Logan Colbeck, Sales Strategy Leader at Honeywell, explains why Building Information Modelling (BIM) is being touted as the future for design projects.
As the UK construction market continues to evolve and grow, smaller electrical contractors must ensure they have the right tools in place to distinguish their offers and services from an increasingly competitive market. One technology Honeywell believes is gaining speed, and offering electrical contractors a competitive advantage is Building Information Modelling (BIM), touted as the future for design projects.
BIM provides a platform for collaborative information modelling and management, critical for enabling multiple teams to work across design, construction, and installation. The platform also provides contractors with the ability to deliver a high quality service, reduce waste, and minimise mistakes and inefficiencies in the supply chain.
Although BIM is increasingly popular for larger projects, many smaller contractors have yet to be fully convinced of the platform’s value.
“BIM provides a platform for collaborative information modelling and management, critical for enabling multiple teams to work across design, construction, and installation.”
Keeping your options open
BIM is an essential tool for future-proofing small- to medium-sized contractors and unlocking opportunities for projects and revenue growth.
BIM allows for contractors to sell-in and visualise projects.Together with other partners working on the project they can show their customer specific details and options. This in turn provides customers with the ability to provide feedback and any necessary adjustments well in advance of building, reducing churn, time and budget spent correcting mistakes. BIM also provides the level of product information and schematics that customers increasingly need to maintain their building in the future.
Smaller contractors must also consider the opportunities they will miss out on if they are not implementing BIM. Public sector projects are just one sector they could miss out on revenue opportunities. The UK government recently implemented Level 2 BIM regulation, meaning BIM is required for all publically funded developments.
As BIM becomes an industry standard, this will leave smaller contractors in a difficult position.
Without BIM, they risk losing out on winning larger projects that rely on the platform, and will also not be able to access BIM data for existing projects. This creates a headache for everyone, as installers, specifiers and contractors will not be able to view the existing systems and products, meaning they will have to spend valuable time checking in-person on site.
Research, research, research
Industry-wide compatibility is still a challenge for BIM, but one way to tackle this is by supporting Open BIM. Open BIM is not tied to any particular platform or software provider, meaning it is compatible with the software and tools contractors are most familiar with. Open BIM only uses Excel as the software platform – every contractor, manufacturer and specifier can use Excel, so Open BIM is by far the easiest way to adopt BIM. Honeywell provides BIM files for its products including MK Electric and Ex-Or, with further product launches in the next few months.
Cost is another concern for businesses looking to adopt BIM for the first time. Although it’s tempting to make a snap decision based on cost or a good deal, this can cause problems in the longer term. This decision may result in incompatibility with partners or projects for example, which could then require additional investment. Ultimately, research is crucial to ensuring contractors decide on the best BIM platform for their business.