I recently had the opportunity to hold a BIM feedback session with our Mechanical and Electrical subcontractors who had worked on Berewood Primary school and who had supported us by using BIM to collaborate and implement their work on site. This involved taking our consultant models and producing their own construction information from this as well as using Sitedesk Dabit on site for site meetings and on site with a tablet.
Below is a summary of the discussion and the topics covered, overall the result was that the mechanical subcontractor have now invested in Revit to ensure that they can take advantage of this modelling in the future. The benefits found on site were that we recorded no significant clashes and no requirement to rework or alter already fitted work. A great success overall and recognition of the opportunities that BIM can bring to a project to achieve high quality results.
- The model and understanding of this brought on site benefit by allowing site operatives the ability to see how to install the works in more detail prior to commencing.
- The requirement to develop the model up front required more time initially but the benefits were seen on site with no clashes reported.
- It was recognised that subcontractors managers, operatives and installers all found benefits after initial scepticism – if there were none these would have been communicated!
- It was recognised that traditionally the skill set of the site Foreman needed to be very high for traditional 2d coordination. With 3D modelling this allowed some room for a lower level of skill to achieve similar results, there was some reflection on the skill shortage in the construction industry currently (University graduates are not as skilled as they should be).
- The modelling mitigated risk to the coordination and during construction.
- Recording mistakes that didn’t happen are very hard to quantify and therefore the case for BIM is made a little harder.
- It was discussed that commercial factors will influence the final design solution if the design is pushed later in the process. Design up front will protect quality of proposals.
- A future ambition was the transfer of information onto site with models could be much quicker than currently as 2D information takes a long time to get to site and causes delays or risks the use of old information.
- Changes to record drawings were minimal which is unusual, this was seen as a key benefit.
- Tender return – BIM could add faith in supporting tender returns as more accurate pricing and cost certainty. This applies particularly for a Refurbishment model if done properly as it would involve a more accurate tender return.
- Variations recorded were due to design decisions and not corrective requirements.
- People should buy into it ideally at an early stage
- It was noted that finding (young) people to do traditional 2D coordination is harder now as more companies and students ready for 3d coordination straight from University/college and are familiar with this type of technology.