Is there value in BIM mentality for the SME?
What is BIM?
If you work in the Architectural, Engineering or Construction (AEC) industry, you will have heard of BIM (Building Information Modelling). You may be an expert, you may have an idea or you may not have given it a second thought, especially if you aren’t involved in public sector works. You may think you are too small to need to worry. For many, it’s just another industry buzzword, a time-consuming process that sounds like another ‘i’ to dot, and ‘t’ to cross; a barrier to getting on with running your projects. But is it? Is BIM purely about 3D models crammed full of data, public sector contracts and myriads of paperwork?
In short: No.
BIM is an efficient way of working. BIM is about how you manage projects and how you exchange information. Importantly, it’s about accountability and auditable working; BIM is a mindset.
All that’s needed to be part of a BIM environment is to offer the right data, in the right place, at the right time, and for there only ever to be one version of that information in use. It is, in its simplicity, a common data environment (CDE). It can be argued that BIM itself can be achieved using pen & paper if you have the resources, determination and time! That said, technology is making this process simpler, faster, more seamless, less prone to error and gives cloud-based, secure solutions. If you want to save time and resources, keep track of projects in real-time, increase your margin, provide a better-quality service and finish projects on time, BIM is for you. It’s not only for public sector projects, it’s not about models and it’s not about being big enough; BIM is for everyone.
Why adopt BIM?
The UK is already making steps towards making full integration the rule and as the industry continues to digitise, CDE’s will soon be the expectation industry-wide with the BIM Level 2 mandate only leading the way. The importance of adopting and adapting new technologies is becoming more applicable to any sized business as we head into a new era within construction. It’s no longer something that can be ignored and those that don’t keep up will get left behind.
With 2,764 insolvencies among building firms in the 2017/18 financial year alone, it’s do or die. Yet the opportunities, as well as the challenges, for small and medium-sized (SME) builders and regional contractors aren’t being addressed and aren’t as prevalent as for the bigger, national and international contractors. There seems limited guidance and a lack of affordable end-to-end solutions. Using a CDE will demonstrate to your clients and principal contractors that you are at the cutting edge of technology, that you have robust information processes and that you can provide an overall better level of service. All of this means you spend less time creating paperwork, chasing information and reconciling costs. It limits mistakes and saves your time and, therefore, money.
BuilderStorm and BIM Level 2 Compliance
BuilderStorm is a CDE designed purely for the UK AEC sector, managing every aspect of your projects from tender to completion, site to back office. It is for anyone involved in your office or project, whether they are subbies, design teams’ clients or suppliers. Features span project management, document control, quality control, finance and logistics as well as offering a Building Information Modelling entity. These features are used to build your own unique system tailored to your business needs. Using a bespoke common data environment like BuilderStorm gives you a platform of tools that allow for managing projects, working on and sharing of, real-time data. Even without using a 3D Building Information Model.