The experience of finishes and interior contractors operating in a BIM environment would probably be best described as inconsistent. We’ve got a full spectrum of experience and adoption levels within the industry, and this undoubtedly affects outcomes, but what is clear is the growing demand and appetite to learn more about BIM’s capabilities.
Contractors that have had some exposure to BIM are starting to work in-house and develop their own expertise, really exploiting the advantages BIM brings to project delivery. Observations from first time BIM contractors is a split between either an in-house, or an outsourcing type solution. Results have been mixed and both BIM4FitOut, and main contractors like ISG, are working hard to ensure that this experience and engagement leads to a higher proportion of positive outcomes. Key to embedding this practice in the supply chain is high quality training, mentoring and hands on assistance from early BIM adopters to share knowledge and help contractors identify and address issues in procedure and delivery.
The drive from clients and main contractors for BIM implementation has increased significantly over the past twelve months and we now have better specified projects moving through the market with well-developed EIR's (employers’ information requirements). Rich data is being worked much harder than ever before; it’s essential for FM (facilities management) and asset management systems that operate and maintain the building in the most efficient way throughout its lifecycle. The demand for accurate collation and intelligent use of data from the construction process will only intensify as we move forward, and BIM represents the best way we can deliver to these increasing expectations. Many of us early adopters recognised how this technology was the future for the industry and although the pace of change can never be fast enough, when we see the amazing opportunities that BIM brings, we’re confident that the supply chain is firmly on the journey with us now.
Mark Norton is head of BIM for ISG’s Fit Out and Engineering Services business and chair of BIM4FitOut, which was formed by the Finishes & Interiors Sector (FIS) to address the impact of BIM on the fit out and finishes sector.
This article first appeared in Spec Finish, 01 September 2016