In a matter of months, Building Information Modelling (BIM) Level 2 will become a key requirement for all centrally procured projects. With

the changes sure to impact the full length of the construction chain, facilities managers are no exception. Chris Meir, Sales Director at Andrews Water Heaters, explores what it will mean for the industry.

For the construction sector, 2016 will be a year to remember. With the government having announced plans in October to get Britain building, and reports that the construction sector is strengthening, the sector is on course for a major drive in productivity and growth. In the midst of this exciting upturn, from April this year delivery of information to BIM Level 2 will become a key requirement for any contractor tendering for a centrally procured project.

While its introduction on such a larger number of tenders is sure to further embed the practice across the industry, in actual fact BIM is already being used in a number of private sector projects – making it essential that facilities managers engage with the changes.

What’s more, the government’s Digital Built Britain report highlights that Level 2 BIM is, in part, a stepping stone to the implementation of Level 3, demonstrating how important it is for commercial as well as public sector building managers to get up to speed.

For facilities managers, BIM offers a huge opportunity to deliver improved efficiencies. It requires design and asset information, documentation and data to be electronic and finally delivered as an asset information model. In practice it will mean that more complete information will be available from handover, enabling a more collaborative work flow and smoothing the transition from design and build to operation and management.


the building. At the same time, it will provide a readily accessible source of information for the teams involved in operating, maintaining and adapting completed facilities.

Let’s take the creation of an asset register as an example. Traditionally it’s a time consuming job, which might involve contacting the various contractors and manufacturers for copies of the relevant manuals and then formatting that information as required. However, BIM simplifies this process.



COBie UK 2012 and BS 1192:4 will be important elements under BIM Level 2, and will help with the flow of data on the project. Allowing transfer and analysis of key information using spreadsheets, it keeps the complexity of systems and training to a minimum and allows people outside of the design team, perhaps without full BIM design software to interact.

When fully embedded, BIM as a working methodology could provide tools to help in closing the building performance gap, better delivering the energy efficiencies predicted at the design stage in the actual operation of

It’s also quite possible that BIM will be called for by clients during a major refurbishment (perhaps a retail shell fit out) or extension scheme. Incorporating criteria for BIM Level 2 into the tendering process will help maximise the opportunity while ensuring consistency across the building portfolio.

The potential of BIM for paying dividends in the shape of time and cost savings over the whole life cycle of an asset makes it an attractive working practice. As a signal to the international market that the UK is a global construction leader, it should be saluted, and as a further tool assisting efficient practice in building management, it should be welcomed with open arms. For facilities managers, it needs to be remembered that BIM represents a more collaborative way of working where the deliverables more defined, and that to adapt they should consider it worth upskilling to make sure they are ready.

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