Collaboration to drive down costs on schools needs a change in attitude, not just technology
Collaboration in the design and construction industry is hardly a new phenomenon – it is widely accepted that as the demands of a project become more complex and specialised, the need for designers, consultants and contractors to collaborate becomes more apparent.
And so it amazes me that I still meet those who find it difficult to collaborate, be it through a reluctance to share ideas or a belief that there’s nothing to learn by working with or for others. I even encounter people who are yet to be convinced that BIM will facilitate true cross-discipline collaboration.
I still meet those who find it difficult to collaborate, be it through a reluctance to share ideas or a belief that there’s nothing to learn by working with or for others
For me, collaboration will drive progress across our industry and, as such, should be embraced by all. On a recent £3.7m school project we worked with the contractor and off-site manufacturer to develop a design solution that meant a beautiful, bespoke school could be built in just 17 weeks. Technology certainly played a part but the catalyst for success was a single vision and a collective willingness to listen, learn and share.
As the global economy moves into what Dan Pink describes as, “The Sharing Age” in his book, A Whole New World, those who do not embrace collaboration are likely to be left behind. And while BIM certainly provides a platform for collaboration, it is attitudes and behaviours that are the definitive enablers.
Philip Watson is design director at Atkins