BIM is unstoppable says Paul Morrell

Published:  24 January, 2012

LONDON: The Government chief construction advisor described the take-up of BIM as “unstoppable” at the Chartered Institute of Marketing Construction Industry Group Chairman’s debate.

To an audience of marketers from every section of the construction industry, Paul Morrell suggested that companies who adopt the system will be offering an “unanswerable” business advantage to customers. For those who don’t, the Darwin principle will see them fall by the wayside.

Main contractors and consultants were keen to debate the pros and cons of implementing BIM, but the vision was clear – an integrated design and asset management system is the future. “There will be spectacular change – we are only just beginning to understand the scale of what can be achieved and the amount of waste that can be eliminated from the system.”

Few people in the audience were prepared to argue with the principle, the debate focused on the practicalities of developing standardised systems to allow everyone in the supply chain to work collaboratively.

Manufacturers in the room pointed out that they have been using 3D modelling for years and can’t see why designers can’t do the same. Contractors gave examples of how using BIM enabled them to spot clashes and correct them at the model stage, embracing the concept of BIM. The sticking point seems to be with contractors and consultants who haven’t yet started the BIM journey, with sympathy expressed about the investment required – particularly for smaller companies.

Collaboration and integration within the building industry has been the goal for successive governments – but judging by the mood in the room last night it does seem as though a tipping point has been reached. BIM – in whatever guise it is used – could just be the catalyst that finally brings co-operative working to the building industry.

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