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Feature FM and BIM

And as the sector continues to

consolidate, Kier might be looking for further acquisitions. “If there’s the right organisation at the right price, and it will help to build our company, why wouldn’t we? I don’t think there’s anything that kier couldn’t deliver to a client,” Davies says. But while contractors emphasise

the complementary nature of their construction and FM services, clients may prefer to keep them separate, warns Mike Packham, partner in FM consultancy at Bernard Williams Associates. “The one- stop-shop model might be attractive to some clients but others are going to see it as a confl ict of interest,” he says. “When CBRE bought Norland, one of my clients was a legal fi rm that had CBRE as their landlord and Norland as their services provider, and they didn’t like that.” Similarly, the negative press around

PFI could make clients wary of combining construction and FM, says Packham. So while it looks as if the market for

integrated construction and FM services will exist, it will always be limited to certain clients and assets. However, Kath Fontana, managing director of BAM’s FM division, believes that FM providers that

are part of construction fi rms may have an advantage in selling integrated solutions. “It’s quite specialist to understand what happens in the design and construction process. The operational FM who doesn’t have a lot of construction experience could struggle to contribute effectively.” Also, she wonders whether the

generalist FM role that has developed over the last 20 years might split into more specialised functions: “Those who work closely with design and construction could be specialists in that, and there might be operational FM, working with corporate real estate and HR.” Mike Packham agrees that while

there are certainly opportunities for construction’s FM divisions, there are challenges too. “If you’re going to sit in a design meeting and contribute meaningfully, you’ve got to understand the design process,” he says. “We need to speak the same language as clients too – business doesn’t care about assets, it cares about profi t and loss. FM needs to raise its game. Not only do we need to understand business but value for money, audit trails, the operational side of asset management, risk management…”

There's little doubt that BIM has the

potential to bring together the provision of design, construction and FM services in long-term client-contractor relationships where both sides can benefi t from the certainty of information and the ability to plan and model in advance. Meanwhile, the promise held out by the Digital Built Britain is in full convergence with the physical building and digital “doppelganger” informing each other over the lifetime of the built asset. But for the technology to boost effi cencies, there has to be a supply side capable of delivering it, and client demand too – and that’s where we’re still putting the pieces together. CM

“We can go to a client with a fully integrated solution to build an asset and look after it. As long as you can provide best value, why wouldn’t you?” Steve Davies, Kier


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