Removing Barriers to BIM Adoption: Clients and Code Checking to Drive Changes

Removing Barriers to BIM Adoption: Clients and Code Checking to Drive Changes

James Harty (Copenhagen School of Design and Technology, Denmark) and Richard Laing (The Robert Gordon University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-928-1.ch024
OnDemand PDF Download:
No Current Special Offers


Building information modelling (BIM) is not only an authoring tool for architects and engineers, but also for all stakeholders in the building programme procurement process. Analysis tools like code checking of building regulations and environmental simulations that can report on heating loads, daylighting and carbon use will push the adoption of intelligent modelling faster and further than previously thought. The benefits for clients should not be underestimated either and some are already reaping them where project certainty is to the fore. However, the professional language that architects and engineers espouse is a latent force that can run counter to fostering collaboration. An emerging professional, the Architectural Technologist, can bridge that divide and adopt the adjunct role of manager in the integrated project delivery.
Chapter Preview

1. Introduction

Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been around a number of years now but its unilateral adoption has been slow. There are a number of issues here and one is the entrenchment of the different professionals and their methodologies. While it is absolutely right for an architect to control aesthetics and space, nobody questions that it is equally right for the engineer to control the structure and/or services. What is questionable is their mindset and language, if there is to be the real possibility of shared data, and genuine cross-discipline collaboration.

Sharing data and collaboration does not sit well with the disciplines’ involved in the building industry. Cicmil and Marshall (2005) elaborate and elucidate a scenario of pseudo collaboration, where a two-stage tender is hopelessly inadequate due to the intransience of the quantity surveyor (QS) in their perceived role of advisor to the client. There is no mechanism in place to allow the QS to enter into a collaborative state with the main contractor and no desire to either. Cartlidge (2002) probably summed it up best with “…quantity surveyors must get inside the head of their clients”.

There are many forces at work to discourage collaboration (Porter 2007) including the treat of new entrants, the buying power of both suppliers and buyers, rivalry among existing firms and the fear of substitutes. These strong entrenched attitudes (Walker 2002) in the design construction divide were addressed in the procurement of Heathrow’s Terminal Five (T5), delivered on time and to budget (Haste 2002), where such an environment was nurtured and encouraged (Ferroussat 2005). It was based on the principles specified in the Constructing the Team (Latham, 1994) and Rethinking Construction (Egan, 1998). Had BAA followed a traditional approach T5 would have ended up opening 2 years late, costing 40% over budget with 6 fatalities (Riley, 2005); this was not an option for BAA (Potts 2002). Carefully defining responsibility, accountability and liability, the focus was on delivery. Remuneration was based on reimbursable costs plus profit with a reward package for successful completion. This incentive plan encouraged exceptional performance with the focus on the issues of value and time. Value performance occurred primarily in the design phases and was measured by the value of the reward fund for each Delivery Team and calculated as the sum of the relevant Delivery Team Budget less the total cost of the work of that Delivery Team.

The time reward applied only during the construction stages. Here, worthwhile reward payments were available to be earned for completing critical construction milestones early or on time. If the work is done on time, a third went to the contractor, a third went back to BAA and a third went into the project-wide pot that would only be paid at the end (Douglas, 2005). There was a no blame culture meaning that if work had to be redone the fault was not apportioned to anybody but the rewards would either be reduced or not awarded at all. This had the effect of applying a kind of peer pressure where it was in the interest of all parties not to fail, which created a place where the vertical silos of expertise were traded for viaducts of collaborative techniques. BAA took out a single premium insurance policy for all suppliers, providing one insurance plan for the main risk. The policy covered construction and Professional Indemnity (Potts, 2002).

Figure 1.

Heathrow Terminal 5 © James Harty 2008


Key Terms in this Chapter

IPD: Integrated Project Delivery is the collaboration of all stake holders in a project working together as a team and sharing data so as to minimalise duplication in its reuse and to facilitate exchange

Technologist: The (Architectural) Technologist is a new profession growing out of the technician’s role but with wider skills and deeper knowledge of building procurement, construction management and collaborative methods

Authoring Tools: Authoring tools are the means used to build the information model.

Code Checking: Code checking is a digital method that can interrogate the model’s database and using analysis tools can robustly establish model compliance with statutory legislation, local planning and building regulations as well as sustainable targets. It requires writing all rules and regulations into machine readable code which is then applied to the digital model. A report is generated or non-compliance highlighted for remedial attention

Sustainability: Sustainability is a performance demand for environmentally friendly buildings. There is a target requirement of achieving carbon neutral buildings in the very near future with quantifiable data

Analysis Tools: Analysis tools are the means used to interrogate the virtual model to check for compliance and highlight areas for remedial action

BIM: Building Information Modelling is a method of procuring a construction project through the use of a common model, or a visualised database.

Model Management: Model management is the ability of sharing and integrating data while tracking and maintaining the data flow across many disciplines and from inception of the project to decommissioning of the building

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: