BIM is just the system of delivery, it’s the ethos of collaboration that’s important

Frank McLeod

We tend to take the view today that there is no such thing as a BIM project, but in the same vein there is no such thing as a non-BIM project. All our projects involve the creation, communication and management of information, often depicting complicated scenarios.

It is felt important that we understand our clients objectives and use our design skills to resolve their problems. This involves analysis and appraisal of information as well as creativity and technical skill and of course we utilise technology to assist us.

What we have created is a sociotechnological system through which to deliver our projects, a system that uses a technology core to assist and improve the sociological aspects of design, whilst enhancing other service opportunities in sourcing, the field, acceptance and use. As a system it is the integration of people, process and tools and relies upon collaboration between all parties and the willingness to align and share, it is therefore equally important that the correct behaviours are exhibited by all as well as the appropriate technical skills being deployed.

In fact nothing has changed in the delivery of solutions, other than the word collaboration being defined

With this approach certain obvious truths about the three letter acronym reveal themselves.

  • BIM does not reduce costs it provides structured information on which decisions can be made that enable a reduction in the total cost.
  • Migration to 3D as the centre of production is not BIM, its continuous improvement.
  • There should be no premium for just working in a BIM environment, although if additional services are scoped then charges are likely.

In fact nothing has changed in the delivery of solutions, other than the word collaboration being defined. We now model for the benefit of others as well as ourselves. We are simply being asked to work in a structured, coordinated and managed way, something we should have gotten around to years ago.

So if information modelling is what we do, why do we need BIM managers? No, no don’t get me started, let’s save it as a Christmas cracker.

Frank McLeod is UK head of project technology for WSP