By Chris Witte.
Having seen the buzz on BIM grow from the UK Government, through to the AEC community,over the last 12 months; I have been wrestling since the new year to work out exactly what the product supplier needs to do, and just as importantly when we need to do it.
We are getting some clarity on this now, and just starting to produce IFC file output which we are sharing with one or two architects and main contractors. I eagerly await their feedback over the next few weeks, before committing to a portfolio approach
There has been a lot to read and learn for a non technical person (!) and I thought it might be helpful to share some of the resources that have helped drive my understanding on the grounds that many other product suppliers will be on a similar journey.
The start point was getting to a seminar / workshop that was relevant to product suppliers, having attended several that were certainly interesting, but not really relevant; and not with anyone there that could outline what we needed to do. The lights came on when I attended a Howitt Consulting BIM workshop designed for product suppliers, with great support from Metz Architects. They run these on a regular basis. Next one is May 31st (http://www.howittconsulting.co.uk/ click on specialist seminars )
The next issue was how to introduce the subject internally to get buy in from the organisation? I contacted the BIM Academy ( http://collab.northumbria.ac.uk/bim2/ ) and they came down and presented an overview courtesy of Peter Barker of Ryder Architects and Professor Steve Lockley at Northumbria University. The leaders in the business now understand both the opportunity and the threats that BIM creates; and are supportive of a proactive approach.
I found further detail on COBie on You Tube: COBie College Class 1-6 ( http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9E7A408B074B90C9 ). It’s COBie as used in the USA, but is very similar to the UK approach and particularly useful, if like me you sometimes need to hear the message a couple of times before it sinks in !
Now armed with a little knowledge, I was asked to present the manufacturer’s perspective at a recent CPA / CE ( Construction Products Association / Constructing Excellence) Forum. Please find the link to a pdf of all the presentations from that day. http://www.kingspanpanels.co.uk/Media-centre/Resource-Centre/Literature/Presentations/BIMForum-CPA-CE The one from Mark Bew, the UK Government’s top man on BIM is particularly interesting because it shows the BIM roadmap and the RIBA stages overlay.
I found more background available from the BuildingSmart Alliance ( www.buildingsmartalliance.org ) who are driving international standards, so an IFC file in the UK can be used in many other geographies (vital for all of us that export). And NBS ( http://www.thenbs.com/topics/bim/ ) who have done a great job in setting up their generic product library, to which we product suppliers now need to add our specific solutions.
In terms of keeping up to speed there are of course numerous options, but I would recommend joining some of the LinkedIn groups on BIM and following people on Twitter like: @studioklaschka, @EEPaul, @PauleyCreative and search #BIM of course.
If anyone has other useful content or connections (there must be a lot more out there! )please add in with comments on this post.