-piece’, adding all components together at the design stage.

Whilst an increased timeframe in the early stages of the project can make project managers nervous, BIM is a new way of working, and that time will be saved in the later stages.

Once the initial stages are complete, BIM will provide full specification of every product needed for the development, the exact cost and the timescale required to deliver the project.

A great example of how BIM was applied is our very own project at 66 Queen Square in Bristol. We met with the main contractor in the early stages who made use of our BIM capabilities. We produced a high quality, detailed BIM model months in advance of them starting on site, enabling us to flag any potential issues early to them in a way that perhaps wouldn’t have been apparent if they had relied on a simple 2D model design.

BIM is essentially a mechanism for improving the efficiency of the construction industry and reducing waste in a world where resources are subject to supply constraints and price pressures.