While the benefits of BIM are widely recognised in many articles and presentations, there are many businesses that are yet to receive a requirement for BIM as part of a collaborative project, or have yet to even start looking at or understanding BIM.

At Premier Interlink we took the decision to investigate, evaluate and implement BIM processes and solutions prior to receiving a request from a client or main contractor. The aims being:

Preparation

Having internal solutions ready for collaboration with others would assist with the workflow required when such a project landed with the business. It would then reduce the dreaded learning curve aspect that accompanies BIM which is often stated as a reason for poor margins on initial BIM projects.

Staged Implementation

By setting our own goals and targets we were able to implement BIM processes and solutions at our own speed and to suit our own requirements. This meant implementing certain aspects sooner than others simply because they provided a quick return on investment (ROI).

Measured Outputs

Proving that implementing BIM had a positive impact and and driving further change into the business.

Linking Offsite and BIM to the 2025 targets

Highlighting and building upon the advantages offsite construction brings to these targets while also assisting in our design and manufacturing process.

To proceed with this we started on our ‘Lonely BIM’ solution.

BIM Excellence define Lonely BIM as:

A term used to describe the practices of an organisation, project team or the whole market where models are not exchanged between project participants.

Organisations at early stages of BIM implementation or who only generate mono-discipline models are considered to be practicing Lonely BIM.

But, as an offsite construction manufacturer we perform a slightly different version of Lonely BIM.

A large portion of modelling work of multi-discipline aspect is undertaken by ourselves to suit our shop floor manufacturing requirements. So much so that it was coined as ‘Selfish BIM’ by a good friend of mine in the construction industry.

To assist with our Lonely BIM implementation, Premier Interlink took the decision to put myself forward for an MSc in BIM Management at Middlesex University.

This decision was taken to generate interaction with other construction professionals (many of which have had no offsite construction experience), and to assist with learning and understanding BIM processes. But, more importantly how this change in working affects others who we may not interact with on a day-to-day basis.

This has then provided new opportunities and initiatives in Premier Interlink based on comments and discussions within the cohort.

The introduction of BIM has contributed significantly to an average reduction in delivered project costs of 2.5% in the last year. We do recognise that we have only just started our BIM journey and there will be many more opportunities as this progresses.

By having a solid BIM foundation and a defined implementation plan we are also now collaborative BIM ready. Whilst we may not use certain aspects internally (such as COBie), we are fully aware and prepared for this and have working solutions in place.

By having this philosophy and progression in place we can then work with clients and contractors to not only work as part of a collaborative BIM team, but also advise and support the use of offsite construction in general.

If you are still waiting to implement BIM then there really is no time like the present.

There is a lot of information on the web and I would always recommend starting with the UK BIM Task Group website in the first instance.

For further help and guidance check out Craig’s list of useful sites here: BIM Websites for Manufacturers


Guest post written by:

Peter Foster
Head of Digital Manufacturing Implementation (BIM)
Premier Interlink (Waco UK Ltd)

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