ACO supports UK BIM Alliance but calls on sector to ‘think beyond the walls’

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ACO has given its support for the newly launched UK BIM Alliance, but called on the sector to implement BIM in all aspects of construction…

The UK BIM Alliance is to launch during the ICE BIM Conference and at Digital Construction week. The organisation aims to provide a reference point for firms involved in the built environment to implement BIM, particularly the adoption of Level 2.

ACO Water Management has declared its support for the organisation but said it has concerns the construction industry’s BIM thinking stops with the building fabric. Calling on the sector to ‘think beyond the walls’, head of business development Gary Morton said: “If we are to develop a digital system that allows an efficient interaction with the lifecycle of the infrastructure, after it is installed, which is a vital component of BIM, then we need to extend our thinking beyond the building fabric and introduce BIM into all aspects of construction, including the surrounding landscape.”

He continued: “BIM Level 2 is hugely important and, as the first drainage company in the UK to provide BIM data, we recognise that it is vital to be part of the digitisation of the industry and to support its implementation throughout the entire supply chain.

“Drainage plays a vital role as the bridge between the built and the natural environment.”

Small manufacturers must be considered

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He also called for greater action to help smaller manufacturers lower down the supply chain.

“The higher reaches of the construction supply chain have a good idea of what being a government client entails, but this is not the case further down,” he said.

“Tiers one and two understand what is required, but this is not the case across the entire supply chain.

“Smaller subcontractors are really struggling to get access to the levels of information required and remain concerned at the cost of getting up-to-speed with BIM.”

BIM should be used across all stages of the construction process

Despite the popularity of BIM, there are signs it is not being fully implemented. The National BIM Report 2016 revealed only 37 per cent use models from the start of the project right through to the end. This suggests for the majority of users BIM is restricted to the design stages. Furthermore, only 30 per cent produce a model that is software independent and only 16 per cent pass a model to those responsible for managing the building.

Morton continued: “ACO welcomes the UK BIM Alliance initiative. We pledge our full support to, and will be in attendance at the launch at Digital Construction Week, as well as the ICE BIM conference before, to discuss the important issues in the Construction Industry.”

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