“Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a collaborative way of working, underpinned by the digital technologies which unlock more efficient methods of designing, creating and maintaining our assets.” Source – HM Government.

Most people know by now that BIM stands for Building Information Modelling however if you search for BIM you can get a variety of definitions as to what it is.

What is important to remember is that it’s not just Buildings; it applies to anything you can build and will need to be maintained.

BIM was brought to the forefront of industry attention in the UK Government Construction Strategy published in 2011. The mandate was that all centrally procured projects that would offer a positive return on investment had to be BIM Level 2 from March 2016. Obviously this has now come and gone.

The Levels of BIM maturity are set out in PAS 1192-2:2013 - Specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using building information modelling.

All Levels of BIM have to be looked at as a collaborative process that is dependent on the input of the client, the design team members (including sub-contractors / manufacturers) and the asset management team. The standards and specifications also have to be adhered to. Without one of these ‘cogs’ the wheel will not turn.

  • At RVW we started our BIM journey in 2011. We chose Autodesk Design Suites, including REVIT and CIVILS 3D as it was a natural progression from AutoCAD and many supply chain partners also use Autodesk products so this provided compatibility. All of our senior Revit users are certified Autodesk Revit Professionals and all engineering and technical staff have the ability to interrogate 3D information.
  • Since 2011 we have worked on several BIM Projects with project values ranging from £10-60m and have covered several sectors. The more schemes we have run BIM on, the more confidence in our ability to deliver not only on time, but lean - efficient designs, while all the time fully embracing the BIM process. Now we want to use BIM on as many new projects as possible.
  • We endeavour to use our 3D design and modelling software on every scheme whether it’s a BIM project or not. This is because we can see the direct benefit these tools give to the design process as well as improve our skills and knowledge of the software itself, making us even more efficient when it comes to other BIM schemes.
  • Having a federated model made up of civil, structural, architectural, mechanical electrical and plumbing (MEP) 3D models makes the design and co-ordination process much smoother. We are able to visualise things in 3D allowing us to identify and design out items of risk and have also increased efficiencies with design information production.