BIM4SME wants to make industrial strategy relevant to SMEs

Posted on 22 Aug 2013

A consortium of construction industry professionals is hosting an event to help SMEs and manufacturers understand government’s Construction 2025 industrial strategy.

BIM4SME will explain the relevance of the Government’s ‘Construction 2025’ strategy and what small and medium-sized firms in construction and manufacturing should understand to capitalise on the changing industry and new types of contracts.

Published in July, the strategy highlights four key areas where the building industry must focus to fulfil the needs of modern construction: sustainability, increasingly ‘smart’ construction such as offsite manufacturing, digital modelling including Building Information Modelling (BIM) and bringing forward more research, innovation and people development.

BIM4SME was set up by the Government BIM Task Group in late 2012 and is chaired by Tim Platts of construction and procurement consultancy TP Professional Services

Platts has worked with Karl Redmond of 3DIFM and Martin McKervey of Nabarro LLP (see below) on previous BIM events in the South Yorkshire region, and hopes that this event will help build relationships with the Sheffield Local Enterprise Partnership Property & Construction Sector Group. The Hull and Humber LEPs have recently joined the group.

Well backed by the construction industry, the event is supported by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Engineering organisations CIBSE and B&ES, alongside the Confederation of Construction Specialists and engineering group Mott MacDonald.

Chief construction adviser to the Government, Peter Hansford, will present the Government’s industrial strategy for construction and David Philp, head of UK BIM implementation at the Cabinet Office will also keynote, alongside a response from the manufacturing sector by Mike Tynan, Chief Executive of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre based in Sheffield.

How will Building Information Modelling affect your company? Image courtesy o The Design Buro (Coventry)

BIM is a crucial part of Construction 2025, which says a joint industry and Government Building Information Modelling strategy is beginning to show the potential of digital techniques to allow companies to make more intelligent use of data. This enables waste to be stripped out of the construction process.

By 2016 all Government construction projects will be using BIM level 2, irrespective of project size.

Knowledge of BIM is poor, experts say, both in the benefits for smaller firms to reduce waste in design and its necessity in the type of construction industry the Government is trying to shape under the strategy.

“The industry is generally conservative,” says Mr Platts. “What we are faced with is wholesale innovation – much needed and overdue – within the supply chain, without which many of the benefits will be unachievable.”

Martin McKervey, a partner at Nabarro and chair of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Property & Construction Sector Group, is a lead on the BIM initiative.

“This strategy issues a very clear challenge – how do we work together in partnership so as to boost and grow the economy? Government is committed to building and growing long term partnerships with sectors that can deliver significant growth.

McKervey adds: “We must create a strong and resilient supply chain and a key aspect of this is the need for meaningful engagement with our SMEs.

“Government will mandate Building Information Modelling for all centrally procured government contracts from 2016 and, we already know that in many supply chains, national and international, an ability to engage and work with BIM is a must in terms of entry. Industry and SMEs must therefore meet the challenge.”

Places to BIM4SME are free but spaces are limited. To register for this event visit this link.

Information on Construction 2025 can be found here.