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BIM in UK. This is especially important for SMEs.” Platts said he was hoping the industry’s key performance indicators would be extended to cover BIM. So what else would accelerate

What we see with our clients is that education is still lacking – not at the top level – but as you go deeper into the organisation.

Michael McCullen

If people start to use COBie properly, start to really understand employers’ information requirements and set out what the client needs at the bottom end and how that data appears, the bits inbetween will sort themselves out.

Jaimie Johnstone

progress? Transport for London’s Zahiroddiny raised the issue of whether the current contracts on offer – JCT, NEC, PPC 2000 and the CIOB’s Complex Projects Contract – went far enough in creating a collaborative culture. “How can we create the online gaming collaboration ethos in the industry? How can we get that trust and communication? NEC3 contracts have a clause on collaboration but it doesn’t get used often and it's limited. Is there anything we can do contractually to push collaboration?” Her comments triggered a debate about the extent to which contracts shaped project behaviour, and to what extent they were a hook to hang other failings on. Shaylor Group’s Chambers, for instance, thought there was too much emphasis on the contractual environment. “Contracts are a red herring – they don’t tell you how to behave, they just tell you what to do.” Philp was more of a “contractualist”, albeit not one wedded to the small print. “The contract sets out a common purpose. If you have a common purpose and a culture of openness, you start to build the right things.” Rawlinson disagreed. “The early

EC Harris’ head of strategic research, argued that it was up to the industry to pull off a swan impression: an appearence of smooth effi ciency belying furious work on the data and procedures beneath the waterline. “You don’t need to know about IT semantics to be able to buy something from Amazon and get it this afternoon. Once that’s in place then you get the client into a position where they don’t need to know that they have to specify – just that it’s an asset they can exchange electronic resources with.”

But the debate centred on public sector

clients that understand the general outlines of BIM, even if they’re hazy on details. Chris Chivers, senior vice president of the CIOB, said he was

advising a private sector residential developer who just didn’t get it at all – a timely reminder that the industry is progressing at very different paces. “I have a project currently that’s crying out for BIM but the client says ‘no’. It’s trying to explain to them that if they sharpened their axe they could cut down trees quicker but they say they don’t have time to sharpen their axe.” Tim Platts, representing the BIM4SMEs

working group, pointed out that much of the supply chain was awaiting better evidence for the investment case. “There are some metrics – for instance there can be a 90% reduction in requests for information – but there is no standardisation about how we measure

adopter projects used NEC3 with Intellectual Property amendments and it went though straightforwardly. You can make it too elaborate.” But Francis Ho, head of construction at Olswang, was concerned that “JCT is responsible for about 95% of all contracts but it just doesn’t do BIM – most big projects have bespoke contracts but our industry is driven by standard documents.”

In his opinion, the NEC3 option was not

a foolproof way to achieve collaboration, pointing out that its exhortation for parties to work in a spirit of “mutual faith” had failed to prevent a rising tide of disputes. He felt the industry hadn’t yet created the right legal backdrop for BIM, although work was progressing – and the CIOB’s Complex Project Contract could help show the way. Another topic that bounced around the table was the BIM education gap, a concern to most of the participants. For >


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