Davis Langdon estimates that for QSs, the industry bill could reach £82m for training

QS firms may be expected to pay £2,000 per employee to meet the training costs of moving to building information modelling, according to industry estimates.

The estimate, from Davis Langdon, comes amid fears over the upfront cost to the industry of complying with the government’s four-year deadline to get to grips with the technology.

Last week Paul Morrell, chief construction adviser, said that all government contracts would have to use building information modelling (BIM) by 2015, a move he says will save the industry money in the medium term.

Erland Rendall, head of global thought leadership at Davis Langdon, estimated that all QSs would need a minimum of one day’s training, plus about £1,000 in software, to get to an “intermediate” level of BIM proficiency, coming to a cost of £1,800-£2,000 for each employee.

In addition, about one in 20 employees would need extra training to become “super users” so they could help colleagues, costing about £5,000.

“This is like the move from fax to email,” Rendall said, adding that Davis Langdon would probably gain a return on investing in BIM in two to three years’ time.

With 40,000 RICS-accredited QSs in the country, this could mean an industry bill of up to £82m.

If similar BIM training is required of the roughly 150,000 construction consultants - planners, architects, engineers, and project managers - who are involved in the design and planning process, then the total could hit £300m.

Peter O’Connell, policy manager at the Federation of Master Builders, said “Requiring BIM on smaller projects risks increasing barriers and access to public sector contracts.”