Senior project consultant and Saracen's resident BIM expert, Gemma Lennon looks at where the industry is at when it comes to BIM and says we all need to keep talking…
Saracen's stance on BIM is a very clear one: If you want to move with the times in this industry and give your clients what they want, then you need to embrace BIM. There is absolutely no way of ducking it if you want to succeed in design and build but then, why would you want to? Yes it's an investment and, for a lot of companies, probably a significant one but it's also already a requirement in some quarters and those numbers are only going to grow so you're going to have to do it at some point if you're in our industry.
Having been a member of the BIM4SMEs taskforce and still feeling very passionate about the necessity of BIM, I continue to raise awareness of BIM in the SME marketplace because we need more of us on board…
The top line is that BIM presents a more unified way of working and that, in itself, is a game changer. It will positively impact budgets, quality of work and production schedules, making an overall difference to the way in which we do business, as well as our work on a day-to-day level.
People fear the unknown and for that reason we need to keep talking and evangelize, to some extent. And here's the best bit… We already are.
The industry is now showcasing what BIM is doing for it, sharing its experiences and creating a community that is happy to ignore competitive barriers to pull together for the greater good. We are educating clients as to how BIM can benefit their property life cycle but much more work is needed in this area and we need to keep a constant dialogue going to work this point.
There also needs to be some support for smaller companies, sole traders and those who haven't the buying power to incorporate BIM into their businesses independently.
There are now a high proportion of sole traders and smaller companies as a result of the recession and the subsequent redundancies. We're an industry of micro-companies to some extent and yet the BIM world, including software providers, active groups and those who run BIM conferences and events, don't fully recognise this new wave of industry.
BIM's roll out strategy needs to be amended accordingly to accommodate the masses so that they are kept in the loop and they, in turn, don't wipe it off the agenda.
Now is the time for those who are working within BIM to dedicate some time to teach, adapt language and demonstrate how it will work for this lost market. Larger companies need smaller companies - we all need each other. It would be great if a BIM mentoring programme was set up to connect the BIM old-timers with the SMEs and sole traders to help them to learn more.
If we unite, we can work together to make our industry consistently the best industry in the economy; more attractive and exciting to those on the outside and a leader throughout the world. Lofty ambitions, I know, but if we all crack on and do this, we could do wonders for this industry and our clients. Think of the prospects, think of the long-term savings and then stop thinking and look into it.
If you're working alongside smaller companies who might benefit from it then tell them to do the same. Let's keep talking, pull together and, finally, get going, folks.