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Technology


Paul Reeve looks at what needs to be done to boost supply chain readiness for the government’s April BIM deadline


Supply chain challenges O


ne of the main principles of Building Information Modelling (BIM) is that it’s meant to deliver


exceptionally useful asset information to the client and operationally valuable, time- saving information to the FM. It may take a while to filter through to FMs, but April 2016 should see BIM take-off in centrally- procured public sector projects. When it does, the benefits, and the capacity to deliver, are likely to lead to greater uptake in the wider public and commercial sectors. But while the promised FM horizon is looking increasingly digital, the present is a little more sobering. An Electrical Contractors’ Association survey carried out in October, in partnership with CIBSE, B&ES, BSRIA, SELECT and the FSA, and others in our sector, suggests that just one in six building services firms would be fully ready for BIM – if a client requested it now. While some bigger companies are faring better than many


132 FACILITIES


smaller ones, overall, this points to a big learning curve for contractors. Yet many of these contractors will eventually need to install building services in BIM projects, and populate FMs’ spreadsheets with useful building services information. Our sector survey highlighted that part of the reason for the lack of readiness is a lack of practical information. Nearly 62 per cent of respondents felt that there wasn’t enough ‘practically useful’ BIM information available to businesses. In response to this, the ECA has just developed a ‘BIM readiness’ checklist, and is working with partners on other useful outputs, as well as publicising those that already exist. The concise ‘BIM readiness’ checklist aims to help ECA members assess how well prepared they are for increasing demand for BIM capability from spring 2016. There has been plenty written about BIM, but most of it is about the whole BIM process. This is off-putting, and it can


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