SMEs seeing growth from digital adoption

23 April 2019

Baxall’s Malcolm Clarke (right) and Allister Lewis of Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt Architects

Businesses debate competitive advantages gained from BIM.

SME construction companies can use digital processes to establish a competitive advantage and deliver better outcomes, according to a group of businesses which gathered for a round-table event in April. 

The discussion was organised by the Chartered Institute of Building and the Centre for Digital Built Britain at the former’s central London office.

Malcolm Clarke, managing director of Baxall Construction, said his company’s rapid growth in revenue and profit over the last five years was a direct result of digital transformation.

“Collaborative working using designers, our supply chain and offsite manufacturing has meant we can reduce our costs, create a sustainable profit and deliver a really good product,” he said. “The biggest game-changer is cutting out the waste. By getting better models and better clash detection we are saving thousands of pounds.”

BIM is not just about saving costs and being efficient, said Allister Lewis, head of technology at Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt Architects: “As well as the monetary value, people are working more collaboratively and, arguably, that’s the biggest improvement.”

Steve Faulkner, associate director at structural engineer Elliott Wood and chair of the IStructE BIM panel, said: “What we deliver in terms of the drawings and the models are a lot better, but also what we are designing is better.”

However, he also issued a reality check: “We’ve used Revit for over 10 years. We understand BIM. But although we are continually told ‘this is a BIM Level 2 project’ we probably haven’t ever had one proper project – we are just doing bits and pieces.”

Read the discussion here

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