PROFILE: Making progress with BIM


    With Construction identified by the government as an enabling sector under its industrial strategy, BIM has been heralded as an integral part of this and the cornerstone of a government and industry partnership. Here, David Wigglesworth, Managing Director of UK Specification from ASSA ABLOY, discusses its importance in creating growth opportunities, as well as effective and collaborative working practices.

    BIM is by no means new news. It’s fair to say, if you’re only just discussing BIM then you’re already behind the curve. But as is often the case with any building practice that has been legislated for, it becomes less about the benefits of meeting it and more about the detriments and missed opportunities of not having it.

    This view is re-enforced by the mandate set that all Government funded projects should meet the requirement of BIM Level 2 by 2016, now less than a year away. But for BIM principles to be taken seriously and considered earlier in the specification process, the focus needs to shift to the tangible benefits these objects can deliver for designers and their clients.

    BIM Journey

    BIM is integral to ASSA ABLOY’s success at UK Specification, and it has been an important part of the group’s strategy since 2011, when its’ importance as a ‘game changer’ was identified for all manufacturers working in the construction sector.

    Initially the group, through its Security Solutions division, made excellent progress to stay ahead not just in adopting and delivering on the principles of BIM, but also in understanding, developing and driving BIM strategy.

    UK Specification has been able to leverage and drive this strategy alongside showcasing its knowledge and understanding of environmental performance declarations and whole life costings to leverage market influences.

    As a company it has learnt a lot along the way but there are still many unanswered questions, challenges to overcome and unknown elements for producers of smaller components, and as the government introduces its BIM level 3 initiatives with a view to implement in 2025 it is clear BIM is an ever-changing and evolving strategy that the industry must keep pace with.

    For the most part this is going to be a case of working alongside end users and adapting to the changes as BIM practices become more sophisticated across a variety of builds.

    So, Do You Care about BIM?

    The real question for many manufacturers and suppliers was did specifiers, architects, design led main contractors or property development companies care about BIM and architectural ironmongery and doorset specifications?

    Admittedly, the first instinct was probably not, but when considering the amount of doorsets that can be used in a building and the impact of, for example, the door width on a building’s overall dimensions, flow of people through a building and ultimately the safety and security of those people, it soon became clear that if positioned correctly BIM did have a role.

    If approached correctly in a way to help not hinder specifiers with too much detail, then BIM objects for architectural ironmongery and doorset specifications would indeed be beneficial.

    UK Specification created a BIM task group and by obtaining feedback from customers and their clients the early decision was made that this was a specification solution driven project rather than a product led one.

    It was then decided to pursue the development of doorset objects before latterly extending this to design led architectural ironmongery and doorset specifications sets.

    Adopting a more solution-based proposition and supplying doorsets as BIM objects is more useful for architects and design-led contractors working on large scale and wider variety of projects.

    The initial nine BIM objects developed by UK Specification are designed to offer a total package of both architectural ironmongery and doorset specifications. The doors and each object is tailored for the most common applications and uses.

    Demistifying BIM

    The purpose of BIM is to create efficiencies in the development and construction of buildings, save time during the planning and build stage and reduce the cost of rectifying mistakes or unnecessary maintenance work.

    The initial research undertaken would support that supplying doorsets as BIM objects is inline with these objectives.

    It creates an ‘off the shelf’ solution that has the correct architectural ironmongery and doorset specifications included, tailored to suit nine different applications, whilst supplying the information needed to be useful in an overall BIM development.

    The next stage of the journey of these doorset objects was to find out how useful they are by establishing how are they used and the specific requirements of specifiers? This led to the rollout of 20 generic doorset objects, expected to have a more select audience and again this will be another stage of the journey from which to build and learn from.

    This objective is something UK Specification is very proud to have not only achieved, but exceeded, with over 29 timber BIM doorset objects now available, plus a further 72 steel door objects under the Security Doors business, designed to help architects and contractors who are under increasing pressure to use BIM building practices in all aspects of a building design.

    Our BIM Future

    The RICS describes BIM as “the biggest cultural change in a generation.” Culture is a set of shared beliefs, values and practices. In the case of BIM, it represents not just a process or technological trend but a cultural change is caused by external forces i.e. governments and other groups.

    As ASSA ABLOY takes the next step in its own evolutionary journey in the launch of the unprecedented UK Specification business division, BIM is undoubtedly integral to its success.

    By overseeing the background to the launch, UK Specification’s proposition to the market is now very clear and the objective is to depict the specification market and define what it is all about.

    The mission is to act as design consultants in the context of arranging ironmongery schedules to work with the design and performance of a building in terms of security, operation and the intended footflow of traffic.

    Deep within this proposition, everything starts from a design led approach. The added value

    UK Specification is looking to capture is whole life costings – in terms of durability and lifecycle of the product for the building and a driven involvement with BIM initiatives will be key to our success.

    There are still many more lessons to learn around the delivery, benefits and evolution of BIM but UK Specification is committed to staying ahead of the curve to deliver exact requirements for architectural ironmongery and doorset specifications and support architects and specifiers.

    For more information on UK Specification, please visit or join the debate on LinkedIn.

    David Wigglesworth

    Managing Director

    UK Specification, a division of ASSA ABLOY UK

    Tel: +44 (0)190 236 4060


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