Sangwin & BIM

Sangwin is leading the way on a number of educational projects and has invested in software technology in order to meet client expectations with regard to BIM.

We are now developing a BIM strategy that will encompass all of our divisions and look at the integration of BIM into all of our back office business processes.

More recently Sangwin has been chosen by the National Federation of Builders (NFB) to run an “exemplar programme” in BIM. This is in order to take the business to the next level and fulfil the Directors’ wishes for the business to be BIM ready ahead of its competition.

With that in mind, we will be developing and implementing a Sangwin BIM Exchange or Extranet (BIMX). The purpose of the extranet will be to enable both our clients and our supply chain to collaborate and work with us within a BIM environment on future projects, watch this space!

For a more detailed explanation of BIM please see below.

BIM pic 1

Traditional’ Plan View

BIM pic 3

CAD Rendered View

BIM pic 2

BIM 3D Modelling

A1-01 - 3D Perspective2

3D Perspective

What is BIM?

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is both a new technology and, a new way of working.

BIM is a term that has been around for a while in manufacturing and engineering industries and is now beginning to make an impact in the construction sector. At a strategic level, BIM offers the capacity to address many of the industries’ failings, including waste reduction, value creation, improved productivity and assessment of green/renewable energy impact.

The process of implementing BIM moves away from using conventional word-processing and CAD into the increased use of common standards and product orientated representations. BIM changes the emphasis by making the model the primary tool for documentation, from which an increasing number of documents, or more accurately “reports”, such as plans, schedules and bills of quantities may be derived.

BIM involves much more than simply implementing new software. It is a different way of thinking and working. Collaboration and cultural change is not only essential within an organisation but also, without, working in partnership with all other parties concerned.

This requires a move away from the traditional workflow, with all parties (including architects, surveyors and contractors) sharing, and effectively working on, a common information pool. This is a substantial shift from the more traditional convention where parties often work on separate information pools using several different (and usually incompatible) software packages. In essence, BIM involves building a digital prototype of the model and simulating it in a digital world.

Essentially, BIM combines technology with new working practices to improve the quality of the delivered product and also improve the reliability, timeliness and consistency of the process. It is equally applicable to asset and facilities management as it is to construction.

In its purest form, BIM provides a common single and coordinated source of structured information to support all parties involved in the delivery process, whether that be to design, construct, and/or operate.

Because all parties involved with a BIM project have access to the same data, the information loss associated with handing a project over from design team to construction team and to building owner/operator is kept to a minimum.

A BIM model contains representations of the actual parts and pieces being used to construct a building along with geometry, spatial relationships, geographic information, quantities and properties of building components (for example manufacturers’ details). BIM can be used to demonstrate the entire building lifecycle from construction through to facility operation.

BIM changes the traditional process by making the model the primary tool for the whole project team. This ensures that all the designers, contractors and subcontractors maintain their common basis for design, and that the detailed relationships between systems can be explored and fully detailed.

Working with BIM will require new skills and these will have to be learned from practice.

BIM is not a panacea – it remains just as possible to produce a poor model, in terms of its functionality, its constructability or its value, as it is to produce poor drawings, schedules or any other, more traditional, form of information. Also, in the absence of any pro-active collaborative management effort, models may end up being prepared to suit the originator as opposed to being structured and presented with all parties to the design and construction team in mind. Ensuring that there is an agreed structure and exchange protocol in place to suit all parties will improve certainty, confidence and consistency.

By moving to a shared information model environment, project failures and cost overruns become less likely. BIM certainly means having a better understanding and control of costs and schedules as well as being able to ensure that the right information is available at the right time to reduce requests for information, manage change and limit (or even eliminate) unforeseen costs, delays and claims.

More recently the government has announced it intentions for the construction industry to be BIM ready as early as 2015 and to mandate the use of BIM, not only for delivery of the building, but also as a tool to manage operationally.

Sangwin is investing in technology and developing the skills required by its workforce to ensure we are BIM ready.

BIM is equally applicable to support FM and asset management as it is to design and construction. Indeed, the output of the design model may well replace the need for traditional O&M manuals. Being able to interrogate an intelligent model, as opposed to searching through outdated manuals, perhaps linked to interactive guidance on the repair and/or maintenance process has obvious advantages. However, the largest single barrier to exploiting BIM is the lack of awareness.

BIM is not going to go away, as stated by the government’s initiatives, so we must therefore learn to adapt and embrace or risk the threat of losing ground to others.

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