The RICS Building Information Modelling conference 2012

Adrian Malone
On February 9 2012, the RICS Building Information Modelling conference will bring together quantity surveyors, project managers, and others from the construction sector to discuss Building Information Modelling (BIM).

It has been commented that quantity surveyors have been slow to adopt BIM. Some commentators suggest that self preservation may be in part driving this – with BIM software already in some instances generating schedules of quantities without the need for the manual process of quantity take-off traditionally carried out by the quantity surveyor.

Those who have a good understanding of BIM are usually more positive. It is generally agreed that the role of the quantity surveyor will change when BIM is adopted, and some traditionally manual processes will become more automated. This in turn allows quantity surveyors to focus on what they do best – adding value through advising on the overall cost and project cash flow, procurement and tendering.

Faithful+Gould are actively engaging with the RICS on BIM through the RICS BIM steering group. We believe that the potential benefits of BIM will be best achieved through the adoption of common standards and through focusing on collaboration across a project supply chain. BIM is an enabler for greater collaboration but there are significant challenges to overcome.

The RICS conference will explore some of these themes, such as legal and contractual barriers in terms of both ownership of information and issues of liability; the need for more work on industry standards and for software to support interoperability so that information can be effectively shared; and for clarity over roles and responsibilities across the supply chain to emerge or be defined with suitable contractual frameworks.

The UK Government Construction Strategy (PDF, 495kB) published in May 2011 provides a clear imperative for the industry to come together to develop improved ways of working in order to deliver improvements to efficiency and value which will benefit both public and private sector clients. Realising in full the potential benefits of BIM will involve changes in working practices and procedures which will touch all parts of the construction supply chain. Faithful+Gould along with our parent company Atkins are actively engaged in defining and delivering standards and working practices which will make a positive contribution to the effective use of BIM in delivering construction projects and programmes.