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Which questions for 2015 are the right ones?

BIM: IS THE INDUSTRY READY? Of course, it’s really an unanswerable question, because it fi rstly presupposes that there is a unifi ed entity called “the industry” and, secondly, that we will know or recognise what “readiness” might look like. The reality is that in April 2016 the diversifi ed range of supplier companies in “the industry” will look much the same as in April 2015. There will be the companies driving BIM adoption in the fast lane; the companies doing a good job of keeping up with the traffi c in the middle lane, and the companies getting comprehensively outpaced in the slow lane. Likewise, clients’ readiness will be a

distinctly patchy affair. If there was one recurring theme of the BIM + round table (page 12-16), it is that the participants felt that the supply side of the industry was noticeably further down the path of BIM adoption than the clients, who need more guidance, encouragement and training. Apart from those clients speeding ahead - the Highways Agency, the Ministry of Justice, Great Portland Estates - most are still in preparation mode. And according to Balfour Beatty’s BIM director Peter Trebilcock, many public sector clients are in fact “BIM neutral” - with the interest in what it can offer them offset by fear of the need to change procurement processes and FM practices. In other words, a simple question has multiple answers, and that’s likely to be the case for many years to come. But for 2015, there are other, equally unanswerable and equally valid questions

to ponder. Will those fast-lane pace- setters really demonstrate the effi ciency gains and margin increases that BIM has dangled in front of our eyes, or will it simply adjust the baseline, with everyone setting prices and margins according to normal commercial criteria? Will the industry be able to upskill staff well and fast enough to make the most of BIM's transformative and collaborative potential, or will projects be delivered with lowest-common-denominator BIM? And more fundamentally, is BIM the

race we will all be watching, or will “the industry’s” attention turn elsewhere, most obviously, to the General Election and knock-on consequences for public spending and procurement? Or the growing interest of Chinese, Japanese and European contractors in the opportunities in our market? Or to the industry’s employment of low-skilled EU labourers, and pressure from Westminster to train and upskill more British workers? At the start of the year, it’s tempting to

look at the questions where we expect the next twelve months to bring answers. But perhaps we'll fi nd that BIM stops being the question everyone is trying to answer, and starts being simply a component part of every project. BIM adoption, after all is a tractable problem, which responds to training, awareness- raising and investment. The really tough questions of 2015 could prove a lot more challenging than getting to grips with LODs, EIRs and PASs.

Elaine Knutt, editor More Construction Manager

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The industry's invisible women and CMYA Arnab Mukherjee FCIOB, capital programme manager, Wokingham council The fact that the proportion of women in construction is ridiculously low cannot be hidden behind any rationale. (Leader: Why women's careers need a CMYA boost, Leader, November/ December.) However, when considered in the

wider context, there are representations from women in areas such as project management, quantity surveying, architecture and so on. We are currently working on a £30m project where the employer’s representative, lead architect, lead PQS and the project manager leading the planning activities for the council are all women. However, under the current CMYA rules none of them are elegible as none are site-based. I wonder if the division between the contracting side and the client/consultant side is widening in this respect. Is is time to consider a wider defi nition for CMYA?

We're here, too Danielle Dasgupta, senior site manager, Berkeley Group Some of us work incredibly hard on site, but the CMYA focuses on project managers being nominated rather than senior site managers. All we can do is persevere with our roles, demonstrate that we have the skill and knowledge to be promoted and wait patiently until senior management or clients recognise what we bring to a project – and nominate a hard-working female. Fingers crossed that the future will bring change but a bit of support every now and again doesn't cost a lot!

Out of sites, out of mind Peter Weston, via website I agree with the points you make, but although there is a lack of females there is also a lack of targeting of mature students.

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