News

BIM wins says Laing but QSs shun it

7 October 2011

Laing O’Rourke, the UK’s largest contractor, is to make the use of building information modelling mandatory on all its new projects, Building reported.

Laing said its use was “key” to it winning the hotly contested race to build London’s Cheesegrater tower.

But Laing’s comments came as research by the RICS showed that only one in 10 QSs were actively considering adopting the system which requires firms to conform to a set of standard processes and 3D modelling of projects.

The survey found that only one in 10 QSs were using BIM regularly, while less than a third had had some limited engagement with the system.

The RICS responded by calling on the profession to “get its act together” and adopt BIM. The government has announced that it is making its use mandatory on all government projects within five years.

James Eaton, head of cost management at Laing O’Rourke and head of BIM, said private sector demand for BIM was increasing, challenging the conventional wisdom that the public sector will drive adoption of the system.

Eaton said that Laing O’Rourke’s advanced use of BIM had helped the contractor edge out Skanska - which is also using BIM - in the final round of the tender for the Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners-designed Leadenhall building run by joint developers British Land and Oxford Properties.

“Our 3D BIM model allowed us to explain how we are going to build the project. The developers said we demonstrated a discipline on the process that they’d never seen before,” Eaton said.

He added that BIM had allowed the firm to get involved in other projects at an earlier stage and had prompted the company to invest more in its facilities management arm.

Responding to  the RICS’ BIM survey, Paul Morrell, the government’s chief construction adviser, warned QSs they were “hazarding” their businesses by not adopting the system.

The project will use BIM, with the intention to develop a Level 4 BIM model that will be used for operation and maintenance after completion of construction works.

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