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also be irrelevant, to contractors who do not expect to manage a BIM project and the digital inputs and information fl ows – so the checklist aims to help as many contractors as possible to get to grips with the parts of BIM they need to engage with.


Understanding the process and where you fi t in With this in mind, the new checklist is split into three broad categories: ‘basic’, ‘increasing’ and ‘highest’. The fi rst category asks a small set of basic questions which would apply to any contractor no matter how much they will be engaged with BIM. These are contractors who might simply need to respond to, or follow, BIM information (noting that some contractors may eventually turn out to be ‘BIM immune’). The questions then move up, applying to higher tier contractors who will be managing and authoring BIM activity. A key question in the ECA checklist is the ability to provide information that can be used in COBie, for use when the asset is handed over. COBie is the spreadsheet data format (typically Excel to begin with) for public assets. COBie should deliver consistent and structured digital asset information, useful to the owner-operator for post-occupancy decisions and actions. In a typical construction project, information about the building is contained in drawings, bills of quantities and specifi cations. A number of


professionals normally collaborate to put this documentation together. The documentation should then be updated through the construction phase and handed to the client. However, this doesn’t always happen properly and it’s seldom optimal. The idea behind COBie is to make this happen, and for it to be useful for managing and assessing asset performance. Key information is pulled into one format and shared between the construction team at defi ned stages in a project, right up to hand-over.


The beginning of a new era? Although BIM couldn’t – and shouldn’t – be called upon to change the prevailing culture in construction, or the attitude of clients, it can certainly help. Perhaps 2016 will be the start of


two things: a ‘BIM-rush’ as fi rms realise they need to engage to keep or grow their market share, and an era where more public sector and other clients really start to push for collaboration. This will mean they will need to involve specialist contractors and those who will be managing the facility at a much earlier stage. Certainly, the building services engineers I have spoken to who have already become ‘BIM ready’ have plenty of good to say about it. It seems clear that, once it becomes widely adopted, BIM will be a big help to the client and the FM. The task right now is to help many more contractors to come on stream.





Although BIM couldn’t – and


shouldn’t – be called upon to change the prevailing culture in construction, or the attitude of clients, it can certainly help





Author information


Paul Reeve is Director of Business Services at the Electrical Contractors’ Association, the UK’s largest trade association representing electrical and other engineering contractors at regional, national and European level. http://www.eca.co.uk/


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