Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Informa BIM Summit, Sydney

Blog entry by: Dominik Holzer

The inaugural two day BIM Summit in Sydney defied the usual trend of consultants gathering to update each other on their BIM progress. Instead, the event attracted a large number of contractors as well as some clients and government bodies in addition to the ‘usual suspects’. The level of presentations was high with both top national as well as international speakers from architecture, engineering, contractor, PM and legal background.

We now see the industry reaching a level of maturity where these sorts of events don’t aim at promoting the uptake of BIM, but they rather serve as a forum for lessons learned and strategy exploration. The following list summarises the main suggestions made by speakers at the summit: 

  • BIM can only effect substantial change if the upper management of your firm is driving it
  • Government is likely to start prescribing BIM use on their projects
  • Increase the dialogue with your collaborators (in particular the contractor)
  • Be very clear what constitutes your BIM services
  • The client is mainly interested in BIM post delivery
  • ...but don’t expect the client to know what he can get out of BIM
  • Don’t underestimate the value of BIM for Facility Management
  • Design, bid, build is detrimental to BIM
  • BIM Return On Investment is difficult to measure
  • The legal side of BIM is mostly unresolved
Clients and contractors are currently moving very fast in demanding post-delivery BIM services. Such services include the possibility to test a building during operation according to physical and behavioural performance, as well as managing and maintaining the facility assisted by ‘as constructed’ BIM models. Most architecture and engineering practices are not set up to meet these criteria for two reasons.

1)      Their ‘core business’ strategy does not consider providing BIM services useful to the client post delivery

2)      They do not fully understand yet what some of their clients expects from Post Occupancy Evaluation and Facility Management fostered through the use of BIM (and probably neither do the clients)

HOK Example

The direction large practices are taking in the use of BIM was exemplified by Rob Firth, Senior Vice President of HOK. In his presentation he showcased an approach to ‘information stewardship’ by explaining how HOK offers post delivery BIM management and maintenance as added value to their clients. BIM enabled, in-depth evaluation of the performance of their buildings during operation allows HOK to inform their design thinking on future projects and it assists them in the development of real estate strategy, facility planning and workplace solutions for their clients (see graph below)

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