Construction must lead the way to a new collaboration between disciplines
When we designed the concept of Level 2 BIM as a key stepping stone on the journey to the interoperable digital economy of Level 3 and beyond, we identified the need for a straighforward data structure that could be simple enough to be understood, but comprehensive enough to be useful.
Our goals were to not only allow the effective transfer of information between the supply chain and client, but also to provide training and awareness of the principles of shared data to the 1.9 million people employed in our industry.
As the BIM program has developed and gathered pace to its 2016 target of all public sector projects being delivered using Level 2 BIM, the need to integrate building and infrastructure has become more and more obvious.
The age old divide between our buildings and civils businesses stretches from culture to language, but as the UK leads the way to the digital economy, construction as a whole sector has to lead the way to a new collaboration between disciplines so we can continue to deliver ambitious integrated hybrid programmes such as HS2, Crossrail and Thames Tideway. Nowhere is this need to share greater than in the creation, use and storage of data.
Paul Morrell’s call to “Calm down dear!” has been heeded and the UK market has taken the opportunity for step change
To investigate the potential for common data structures, the “COBie for all” project has been taking a close look at the technical issues surrounding the structural storage of data for both buildings and infrastructure. The work already done by the BIM Task Group has delivered a UK specific COBie (COBie-UK-2012) (based and compliant with COBie 2.4).
The work of the “COBie for all” team intended to take this experience forward and look at the possibilities for the storage of infrastructure data in a common structure. The group is resourced in a joint team of BIM Task Group, Bentley Systems, HA, HS2 and Crossrail who posed the question: ‘’Will COBie Work for Infrastructure?’’
The work initially identified 15 ‘’issues’’ all of which are described in the COBie for All Report (see download instruction below). The issues were discussed with the expert teams and a number of solutions and explanations were derived which satisfied the team sufficiently to say ‘’we think it will’’!
So to test these findings, five “Use Cases” or scenarios have been developed to test the work. Progress continues with the completion of the Use Cases and the team anticipates that it will be complete by Q1 2014.
The draft manual and downloads are available from the ‘Labs’ area of the BIM Task Group website (www.bimtaskgroup.org) for educational use and comment only at this stage.
Ultimately as the market looks to a brighter future the changes made by the shift to digital puts the UK in a strong position
The spotlight was again on BIM for Civil & Infrastructure at the third and latest “ICE BIM Conference”, the biggest, brightest, most diverse and best yet. Some 350 industry professionals gathered at the Grange Tower Bridge to listen to the latest thoughts and experiences of key infrastructure clients, designers and suppliers. The progress made since the inaugural conference in 2011, which was dominated by the two issues of “What is BIM?” and “What is the construction strategy?” has matured into developed client views and practical industry advice. Paul Morrell’s call to “Calm down dear!” has been heeded and the UK market has taken the opportunity for step change seriously and it is to their upmost credit.
The example of what an “Intelligent” client looks like was well demonstrated through the presentations made by the Highways Agency, ASDA and Environment Agency. It is through continuing leadership such as this that not only will the UK client base derive better assets and services, but we will build a competent, efficient and safe supply base.
Additionally a new “heat map” was published by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) capturing responses from across the membership. The heat map illustrates the depth of awareness on BIM through a special green, amber and red heat graphic aimed to assess industry’s readiness for implementing Level 2 BIM by 2016. View the Heat map at: http://www.ice.org.uk/Information-resources/Document-Library/ICE-BIM-Heat-Map-2013
Ultimately as the market looks to a brighter future the changes made by the shift to digital puts the UK in a strong position, but as many suppliers pointed out, we haven’t solved all the problems. But with the sight of much deeper collaborations across the sector to ensure improvement, the signs are good and the UK Government has responded with agreement to support and sponsor the next “Level 3” generation, securing a continuing leadership position for the UK Industry.
Mark Bew is the managing director of Engineering Construction Strategies