Digital Built Britain
Chris Forbes, MD of Marflow Hydronics reflects on 2016 and industry preparedness for the future advising that it would be prudent for all businesses within the construction sector to rapidly complete their BIM Level 2 strategy and implementation and prepare for the introduction and implementation of BIM Level 3.
There is no doubt that 2016 has been a difficult year for British business. The uncertainty created by the Brexit decision, the gloomy economic forecasts and predictions about future growth and trade coupled with the continuing debate about the “Trump effect” has created a maelstrom leading to uncertainty and indecision across both the public and private sectors. Many businesses have had to change, adapt and react to circumstances with lightning speed just to maintain their status quo. The construction industry was not excluded from this with projects suddenly being postponed, slowed down, scaled down or cancelled with little or no notice. The Financial Times’ overview of the economy for the first 3 quarters of 2016 and prediction for 2017 shows immense swings in activity in the construction sector.
Against this background the construction industry have had to review their working practices to ensure they were equipped to deal with the introduction of mandatory Building Information Modelling level 2 on public sector projects from 4 April 2016. There is yet more change to come, in the 2016 budget policy paper the government stated: “The government will develop the next digital standard for the construction sector - BIM 3 - to save owners of built assets billions of pounds a year in unnecessary costs and to maintain the UK’s global leadership in digital construction”. Whilst the government’s timetable may not be realised there is no doubt BIM 3 will be introduced as the government’s stated aim is to improve the performance and efficiency of all infrastructure projects by 2020, and chancellor Phillip Hammond has stated that he wants the country to have a “fourth industrial revolution”.
BIM Level 3 focusses strongly on collaboration and co-ordinated information among all parties. An audit of resource and skills required will not be sufficient to successfully introduce BIM 3 it will also be necessary to introduce a cultural change within business; both attitudes and processes will need to change as the sharing of data across the disciplines from architect to manufacturer is an essential component of the strategy. New business contracts will need to be introduced to clarify relationships, protect IP and sensitive information and of course define a mutual set of rules and working practices. There will certainly need to be a careful consideration of business partners and alliances and it is inevitable that there will be a huge learning curve. We all like to stick to what we know and are comfortable with but with the global environment changing and developing so rapidly and the industry moving at such a fast pace with frequent new innovations being introduced sitting back and doing nothing is not an option
The key to success will be planning and preparation and careful consideration of collaborative relationships and supply chain partners. Marflow Hydronics has an extensive BIM database and a track record of solutions provision and are ready to help with all product requirements. For more information visit the link below.