CDBB supplement Feb 2020

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This year's Digital Construction Summit will bring together government, clients, contractors, architects, consultants and suppliers to assess construction’s digital progress, and examine the policies, trends and innovations that will shape the industry over the coming years. The day will include presentations from industry-leading digital professionals, panel discussions, break-out sessions, plus exhibitor stands in the networking area showcasing cutting-edge technology.

BIM+ 27

Event programme: lT he Government view: Next steps

on construction’s digital journey lC lient digital strategies:

What designers and builders must do differently lT ier 1 contractors: How digital tech

is changing the business model l O ffsite manufacturing and MMC:

The role of BIM and data l H ackitt’s ‘golden thread’: The digital

approach to managing asset information

lD emonstrable digital benefits:

BIM projects which delivered exceptional outcomes lS oftware solutions:

Addressing standardisation and interoperability challenges l A I, robotics and automation: New

machines for construction’s digital age Delegate bookings: Eva Rugeley, 020 7490 5595, Sponsorship: Dave Smith, 07703 532605,

3 June 2020 | America Square Conference Centre, 1 America Square, 17 Crosswall, London EC3N 2LB

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Contents The objective of the government is to ensure that the UK remains a world leader in the development and application of digital technologies to the built environment. The potential benefits of digitisation are clear, and include more efficient transport systems, more energy efficient buildings, lower waste and carbon emissions, and most importantly homes and other buildings that are safe and promote wellbeing for the people who live and work in them. Since 2011, the UK government has taken steps to achieve this objective. The introduction of the BIM mandate in 2016 required all new public buildings and infrastructure to be developed using BIM. The government has also invested in the Centre for Digital Built Britain, to both develop new technologies and help embed best practice in using these across the public and private sectors. More recently, the government has established the Centre for Digital Built Britain’s Digital Framework Task Group, to deliver the National Infrastructure Commission’s vision for a National Digital Twin, a connected ecosystem of digital representations of buildings and infrastructure, capable of gathering and exchanging data, to ensure that this benefits the public in perpetuity. The digitisation of the built environment is one of the most exciting opportunities ahead of the UK, and is essential to enabling the UK to achieve its net zero carbon target by 2050. The government is committed to working in partnership with industry, academia and other stakeholders to turn this vision into reality. Fergus Harradence Deputy director, construction Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy


26 4-5 Addressing construction’s digital challenges Key findings from the CDBB’s round table series 6-7 Next steps towards a digital built Britain How the CDBB is working with the industry 8-13 Construction’s digital exemplars l Heathrow puts digital at heart of third runway l TfL’s asset management plan l Skanska brings big data to highways

16 l Landsec and Bryden Wood pioneer Platform DfMA l Tata’s structured product data strategy 14-25 The CDBB’s round tables reviewed l Tier 1 constructors l Consultants l Asset management and FM l Product manufacturers l SMEs l Tech providers l Academia l BIM consultants 26 The Construction Innovation Hub A catalyst for change

Digitising Construction is published by Atom Media Partners Limited and printed by The Wyndeham Group on behalf of the Centre for Digital Built Britain. The contents of this publication are copyright. Reproduction in part or in full is forbidden without the permission of the editor. Atom Media Partners Ltd 3, Waterhouse Square, 138-142 Holborn London EC1N 2SW +44 (0)20 7490 5595 Editor: Will Mann 020 3865 1032 Production editor: Sarah Cutforth Art editor: Heather Rugeley Managing director: Stephen Quirke Centre for Digital Built Britain CDBB editorial contact Head of engagement: Amelia Burnett


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Fiona Moore CDBB

Terry Stocks CDBB

Construction’s digital challenge The recent BIM round table series highlighted the digital challenges construction faces – while helping to shape future strategies. By Terry Stocks and Fiona Moore From late 2018 to summer 2019, the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB), as part of the Construction Innovation Hub, ran a series of industry round tables with the CIOB, with discussion centred around the following question: “What have you done, or do you intend to do, to support the delivery of a digital built Britain?” The debates identified the key digital challenges facing the construction industry and will help inform future Hub work streams. Eight round tables were held, each one representing a key sector of the construction industry, with experts from each field chosen to participate. The government, clients, academics, constructors, consultants, specialists, SMEs, product manufacturers, BIM consultants and technology providers

were all represented in the debates. The key findings from the discussions can be found on pages 14-25 of this supplement. Several key themes were mentioned repeatedly, as illustrated by the infographic opposite. All participants wanted the benefits of BIM and digital construction to be demonstrated more clearly and shared across industry, and at boardroom and executive level there is a need for greater digital understanding and buy-in. CDBB is addressing this through a library of case studies and a review of how to measure BIM benefits. There were also regular calls for clients to ‘set the pace’ of delivery. It was felt a standardised, templated approach to data deliverables on projects would help clients engage with and benefit from BIM. This

would include standard organisational information requirements (OIRs) and asset information requirements (AIRs). Digital adoption would also be helped by clients picking more collaborative procurement models, many argued. Among companies represented in the round tables, most tier 1 constructors have keenly taken up digital working, often as a way of ‘de-risking’ their own deliverable obligations. In contrast, consultants are less likely to use BIM unless they are required to contractually. SMEs saw BIM as a way of driving efficiency, though they sometimes feel held back by the inability of larger organisations to work in a digital environment. SMEs are more likely to share their digital outputs, but not to a point of warranting as this is not generally a contract deliverable. Product manufacturers felt the early years of BIM had been wasteful, with too many disparate approaches. They are looking for alternatives to the current approach to BIM objects, with manufacturers seeing the benefit in working together on the standardisation of product data. Although manufacturers felt they were too far down the supply chain to shape BIM strategies on construction projects, they saw an opportunity to gain influence though the ‘golden thread’ of data, as set out by Dame Judith Hackitt in her post-Grenfell review. Most participants raised the issue of common data environments (CDEs) and greater interoperability of BIM software. This is being addressed through the CDBB’s BIM Interoperability Expert Group (see page 6-7). SMEs felt they were disadvantaged when buying software licensing, chiefly citing the costs, and called for more ‘out of the box’ products. A bigger digital resource pool, due to a shortage of technical operatives and subject matter experts, was considered essential by all the round


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What did the round table panellists want most?

Better digital skills


Demonstrable benefits


Standardised software and data

Standardised processes


Accredited certification and training



Senior management buy-in


Client capability Numbers indicate how frequently the topics were mentioned

tables. Degree syllabuses need to equip students with skills that can serve the digital ambitions of the industry, and professional organisations can set expectations via degree accreditation. Increasing entry points for digital education should also be considered, including further education colleges and continuous professional development.


Overall, the round tables have been a success, and many of the topics raised are informing CDBB’s 2020-21 UK implementation work plan and wider Hub programme to transform UK construction. ● Terry Stocks and Fiona Moore are information management consultants for UK implementation at the CDBB.

l Demonstrable benefits It is still difficult to engage people and encourage them to adopt BIM, given the lack of benefits measurement statistics, including potential returns on investment. This is especially true when it comes to senior management and budget holders, with the push for BIM often being from the bottom up instead of top down. l Better digital skills There was much discussion about the lack of digital skills and, more specifically, information management skills. It can be argued that the digitisation of construction will attract new skills to the industry, but this doesn’t appear to have been the case to date. It was also felt that professional bodies are siloed, have varying BIM and digital understanding and skills levels. l Standardised processes BIM as a term is interpreted differently depending on an individual’s area of expertise and practical experience, leading to frequent misunderstanding between contracting parties, lack of

delivery and the consequential devaluation of the potential benefits of BIM. l Standardised software and data This theme came up in many guises, including the need for low-cost, ‘out of the box’, non-bespoke CDEs, which was raised by the SMEs. Object-oriented information has proven problematic for manufacturers and instead they now focus on the data alone. It was generally felt that standardised data formats and templates would help deliver BIM benefits, and ultimately a digital built Britain and a National Digital Twin. l Senior management buy-in This applied at a government, client and organisational level. As with any change programme, unless change is led from the top, BIM and the potential benefits it brings will not be comprehensively delivered.

l Accredited certification and training Linked to lack of industry skills, it was felt that much existing certification is misleading and consequently unreliable. While some certification schemes seem more appropriate than others, without accreditation, industry professionals using the schemes to improve their BIM capability have no way of knowing if they are fit for purpose. l Client capability This was a constant theme: the need for clients to engage properly in procurement and subsequent management of their assets. Sometimes this was referred to as clients becoming ‘more intelligent’ and is a key theme of government strategy. If clients do not understand what they are procuring, or whether it is delivered to the desired quality (including asset data), then significant improvement and resulting benefits through an asset’s life cycle will be hard to achieve.


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Next steps towards a digital built Britain Following the BIM round table series, CDBB is introducing initiatives that will open up broader digital opportunities for the built environment sector digital built Britain and become part of professional practice; l run an international programme, on behalf of HM Government, to grow global demand for the UK’s approach to digital construction services.

The UK has the potential to lead one of the defining developments of the 21st century: the development of technology that enables smarter decisions, a smarter built environment and smarter services. In order to realise this vision, the UK can build on its successful UK BIM Programme to be a global leader in information management for the built environment and digital twins. In support of this aim, CDBB will: l act as a catalyst for change in the construction sector as a partner in the Construction Innovation Hub; l provide national coordination through the successful delivery of HM Government’s UK BIM, International BIM, National Digital Twin and Digital Built Britain programmes;

l act as a central resource and evidence base for those affected by, developing, and operating the digital built environment; l build capacity and capability in the sector through collaborative communities that learn by doing and progress by sharing; l use learnings from industry and academia to develop and promote the uptake of industry standards and guidance for information management, digital twins and the National Digital Twin; l  build effective links between existing research and innovation communities and commission new projects to ensure that innovative outputs inform the development of a

Demonstrating the benefit of information management It is recognised that there is a need to increase executive-level demand for digital and BIM deliverables in relation to both new and existing built assets. The Construction Innovation Hub and CDBB are working on the creation of a library of implementation and benefit case studies which can be used as an evidence base to help support change.  CDBB, in partnership with the UK BIM Alliance, has commissioned a project to evaluate existing tools that assess BIM maturity. This report will be published early 2020. The Centre has recently commissioned a report to identify the benefits (return on investment) from using BIM, digital transformation, and their global export potential. Coordinating a digital built Britain The UK has a wealth of relevant expertise and experience in academia, industry and government on which CDBB will need to draw to succeed. CDBB is collaborative, interdisciplinary and driven by innovation and engagement. It uses its unique position as an official, but independent, adviser to government to bring individuals


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and organisations together to build consensus and collaborate, to provide recommendations and solutions that are underpinned by academic rigour. CDBB coordinates public and private collaborative learning communities to align and advance the adoption of information management, digital twins and digital transformation in the built environment. These include: l Public Sector ISO Transition Working Group: to support the transition to the ISO 19650 standards for BIM in HM Government departments. Building on public sector BIM adoption to date, the working group is enabling departments and agencies to plan a consistent transition to the ISO 19650 standards, including the adoption of processes, provision of technologies and consistent knowledge sharing that help deliver to these standards. This will primarily help provide consistent use of terminology, understanding of information management processes and technologies, and improved procurement, in turn helping suppliers to provide efficient delivery of information/data to those departments and agencies that are part of the group. l Home Nations Working Group: to ensure consistency of UK BIM strategy and implementation in accordance with ISO 19650, BS/PAS 1192 and BS 8536 across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales with an associate member from the Republic of Ireland. The Home Nations Working Group provides a platform to enable the sharing of BIM knowledge and good practice between nations, including transition to ISO 19650. Members act as a conduit of information between the organisation they represent and CDBB. l Local Authority Special Interest Group: to draft a paper that records the current attitudes and actions for BIM and digital uptake, and considers what future actions or support might

“CDBB uses its unique position as an official, but independent, adviser to government to bring individuals and organisations together to build consensus and collaborate”

help local authorities in their ongoing decision-making and planning. l Digital Framework Task Group: to guide the National Digital Twin Programme and the development of an information management framework for the built environment. l  B u i l d i n g s C l i e n t G ro u p : to identify, share and disseminate good practice in the development and delivery of buildings. It works in collaboration with cross-industry groups and government bodies in the digital transformation landscape, translating the direction and output from these existing initiatives into a coherent digital transformation strategy for buildings. l BIM Interoperability Expert Group: to gather evidence in order to better understand and document current construction industry knowledge of BIM interoperability for a report, including recommendations, which is to be published in the spring of 2020. l Digital Twin Hub: a collaborative learning community where those who own and are working on digital twins can come together to learn and share. ●

UK BIM Framework: ensuring a consistent approach “We are committed to a coordinated approach to creating and communicating an international wrapper for UK BIM and ensuring a smooth transition in the integration of BS EN ISO 19650 series within our suite. Collectively we will develop and champion one single set of guidance in a clear and concise manner to support industry understanding of BIM standards and their implementation.” BSI, CDBB, UK BIM Alliance. A key development has been the launch of the UK BIM Framework website, The UK BIM Framework has been, and will continue to be, developed by BSI, CDBB and the UK BIM Alliance to set out the approach for implementing BIM in the UK using the framework for managing information provided by the ISO 19650 series. It includes: l the published standards called upon to implement BIM in the UK l the UK BIM Guidance Framework l links to other useful and relevant resources and tools which already exist (or will be developed). The UK BIM Framework guides and supports UK industry in implementing BIM. In particular, the Guidance Part 1: Concepts and Part 2: Processes for Project Delivery have been updated quarterly, to expand and improve its content. Going forward, this activity will shift to early release of Guidance for Parts 3 to 5 of the ISO 19650 series as they are published, and the equivalent BS/PAS 1192 standards are withdrawn.


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Heathrow ready to blaze a digital trail


Over the next six pages, we talk to some of the built environment’s leading digital thinkers about how they are implementing change in their organisations. First, Heathrow digital director Jon Kerbey explains why data will be at the heart of the airport’s expansion programme

As one of construction’s biggest and most forward-thinking clients, it is no surprise to find Heathrow Airport at the cutting edge of digital thinking, as plans taxi forward on its multi-billion-pound third runway project. A common information model will be at the heart of the Heathrow expansion, and will be created by the supply chain, says digital director Jon Kerbey. “Our responsibility is to set standards, which includes exchange information requirements [EIRs], data specifications, and a common data environment [CDE],” he says. “We need interoperability between all the different data that will come to us, whether it’s a point cloud survey or data from an IoT sensor.

Data will be central to delivering the third runway

“We need to get the right information from our suppliers at the right quality, and that comes back to how good we are at asking for it.” As well as defining its EIRs, Heathrow is “fairly advanced” with its asset information requirements (AIRs) and organisation information requirements (OIRs), says Kerbey. “The work being done now to define and design our new control centre, which will be where we monitor construction operations for the airport expansion, will essentially define our OIRs by really understanding the decisions we need to make and when,” he adds. Heathrow has a much-publicised logistics hub strategy for delivering the expansion and Kerbey says the key will

be understanding what the design looks like digitally before manufacturing starts. “We are now examining which assets are best suited to that manufacturing process,” he says. “For example, terminals with air bridges which can be easily segmented and assembled on site in sequence. Toilet blocks are obviously suited to modular construction with high repeatability.” Platform-DfMA – a standardised approach to offsite manufacturing – is part of Heathrow’s thinking. “We see greater quality assurance through repetitive manufacturing,” says Kerbey. “Our plan is to continue to develop our catalogue of components which our suppliers can use for their designs, in ‘drag and drop’ fashion. This is a work in progress and we have two trains of thought: either we specify the outcomes and parameters and leave the rest up to our suppliers, or we would be prescriptive when we have decided on the type of component we need. “We will engage with designers and product manufacturers on this. We have a suite of standards for products and assets which we feel is quite mature.” Kerbey doesn’t envisage developing a configurator tool, such as the Seismic app for schools, saying Heathrow is about “defining outcomes”. He adds: “There needs to be a way of thinking about how these different components are joined together, to meet our required outcome. It is up to the suppliers how they achieve it.” Underpinning the whole expansion project – indeed the whole future Heathrow strategy – is data. “Data is as important – or more important – than our physical assets. But there is a big issue with data quality. So we will be looking at a different commercial model. We have to incentivise data quality and assess it rigorously. Phil Wilbraham, Heathrow’s expansion programme director, has said we may


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Jon Kerbey, Heathrow “We want people to take ownership of data, ensure the accuracy is high when they hand it over, and understand the next step in the life of that data” only pay for data, not physical assets. That should change how suppliers think.” The new control centre will be completely data-driven and datadependent, says Kerbey. “We will have around 50 people in there, controlling the construction activities – monitoring the offsite hubs, logistics, site operations,” he explains. “It will be a massive data consumer and aggregation facility, so it is vital our people have quality data at their fingertips so they can make realtime or forward-looking decisions.” Kerbey promises Heathrow will be benchmarking its digital strategy and is confident the airport will find efficiency savings and meet its productivity targets. “This airport is probably the most surveyed 12 sq km in UK, but we haven’t historically been very robust in the way we manage our survey data; through new tech and processes, we can save £2m a year simply by better management of our survey data,” he says. “On our larger projects, we could save £300,000 to £400,000 per project, which is substantial when you consider our capital spending is around £500m a year. “Just implementing new technology is not enough; it needs to be coupled with a change management programme. During the implementation of part of our CDE, we ensured that business change was an integral workstream so people will be able to use and to trust the systems and processes in there. And once people trust the data they will be more confident in using it.”

Suppliers will also be expected to be “digitally mature”, he says. “We have 12 digital guiding principles [see box], developed over the last three months, and we believe that if your company embeds those 12 principles into everything you do, you will see a step change in the quality of your data and processes, and ultimately achieve a better outcome. We will link these principles into a maturity assessment and we will be looking for evidence of continuous improvement. “One of the principles is that data must be treated as a valuable asset and that your company takes responsibility for the data you produce. We want people to take ownership of data, ensure the accuracy is high when they hand it over, and understand the next step in the life of that data. That generates different behaviours: people taking pride in their data, not just when they provide it to us as a client but also to their suppliers, other contracts, and within their own organisation.” Digital twin Ultimately, Kerbey wants to achieve a digital twin for Heathrow. “To get most value out of our assets, both during construction and in operations, we need to understand how they are performing. We need this to be dynamic so we can model scenarios and predict interventions,” he says. “The expansion is the catalyst. It will take longer to do the existing built assets, but we also have the Future T2 and changes to T5 in the pipeline, and the data from those projects will form part of the digital twin as well.” Meanwhile, Kerbey is also looking at how automation could help with the airport’s construction programme and its operations. “In the future – and this is where the digital twin comes into its own – if we have a smart airport that understands how it is performing, the next logical step is to look at opportunities for

Heathrow’s 12 digital guiding principles 1 Digital twin is as important as the physical asset We are not only delivering an expanded Heathrow, we are delivering a digital twin of Heathrow.

7 High-quality data is a key enabler Generating high-quality trusted data is a key enabler for our collaborative Enterprise and Integrator approach.

2 Data lies at the heart of everything Data underpins and connects the entire expansion ecosystem.

8 Data is integrated to enable informed decisions Digital ecosystem provides information needed to inform decision-making and drive the right outcomes.

3 Culture supports digitally driven excellence Cultures and behaviours across the expansion community actively support digitally driven delivery excellence and embrace learning. 4 Data is treated as a highly valuable asset Everyone treats data as a highly valuable asset in its own right and takes responsibility for the accuracy of the data they provide. 5 Clear data governance and security Governance and data security is clearly understood, assured and integral to every aspect of our strategy. 6 Data-driven processes drive efficiency Data-driven digital processes drive year-on-year increases in productivity across the expansion programme.

9 Digital twin proves benefits and enables outcomes Continual use of the digital twin proves benefits including environmental credentials, enables rapid learning in a safe environment and mitigates risk. 10 Digital investment matches bold ambition Collective and continual investment in our digital strategy matches our bold ambition for the expansion programme. 11 Innovation leads to transformational step change Innovative and agile digital approaches will unlock the power to deliver the transformational step change needed to realise our collective potential. 12 Digital handover drives operational efficiency Data meets operational needs and drives long-term business efficiency.

automated maintenance: a self-healing airport. For instance, if an AI-enabled CCTV camera identifies debris on a runway or taxiway, could we have a robot that automatically goes out there and picks it up? Clearly there are safety and regulatory considerations, but the opportunities are endless.” “With that solid foundation of data, all these things become possible.” ● CONSTRUCTION MANAGER FEBRUARY 2020 | 9

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Connecting the capital Transport for London has been working with the public sector ISO 19650 transition group on a unified approach to asset management

Digital training is given to staff on the Northern Line Extension

Transport for London’s (TfL) digital engineering and BIM journey has been gathering pace, with exemplar projects aiding learning and demonstrating the benefits of BIM and structured asset data. TfL’s approach to data standards is to follow industry best practice, as set out in ISO 19650, aligned with the Uniclass 2015 update. (Previously it followed PAS 1192 guidance.) The TfL BIM requirements are embedded within the TfL company management systems Pathway process which is mandatory for projects to follow. TfL is currently working towards collating and documenting its organisation and asset information requirements (OIRs and AIRs), in consultation with the public sector ISO 19650 transition group, to achieve a unified approach. “The challenge we have is a legacy of multiple asset management systems which have been developed in siloes over the years with localised requirements; in the long term these will be rationalised, and a unified approach to requirements will assist this,” says TfL BIM manager Mathew Brett. TfL has introduced the BIM requirements on 60 projects over the last four years, including ongoing schemes such as Bank and the Northern Line Extension, and Brett says: “Upskilling is a real challenge. Our current skills focus is getting our own project teams and digital engineers up to speed, so they can apply the BIM methodology and have the skills to interrogate the 3D models created by our suppliers. TfL’s training of the supply chain

currently only extends to the use of our information management systems as part of the CDE.” On BIM capability in the supply chain, Brett says: “As part of the assessment and selection onto our frameworks we expect BIM and information management to be ‘business as usual’ for our tier 1 suppliers; we’ve set out parameters clearly at procurement stage, but the reality is different on the job – capability to deliver to the BIM methodology varies widely depending on the team assigned to the project, which can involve additional supervision and support.” Northern Line Extension On the Northern Line Extension, BIM and digital engineering is provided to the project team and supply chain every two to four weeks, with monthly progress reports. “The Bank tube station upgrade is another good example,” says Brett. “Starting at procurement stage, an innovative contractor engagement tender process was used. We created a 3D point cloud surveys of the assets, which formed the basis of a model for the competition. The design ideas from the winning contractor Dragados, along with innovations from other bidders, were then developed further post tender.” The project’s common data environment (CDE) allowed the designs to be shared, enabling a better coordinated design and detection of possible hard and soft clashes. This approach led to a


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TfL is documenting its organisational and asset information requirements

Skanska takes the data high road Using AI and sophisticated data analytics is bringing transformational benefits to Skanska’s highways maintenance

Mathew Brett, Transport for London “We want to have our data in the format that meets the needs of our people and enables them to do their jobs more effectively” 23% reduction of the ‘in tunnel’ volume compared to the original reference design. The reduction meant a more efficient design solution, so less material had to be moved to and from site – a reduction in the amount of safety critical work and a lower carbon footprint. Applying the BIM methodology also enabled the project to identify clashes much earlier in the design p ro c e s s a n d t h ro u g h a p p l y i n g progressive assurance and earlier stakeholder engagement, 95% of the project gateway approvals were passed first time. The project estimated a 40% time saving in administration from working in a CDE to a non-automated electronic document management system because there was less demand on resource. “On our Victoria and Bond Street station upgrades, where our BIM approach was mainly focused on 3D modelling, we were less mature about standards and as a result it was more challenging getting compliant data handed over,” Brett explains. “Now, having an established set of CAD standards, information management

standards and templates included within the EIR that reflect ISO 19650 has started to address this issue. “Our big challenge as a client with a long-term interest in our assets is getting the handover information from suppliers and passing that into the operational part of the business,” he explains, adding that there is ongoing reviewing and rationalising of the handover requirements. “TfL is starting to see the benefit of projects following consistent standards methods and processes and using collaboration software such as ProjectWise,” Brett explains. “The quality of the CAD data handed over has risen from typically 70% compliance to around 98% compliance. As a result, this has greatly reduced staff time chasing and updating incomplete or non-compliant data, which could sometimes take up 50% of their time.” The digital twin is the broader goal for TfL. A question Brett is pondering is how much graphical asset information the organisation needs. “We want to have our data in the right format that meets the needs of our people and enables them to do their jobs more effectively,” he says. “For example, 99% of our tunnels have been laser scanned by our in-house survey team. This information is available to our engineers viewed via their desktop computers. This is probably as much model detail as you need with the tunnels; structurally they don’t change much.” ●

Skanska is bringing big data to life in its infrastructure services business. Skanska is using AI and data analytics to transform highways asset management. The contractor has a sevenyear contract with Hampshire County Council, running to 2024, where it is testing out the technology, explains James Daniel (above), head of digital engineering for infrastructure services at Skanska UK. “Hampshire is a very progressive client, with a digital agenda, so with this long-term contract we have the opportunity to try out new technologies,” he says. “One of our goals is to be better at deploying our people in places on the network where they’re most needed.” Hampshire supplied an existing asset database, created from GIS surveys. The network includes 5,300 miles of carriageway, 3,800 miles of footways and 1,800 structures. Daniel’s team is now building up more detail about the condition of the assets. This is where AI comes in. “We have been working with a Cambridge University tech startup, tech firm Intellegens, which has an AI tool called Alchemite,” explains Daniel. “They work with sparse datasets. Their AI tool takes the sparse data and through machine learning predicts what the gaps will be. It’s been used to help with jet engine development. “So Intellegens took the data on gullies and fed this

into Alchemite. Then we added environmental and weather data, both historic and forecast. The machine learning technology uses all this data to predict any gaps in the gullies’ asset information and, with that information, tells us whether the gullies need regular cyclical maintenance or a review. “The AI tool is a real game changer. On this contract alone, it has the potential to achieve significant savings through helping us deploy the resources more effectively. People are really appreciating the benefits of good quality data.” Daniel says information management is vital and Skanska is currently working with BSI to embed the principles of IS0 19650. “We have created exchange information requirements (EIRs) which will help us build rich asset databases for our clients,” he says. “All these assets we are tagging are following the Gemini Principles so we will end up with a digital twin for our highways clients. And once we have all that data, it’s about leveraging it.” Skanska is also using increasingly sophisticated surveying tech to collate data on highways assets. “In Hampshire, we’ve used point cloud scans to survey a couple of structures,” says Daniel. “On other contracts, we are trialling vehiclemounted scanners which assess the road condition. ”


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Pioneering Platform DfMA Digital is the enabler for Landsec and Bryden Wood’s new componentised approach to construction, which has been tested on a pilot project in Hampshire

Landsec, the UK’s largest commercial property developer, sees digital technology as central to its asset management strategy. The company has been working with integrated design practice Bryden Wood on a new concept in office construction – which could transform how projects are procured, designed and built. P-DfMA (platform design for manufacture and assembly) is a standardised, componentised approach. Landsec and Bryden Wood have built a prototype P-DfMA office at the practice’s Construction Platforms Research Centre in Petersfield, Hampshire, working with offsite specialist Easi-Space, which was backed by Innovate UK research funding. Next, the principles of this ‘kit of parts’ approach will be tested on a

Landsec office development in London. Benchmarked against Landsec’s typical costs per sq m, the project – currently at design stage – is targeting a reduction of 10% on capital cost, 15% on programme and 35% on site labour. “Digital is the enabler here. It is possible to experiment and prototype much more quickly,” says Neil Pennell, head of design innovation and property solutions at Landsec. “This is not about creating identikit buildings that look the same,” he adds. “Despite the ‘kit of parts’ being standardised, these can be put together in countless ways to create a huge range of different spaces and aesthetics.” As part of the strategy, Landsec asked Bryden Wood to analyse design themes in existing offices. Jaimie Johnston,

Assembly of the prototype ‘kit of parts’ office at Bryden Wood’s Hampshire site (above and below right)

global systems director at Bryden Wood, says: “We found, for instance that most offices in London have a 1.5m planning grid, and they tend to have a structural grid ranging from 9m x 9m to 9m x 12m. “This is in line with the BCO guide for design best practice. But architects and designers don’t always follow it. The structural grid might be 9.1m x 9.1m or 8.9m x 8.9m, and then you lose the opportunity for standardisation.” Johnston acknowledges that “not all sites are perfect” but says any bespoke requirements can be kept to one area of the building, allowing “high standardisation throughout the rest of it”. The kit of parts approach has also meant a “fundamental change in our approach to procurement”, says Pennell. “The model the construction industry has defaulted to, based around design and build, passes responsibility to complete the building design down the supply chain. It has become a barrier to innovation and restricts clients from exerting influence. “So, we are looking at a form of construction management (CM). But this role will require the skill set of a consultant, a constructor, a logistics manager – to make a site run like a factory and with a multi-skilled workforce that can step up to that way of working.” One consequence is to bring manufacturers closer to the end user. “More of our conversations will be direct with the suppliers and manufacturers,” says Pennell. “This means manufacturers gain more ability to innovate and influence the


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Neil Pennell, Landsec “The idea is we can plot the journey of all the components and capture all that data into an asset model that is a complete digital twin of the building” design, and that opens up possibilities for more efficiencies,” adds Johnston. All of the components will be tagged and the information used by Landsec as part of its asset management strategy. “The steel beams have QR codes and with this tagging, we are able to know things like the origin of the product and the recycled content,” says Pennell. “The idea is we can plot the journey of all the components and capture all that data into an asset model that is a complete digital twin of the building.” He also expects tech to improve productivity. “Using digital workflows, we can draw together the design and production data,” he explains. “For example, the structural design gets downloaded from Revit into Tekla, which the steel fabricator can then translate into a file format its cutting machines can read. “When work starts on site, we want to use digital tools to position components and automate the quality control process. On the prototype, we trialled a new geospatial tool from Trimble, which you can plug into your phone and scan the actual project to see if the columns and beams are in the correct position and within tolerance. So, it works as a quality control tool. The next step, he says, is robotics. “We have spoken to robotics manufacturers about how, for example, reinforcement bar could be welded automatically in the floor slabs. The initial feedback is that there are robots we could take ‘off the shelf’, which have all the functionality required to execute the task.” ●

Data delivers for Tata Tata Steel worked with Landsec on its Platform DfMA pilot and sees structured data as central to its digital strategy

Tata Steel Europe has led the way among manufacturers with its structured approach to construction product data, and now hopes to demonstrate the benefits on a range of pilot projects. The firm’s database includes some 6,500 different product variations across Tata Steel Europe, with up to 850 attributes per product. This data can either be downloaded directly, in various formats, or embedded in 3D objects in a range of native CAD platforms. Construction customers can access the database through Tata Steel’s BIM DNA Profiler, finding products by filtering on product data and performance characteristics, helping them to meet exchange information requirements (EIRs). Tata Steel is at the forefront of the move towards modern methods of construction, being involved with Bryden Wood on both the SEISMIC platform and its Platform 3 P-DfMA (platform design for manufacture and assembly) project. Both are focused on driving productivity in construction through assembling – rather than constructing – buildings using a standardised ‘kit of parts’. As part of this work, Bryden Wood built a prototype of its system in Ropley, Hampshire. As an example of one of the benefits of having structured product data, Tata Steel has tagged the structural steel components on this prototype with QR codes, which give access to a vast mine of information about the products. Tata Steel’s BIM and digital platforms manager Alex Small (pictured above) hopes the project will showcase the benefits of the database. “By accessing the product data, users can find out what the product is, when and where the product was manufactured, and what its journey to date has been,” he explains. “By linking this product to the 3D BIM component ID, we can also show them additional

information such as where that product is located in the building’s 3D model. “Through the addition of a customer login, we could also enable secure information to be accessed, such as invoices and proof of delivery to help with payment and tracking. “We can also include environmental product declaration data. Longer term, thinking about the circular economy, if the client ever wants to deconstruct the building, the data files contain everything you need to know about the steel products, making them more likely to be reused and providing them with a higher potential resale value.” Construction has been slow to adopt structured product data but Small predicts that will change, as forwardthinking contractors and clients begin to demand it. “We’ve also had interest from the Welsh government, who might want to show, for example, that Welsh steel is used on Welsh projects,” says Small. Next for the manufacturer is the launch of a design and configuration tool, which will include plug-ins for all major CAD platforms. “This will allow designers and contractors to select products from our database and fully design and configure them, based on their requirements,” says Small. “For example, they can calculate wind loads simply by dropping a pin on a map where their project is located or tap in their required U-value to automatically find products or systems that match.” Tata Steel is also examining a two-way data exchange model with one of its contractor customers. “If, for example, the architect changes the U-value for a system, causing a new product to be needed, the pricing, lead times and delivery information could all be updated automatically through a direct link to our database,” explains Small. He adds that Tata Steel is also exploring encrypting its data through blockchain.


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Introducing the CDBB round table series As part of the Construction Innovation Hub, the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) ran a series of debates from September 2018 to July 2019, to examine how the built environment is delivering on the government’s digital programme. Working with the Chartered Institute of Building and Construction Manager, the discussions involved a broad cross-section of the industry, including contractors, consultants, BIM consultants, clients, FM providers, manufacturers and technology specialists. The debates were led by the CDBB’s Terry Stocks and Fiona Moore, information management consultants for UK implementation. CDBB used the sessions to help understand how BIM and digital technology were being adopted by the construction industry and to inform the future CDBB agenda. This supplement documents the outputs from those round tables and provides an update on how CDBB has responded to the findings. Read the key findings from the debates over the next 12 pages.

19 October 2018

How is BIM changing tier 1 constructors? The traditional main contractor business model could change dramatically as adoption of BIM and digital technology gathers pace in construction Tier 1 constructors panel: Stephen Kennedy MWH Treatment Garry Fannon Willmott Dixon Nick Leach Sir Robert McAlpine Steve Green Bouygues Andy Boutle Kier Javed Edahtally Metropolitan Police James Daniel Skanska John Kizior Aecom Senthil Arjunan Interserve Alex Jones Murphy Peter Vale Tideway

BIM could transform the role of the t i e r 1 c o n s t r u c t o r. P o t e n t i a l benefits include not only internal efficiencies, but also capital delivery improvements, better asset data for clients and whole-life operational efficiencies. To find out if this vision is anywhere near becoming a reality, the CDBB assembled a panel of major tier 1s in November 2018. The majority of the panel have a ‘baseline’ level of BIM they use on all projects. “Ten years ago, if BIM was on the contract, another £100,000 was added on, and the money businesses were investing was then passed on to the client,” said James Daniel, head of digital engineering at Skanska Infrastructure Services. “That has gone now. With the contracts we have, BIM ‘is business as usual’.” Sir Robert McAlpine applies a “sliding scale” of digital maturity on its work, said Nick Leach, strategic BIM manager. “There is a minimum that has to be hit, regardless of the project,” he explained. “We try to address the foundations,” said Andy Boutle, head of BIM at Kier Building. “Naming things consistently and organising them in an environment that is structured and consistent and repeatable. It is a challenge – with our own operational teams on site, with subcontractors, consultants – but we are trying to achieve that baseline and build from that upwards.” But at present there is limited digital enthusiasm from clients.

Stephen Kennedy, head of digital and innovation at water specialist MWH Treatment, said: “The biggest challenge for us is in the absence of a client saying ‘this is what you need to do and this is the way you need to do it’. At the moment, what we are doing with BIM and digital is predominantly for our own efficiency.” “We established a mechanism to assess incoming tenders and make an informed decision on whether to use BIM,” explained Boutle. “But unless there is a client requirement, then the wheels come off. “Clients face the same challenges we do in terms of BIM engagement,” he continued. “We have one client which is really intelligent in terms of BIM. But they still can’t get their FM team to say what the need is.” FM is the “missing ingredient” in built environment BIM adoption, said Alex Jones, head of BIM and digital construction at Murphy. “We are seeing a huge movement in BIM within contracting, but not in FM,” he added. “I still see them walking around with clipboards.” Jones saw ‘soft landings’ as a way of boosting FM BIM engagement and improving asset management strategies. “Use soft landings from the beginning so you understand the end-user requirements,” he explained. Kennedy, referencing the water sector, said a major challenge is the transfer of data from the project information model into the asset information model.


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Does BIM change the role of tier 1s? Steve Green, Bouygues “The big change will be the digitising of the quality system. It means visibility of those records, which means we can clearly address the cause of any issues. In aerospace, they can do that. But Grenfell highlighted that built asset owners and deliverers could do better.”

From left: Garry Fannon, Nick Leach, Steve Green, Andy Boutle

“It is very difficult finding out what the operators actually want,” he said. “The owners have to understand how their assets are operated then define that back to us.” Some tier 1s felt that the Grenfell Tower tragedy and Dame Judith Hackitt’s ‘golden thread’ is changing the picture on asset data. “We’ve decided we are going to do BIM regardless and use that data ourselves,” said Garry Fannon, head of digital at Willmott Dixon. “What we have realised is after Grenfell, we need better understanding of what we have built. “So this data is actually quite useful. Our directors are now mandating it across the business. They see the bigger picture and they see the value of that data.” Willmott Dixon now has a standard employer information requirement [EIR]. “This is the data we provide to the customer, and we also keep it ourselves,” said Fannon. “So now we are building up data about maintainable assets and we are starting to formulate a data strategy.”

A similar perspective came from the infrastructure sector. James Daniel, head of digital engineering for Skanska Infrastructure Services, said he is working with highways clients to organise their data and plan their maintenance strategy. “On longer-term contracts, we are writing their requirements for free,” he said. “One client gave us a 13TB hard drive with the whole county mapped. So we started to drill down into it and we said, ‘Well actually, we can tell you how to manage your potholes and your water gulleys for the next five years’. And they said, ‘That sounds really interesting!’” Meanwhile Aecom is using the data it collects to sell a new asset management service. “We engage with the client, we take their asset data and marry it to their systems,” explained global director for project technologies, John Kizior. “We are showing them how to use that information to run their facilities and their assets better. There is a wonderful opportunity here for tier 1s. You just have to show clients the benefits.” ●

John Kizior, Aecom “Tier 1s are becoming data aggregators whether they want to or not. And with all that knowledge, that also means influence. On a building project, that asset is generating data, and a tier 1 will be expected to use that data to maximise that facility’s performance.” Alex Jones, Murphy “We’re evolving but we need to become more mature in how we use the data we have access to. Those companies that collate data well will become purveyors of knowledge and provide smarter, holistic solutions.”

Key takeaways l Better information management is essential post Grenfell – constructors need to know what they have built and hand over data to the client. l Exploitation of data can help constructors add value to their service offering. l Where clients do not request BIM, a ‘baseline’ digital service should be provided. l Current poor practices at handover can be addressed through better BIM and soft landings processes. l Greater and earlier engagement of FM and operational teams is

necessary to help clients understand BIM’s potential for improving their asset management. l Digital skills shortfalls can be partly addressed through recruiting outside the industry – for example, app developers. l Training internally and of suppliers needs standardising. BIM accreditation should be considered to align outcomes across the industry. l Use of 3D models, visualisations and virtual reality can help engage both suppliers and clients with digital’s potential.


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28 November 2018

How can consultants increase BIM uptake? BIM offers improved asset management and reduced operational costs, so how do consultants communicate that message to customers?

Given their position near the top of the supply chain, consultants are arguably best placed to influence clients’ digital strategies. But the panel of consultants we gathered in January 2019 said BIM adoption is largely driven by how well their clients understand and value it. “It is easier to implement BIM through the supply chain where the clients are telling project teams, ‘you have got to do this’,” said James Colclough, technical director at Aecom. “It gives us the ability to communicate why they have got to do it. Change happens more quickly.” Joe Stott, architect and BIM manager at AHR, said the best clients are very prescriptive on BIM. “We work with some who take real ownership of the process,”

Clockwise from left: Mac Muzvimwe, Arcadis; Sarah Davidson, University of Nottingham; James Colclough, Aecom

he explained. “They will come to us and say: ‘I understand the requirements of BIM Level 2 and I have interpreted it this way, and this is exactly what I want.’” Mark O’Connor, asset management lead for Wood’s environment and infrastructure division, said he encourages clients to think about the whole life of their asset. “When they start the procurement process or inherit an asset, we say that they don’t inherit assets, they inherit liabilities. And it is only through a strong, quality-assured process and data that they drive that value and turn their liabilities into assets,” he said. Consultants generally have a ‘vanilla’ BIM offering, but anything more is usually client-dependent.

Mac Muzvimwe, BIM and digital transformation lead at Arcadis, said: “We design in a 3D environment as a starting point, up to LOD [level of detail] 3. That is a core service. Beyond that, more fees are involved. Our challenge is, the client often doesn’t want to do anything extra.” It can be difficult for project managers to explain BIM benefits, explained Julian Kent, project director at Buro Four. “The client only wants to spend a certain amount of money for each stage of the project because of the risk profile,” he said. “There is a huge amount of pressure on the team not to overspend.” Typically, if a project manager sends requests for proposals (RFPs) out to consultants and asks them to price the project for BIM, a higher price will come back which can be hard to sell to the client, Kent added. “Project managers understand the cost, but they don’t understand the value,” he continued. “That can be compounded by many clients taking a short-term view; they are simply concerned with whether or not a project is viable.” Procurement was also criticised for not fostering a collaborative culture conducive to BIM take-up. “We can’t really do anything without changing procurement,” argued Emma Hooper, digital information specialist at Bond Bryan Digital. “We are working with a broken framework and all we are


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doing with BIM, DfMA, the internet of things [IoT], and artificial intelligence [AI] is papering over the cracks.” “We need to remove adversarial behaviours,” agreed Sarah Davidson, associate professor at the University of Nottingham. “We can promote BIM as a form of risk management methodology or an assurance process. Grenfell quite clearly shows that we need assurance processes, so there is a will and desire to work differently, but this aspiration is getting squashed through procurement. “This comes particularly at the point where we engage with the specialist contractors who have got a lot of the design expertise around very complex and sophisticated systems. “If we were accountable through performance measures, that would make a massive difference.” “With integrated project insurance [IPI], these success criteria are agreed right at the start,” pointed out Hooper. Many consultants in the panel are exploring offering an information management service – advising clients on using data to improve their asset

management – but said that there is limited demand at present. Jason Whittall, director of One Creative Environments, pointed out a link between the information management requirement, the principal designer role in the construction design and management (CDM) regulations, and Dame Judith Hackitt’s report calling for more rigorous duty holder responsibilities and a “golden thread” of information for every building. “Information isn’t just about saving money, it is about environmental factors and safety factors,” he said. “In the oil and gas sector, the duty holder has that role for 30-40 years so tends to value the ‘golden thread’ more,” said O’Connor. Emma Hooper believes BIM should be quite a straightforward process – so long as clients and consultants remember the principles behind it. “I see BIM as just about information management,” she said. “It is what we have always done. It is part of an ecosystem, where you need inputs to make outputs – and it is the client that generates the inputs.” ●

Consultants panel: Jason Whittall One Creative Environments James Colclough Aecom Julian Kent Buro Four Sarah Davidson University of Nottingham Mac Muzvimwe Arcadis Mark O’Connor Wood Grayham Roper Hoare Lea Emma Hooper Bond Bryan Digital Joe Stott AHR

How can consultants engage digitally with clients? Mac Muzvimwe, Arcadis “Our starting point should be ‘how buildings can improve outcomes’. We need to understand those outcomes clients want and how BIM can help achieve them.” Julian Kent, Buro Four “Not every client is informed, so it’s about asking the right questions in a format they understand. At early stages of discussions with clients about projects, we should be doing a root cause analysis, looking at what we want to capture.”

Key takeaways l Consultants need to question and challenge clients to identify their output goals – it will help them understand how and why to implement BIM on their projects. l Wider internal BIM training is essential to bring the whole business up to speed – not just the digital leaders. l Collaborative procurement models facilitate greater adoption of BIM. l Use of BIM during the design phase flushes out errors and should mean quicker capital delivery.

l Think beyond capital delivery and keep in mind how data can be used in the operational phase. l Remind clients of their duty-holder responsibilities and why BIM adoption fits with Dame Judith Hackitt’s “golden thread”. l Capture, measure and share the benefits of using BIM so clients and the wider industry understand its rationale. l Work digitally to reduce risk and boost efficiency. ‘Vanilla’ BIM means costs passed on are limited to additional roles or enhanced deliverables.


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17 June


Digitising the asset Clients are beginning to embrace BIM and recognise the benefits of big data – but bringing asset owners and facilities management providers to the party is another matter

Clockwise from top left: Ashley Hemmings, Sodexo; Mark Eggleton, BakerHicks; Steve Owen, FM180; Andy Smith, John Lewis Partnership

The asset owners and FM panel:

The asset management benefits of BIM have been well documented – but how widely are clients pushing digital construction and what, if any, involvement does facilities management (FM) have? Those were the headline questions put to a panel of asset owners and facilities managers we brought together last July. “The culture has to come from the client,” asserted Andy Smith, senior manager, head office facilities at John Lewis Partnership. “They don’t need to know about asset information models but they do need to know where they can get that expertise and that a BIM-enabled environment will save them time and money.”

Hadeel Saadoon Coventry University Estates Catriona Cantwell Landsec Andy Smith John Lewis Partnership Ashley Hemmings Sodexo Steve Owen FM180 Jamie Mills Xylem Water Solutions Ricardo Codinhoto University of Bath Mark Eggleton BakerHicks Stuart Young COMIT Projects

Catriona Cantwell, senior project manager at Landsec, said the developer had “started to explore the benefits of BIM through the operational phase which, after all, is going to be 30 or 40 years and where most of the value is going to come”. She added that, post Grenfell, there is a greater understanding of the importance of data: “If we are leasing out buildings to different tenants, you need an asset register that is maintained throughout the life of the building.” But a significant problem is the lack of involvement, during the design and build phases, of FM – so operational information about buildings is not being properly specified or captured. Ashley Hemmings, head of asset management systems and standards at Sodexo, pointed out: “The FM contractor is brought in almost as an afterthought maybe three or four months before handover and there’s no budget for someone to sit in on design meetings at the start.” Mark Eggleton, asset information management consultant at BakerHicks, said: “FM has largely been about reactive maintenance, but the focus is increasingly on trying to be proactive in the way assets are maintained. “Large estates such as airports, defence organisations and nuclear sites are already a lot more savvy about this because it’s critical to them, but for office buildings not so much.” The asset owners present were awake to the importance of data, developing organisational information requirements


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for th in th to a

(OIRs) and helping to define asset information requirements (AIR). Smith said this is now the practice at John Lewis Partnership, “because we are owning the information and the process. It’s so important to be involved at the start. You only get the benefits of… being able to see all the pipes and cables above the ceiling if you specify that you need that data. We’ve got to show people how it can make things better.” Jamie Mills, chair of BIM4Water and systems engineer at Xylem Water Solutions UK and Ireland, explained progress made by the water sector: “We’ve got a standard mechanism for exchanging product data and an agreed process between 20 of the UK water companies. A water company will specify what data they want and then push its supply chain for it.” ‘Soft landings’ drives Coventry University’s approach. Hadeel Saadoon, BIM information manager, said: “We brought in a soft landings champion about a year ago and we are now communicating better. We started conversations between the operations team and the [building] development team and they are collaborating in developing our asset information requirements.” Cantwell stressed the importance of FM input: “FMs need to be involved in setting up the information requirements. If you don’t get the information in the right formats, it’s useless.” And Steve Owen, managing director at FM180, said: “Although some people are in a position to drive the process, most FM organisations won’t even

get to see an OIR, let alone be involved in specifying it.” A related issue was the shortage of FM digital skills. According to Smith: “There are not many people with the technical know-how, for example, to understand the benefits of taking a Revit file and extracting usable data from it.” For Owen, there is a need to “focus on educating people on either side of the divide – the capital and the operations teams. They need a joint curriculum.” Another challenge is integrating BIM dataset with existing FM systems. At the University of Bath, associate professor Ricardo Codinhoto explained: “At the moment we operate two separate systems – one uses BIM and the other doesn’t. Our experience is that you can’t integrate them.” Eggleton said it is possible to solve this when the integration is “planned and you have a common language approach. But it’s tricky when 99% of what you are managing is existing estate and only 1% is new build.” Hemmings felt standard data templates would be helpful, calling for a complete asset taxonomy for the whole supply

Key takeaways l BIM has a critical risk management role in a post-Grenfell world, helping delivery of the ‘golden’ thread. l FM needs to be involved in specifying information requirements from the start of a build. l Capex and opex teams need a better understanding of each other’s roles and a common language. l The whole supply chain, including manufacturers, should use a standard taxonomy for describing assets. l Standard templates with core datasets could help clients and FM providers who are not conversant with their data requirements. l A proactive asset management strategy, rather than reactive maintenance, will reap maximum benefits from BIM.

What are the digital strategies of clients? Catriona Cantwell, Landsec “We have developed a very detailed set of EIRs, working with different stakeholders – our operations, security, sustainability and finance teams – to find out what they would want from a BIM model, whether we were to sell the building or to operate it.” Jamie Mills, Xylem Water Solutions “Most benefits to date have been in capital delivery. However, this is now shifting into operational and performance measures. Water companies are now beginning to define their information requirements and make delivery of asset data a contractual requirement.” Hadeel Saadoon, Coventry University Estates “We started by specifying our information requirements and we are now digitising our estate. The next step is to try to house all our information in a common data environment and integrate it with our existing systems.” chain: “In FM, we need information on everything: carpets, tables, chairs, TVs, ceilings. The key for us is to start with an asset management model. That model then should form the basis of the OIR. You then have an idea of the critical assets before you build the building. “We want product templates to work. LEXiCON is one of the tools that could really help, making sure that everyone uses the same taxonomy of asset types.” Eggleton added that contract forms could help the FM cause by insisting on handover of a complete information model prior to payment. “The certificate of completion gets issued after the physical completion of the build,” he said. “Why not have the same for information?” ● CONSTRUCTION MANAGER FEBRUARY 2020 | 19

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21 January 2019

Clockwise from top left: Jaimie Johnston, Bryden Wood, with Steven Heath, Knauf; Jeff House, Baxi Heating; Paul Surin, IBM (ex Wienerberger)

The foundations of a digital built Britain? With the power of product data and growing momentum behind DfMA, construction’s manufacturers could see their influence increase

Construction product manufacturers are beginning to see the potential of data as a means of growing their business – and their influence in the supply chain. They were the key messages from the panel of manufacturers CDBB brought together in February 2019, who are broadly positive about construction’s digital transformation. A l e x S m a l l , B I M a n d d i g i ta l platforms manager at Tata Steel, provided context: “A few years ago, manufacturers were feeling the pressure from tier 1 constructors to go out and generate objects. They did that ahead of prioritising data, as there was no recognised standard to tell them how to do it.” Lacking consistency and not always updated, a trust issue developed around the objects – leading many manufacturers to reappraise their digital strategies. “The big message in the UK BIM Alliance’s Product Data Working Group report published last year was that manufacturers have got to get to grips with our data,” said Small. One product data trailblazer has been Wienerberger. Head of digital built environment Paul Surin, now with IBM, said the brick manufacturer had used the product data definition report for the BIM Task Group to create internal targets for delivering data. “Our BIM business case was not about looking at clients,” Surin explained.

“We wanted to use data to improve the business internally first. We structured our data and have introduced better information management. “We reduced our attributes 30% by avoiding duplicates. So, any product manager in any EU country who sets up a new product does not have to worry about CPR regulatory requirements; they have to fill in only about 20% of the attributes as the rest is standardised. “Manufacturers need to get their data out in a format which is readable by all project stakeholders, who will then start to realise how the data can help them.” The panel saw benefits of manufacturers working together on standardisation of product data, with Legrand BIM manager Matt Crunden describing this as potentially the “foundation stone” of a digital built Britain. Jaimie Johnston, head of global systems at Bryden Wood, thought that the industry’s data understanding would come with an organised route through the BIM adoption process. “The first iteration was people putting all the data into the model. Next was separating out geometry and data, then using COBie and that was a subset of IFC [industry foundation classes]. So if you have gone through those steps then there is always a logical next step,” he said. Johnston is also a keen advocate of Platform-DfMA – a standardised approach to offsite manufacturing


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– and believes the concept could draw manufacturers closer to the end user. “If you [as a manufacturer] knew you were going to be selling millions of components, you would find a really good way of making them,” he said. “You can then imagine a digital marketplace with the government saying, ‘across all my departments I am buying X number of these’. “That would massively compress the digital distance between the client and the manufacturer,” he explained. BIMobject’s Alex Lubbock, who at the time of the round table was seconded to the Infrastructure & Projects Authority, said he thought Platform-DfMA could help deliver the Hackitt review’s

Manufacturers panel: John Bedford Ark Consultancy Paul Surin IBM (ex Wienerberger) Matt Crunden Legrand Jeff House, Baxi Heating Alex Small Tata Steel Geoff Ball Wilo John Parsons BEAMA Jaimie Johnston Bryden Wood Joe Darlington MTC Matt Price Ibstock Brick Tim Thomas BASF Jitin Mitra Ilke Homes Alex Lubbock BIMobject (ex IPA) Steven Heath Knauf

Key takeaways l Focusing on structuring data, and generating internal efficiencies, should be a priority. l Manufacturers can use data to gain greater influence at the top of the supply chain and develop closer relationships with clients and end users. l Platform-DfMA – standardisation of factory components – is a big opportunity for manufacturers as the government looks to make construction more efficient. l A ‘servitisation’ model could emerge, where

manufacturers offer an addedvalue service alongside traditional products. l Manufacturers have a key role to play in the delivery of Hackitt’s “golden thread” of information. l Manufacturers’ data can help drive the carbon agenda, as environmental product declarations and lifecycle assessments start to be included in product data information sheets. l Construction product data can be a foundation stone of a digital built Britain and a key element of the national digital twin.

Will digital transformation change the role of manufacturers?

ambition for a “golden thread” of information running through projects. “The quality of what we are getting delivered is sometimes not good enough and we need more rigour and standardisation enabled by digital and manufacturing technologies,” Lubbock said. “It’s worth pointing out that digital objects connect the client, consultant and tier 1 contractor with the manufacturer, so they will be a core part of the Platform-DfMA approach, as a container for that interaction,” he added. “A component platform is still predicated on a digital object. Geometry and data are separate but meet at that transaction.” I f m a n u f a c t u re r s g ro w t h e i r influence and become closer to end users, David Philp, change consultant at CDBB, suggested they could “move towards a ‘servitisation’ business model, where an added-value service component is delivered to customers alongside their traditional products”. Baxi Heating’s head of external affairs Jeff House thought that the carbon agenda has the potential to drive this. “For example, heat pumps and heat recovery ventilation are more expensive than what housebuilders are used to installing,” he said. “But with proper asset data around those, and in-situ tracking, there could be a shift towards leasing rather than outright capital purchases of the equipment.” ●

Jaimie Johnston, Bryden Wood Platform-DfMA is a massive opportunity for manufacturers to get closer to clients. It should be making the tier 1s feel very nervous. With BIM Level 2, we are starting to get to a new baseline. It is time to start defining what the next level of the journey looks like. Tim Thomas, BASF The use of a CDE, digitisation and virtual twins allow us to unlock sustainable benefits in construction. We have an opportunity to educate contractors and installers in how to manage these mass data environments. Alex Small, Tata Steel Manufacturers need to provide structural, interoperable, linked, trusted data. In terms of driving a digital built Britain and digital twins, that is about ensuring that the right stakeholder has access to the right information in the right format at the right time.


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Below from left: David Millar, Steve Faulkner Allister Lewis, Malcolm Clarke

“It has meant we can reduce our costs, create a sustainable profit and deliver a really good product. The biggest game changer is cutting out the waste. By getting better models and better clash detection you are saving thousands of pounds.” Clarke said this helps with marketing. “Key performance indicators provide the evidence that projects are achieving close to zero defects at handover or that the energy use on the buildings you are designing and delivering is 20% lower than the benchmark,” he said. Steve Faulkner, associate director at Digital differentiation can be a big structural engineer Elliott Wood, agreed BIM had raised the quality bar. “What we selling point for agile SMEs deliver in terms of the drawings and the models are a lot better, but also what we are designing is better,” he said. SMEs face resourcing challenges with SMEs panel: “As well as the monetary value, digital adoption – but plenty see David Millar David people are working more collaboratively obvious opportunities from BIM and Millar Architects and, arguably, that’s the biggest some believe they are better placed to Steve Faulkner improvement,” added Allister Lewis, capitalise than the big guns. These were Elliott Wood head of technology at Ayre Chamberlain the positive stories that emerged from Allister Lewis Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt Architects. our SME panel in March 2019. While positive about BIM’s benefits, “The agility of small organisations is a Gaunt Architects the panel were sceptical as to how real opportunity,” argued David Miller, Elizaveta Bell widely it was being implemented. director at David Miller Architects. In CD International Building Services Lewis said there is a lot of expertise a fiercely competitive market, Miller Engineers in London but patchier representation “reimagined” his practice 10 years ago Patrick Wilson regionally, particularly among local “around a technological way of working” Patrick Wilson authorities. “This could lead to a digital and said this is paying dividends in Architects divide in the construction sector repeat business and extended roles. Andrew Turner between those who do and those who “The benefit of BIM is being able to Henry Riley do not do BIM,” he suggested. deliver lots of small projects quickly,” Malcolm Other concerns for SMEs are around said Andrew Turner, partner with QS Clarke Baxall software and interoperability. practice Henry Riley. “From a QS point Construction of view we worked out very quickly how we could become efficient.” Key takeaways Malcolm Clarke, managing l BIM helps SMEs increase and pricing – products director of Baxall Construction, felt their productivity and margins. that work for SMEs. digital transformation has helped his l SMEs can be more agile l Standard data templates company’s growth accelerate in the than larger companies and, would help support wider as a result, can find it easier BIM take-up among SMEs. last five years. “Collaborative working to embed BIM throughout l The benefits of BIM can be through the whole process using not their organisations. demonstrated through key only designers but also our supply l Software providers performance indicators and chain and offsite manufacturing was could help by developing – developing case studies. a massive change,” he explained.

Small is beautiful with BIM

05 March 2019

How are SMEs meeting the digital skills challenge? Malcolm Clarke, Baxall Construction “SMEs have got a better opportunity of attracting people to those roles and then holding onto them. If you talk to someone about BIM and they are in an organisation where it isn’t really happening, they are frustrated.” Patrick Wilson, Patrick Wilson Architects “The challenge is being able to cope with the continuing change of requirements. If you take one person out of a small architects’ practice to keep up with BIM, that’s significant fee-earning time.” “The technology vendors price with large companies in mind,” said Faulkner. “For organisations like us it’s a real challenge to work out how to afford them, but also how to manage them.” He said the data embedded in a model needs to be validated by the recipient. Turner experienced the same problem at Henry Riley: “Even today I’d say I’ve never received a model from any designer that I’ve been able to use correctly on day one,” he said. Another challenge raised was common data environments. “One that works straight out of the box and has all the naming structures and everything in place would mean that people could start to be BIM-compliant without necessarily even realising that they are doing it,” said Miller. ●


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25 March 2019

Tech providers look to raise standards Software underpins construction’s digital transformation, so what do the technology vendors think about the industry’s progress to date? The UK government’s backing for BIM heralded a boom in construction investment by the tech sector. As John Adams, digital construction strategist at Glider Technology, puts it: “Glider Tech was founded as a direct response to the government mandate. New companies are being created on the back of it.” The technology providers panel CDBB gathered last June were positive about construction’s digital adoption to date, but cited challenges including a lack of repeatable processes, the absence of standards and limited interoperability. As with other round-table panels, client reluctance was cited as a barrier, though Stephen Crompton, chief product officer at GroupBC, felt most at least understood BIM now and provide “more of a breakdown within tenders of what is required” and “consistently ask for data”. The lack of a common data standard is seen as another hurdle. The panel agreed that the oil and gas sector’s standard for information management – capital facilities information handover specification (CFIHOS) – was an attractive model. But construction may be different, as Duncan Reed, digital construction process manager at Trimble, pointed out: “Lots of construction clients will build a particular building once in their lifetime, whereas other sectors are repeating the same processes and can learn by their mistakes.” There was, however, agreement that standard ‘vanilla’ data templates for different sectors could help with client BIM adoption. “There is definitely a value

Technology providers panel: Graeme Forbes ClearBox Stephen Crompton GroupBC Ben Nduva SCISYS Duncan Reed Trimble Solutions David Shepherd Autodesk Ian Cornwell Kraken IM Nathan Doughty Asite Martyn Horne Vectorworks Karl Thurston Graphisoft Ben Wallbank Viewpoint John Adams Glider Technology Jozef Doboš 3D Repo Rob Stephen Newforma Helen Thompson HM Revenue and Customs Toby Sortain ISG Karen Alford Environment Agency Stephen Hamil NBS

in having a template for specific asset types, such as schools or hospitals,” said David Shepherd, senior technical consulting manager at Autodesk. There were different views on common data environments (CDEs) and the merits of out-of-the-box versus customisable software. Ben Wallbank, BIM strategy and partnerships manager at Viewpoint, felt that larger organisations gain from a custom product because they can develop their own business processes which become “a unique selling point”. Interoperability divided opinion. Industry foundation classes (IFCs) were described as “unnecessarily bloated” by Dr Jozef Doboš, CEO of 3D Repo, because of the size of the files generated. He added: “We believe in the democratisation of data, access to data. We want to make sure that the information is transparent and all the interested parties have access and visibility.” Crompton of GroupBC said: “We need to get to a world where we can just exchange data at the push of a button and it doesn’t matter whether you want COBie or anything else.” ●

How are technology providers digitising construction? Stephen Crompton, chief product officer at GroupBC “We developed an information mapping module for a major infrastructure client which carried out its own return on investment analysis. The tool is now run across hundreds of projects at a time and is saving £12m a year.” Duncan Reed, digital construction process manager at Trimble “We work with a steel fabricator who is saving a second per click on opening drawings – which may not sound much, but it translates into tens of thousands of hours saved a year because of the number of drawings they have to open.”

Key takeaways l The BIM mandate has accelerated BIM adoption and deployment, and incentivised creation of new tech companies. l The disparate nature of the construction industry and its lack of repeatable processes hinders change. l Standard requirement (or ‘vanilla’) templates for different sectors would help client engagement.

l Construction could learn from the oil and gas sector, where clients were prescriptive in their data requirements and championed the specification, delivery and use of standard asset data across the life cycle. l Interoperability is still high on the agenda, with plenty more work to be done.


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23 May

Below, from left: Nahim Iqbal, Ray Purvis, Stefan Mordue and Andrew Johnson


Change management With startups sprouting in construction, BIM consultants see disruption on the horizon if the industry’s traditional powers don’t step up

BIM consultants have played a key role in construction’s digital journey, upskilling firms throughout the supply chain, from clients to manufacturers. Given their perspective on the industry, we asked a panel of BIM consultants in July 2019 about the digital challenges that lie ahead – and they all agreed that construction cannot afford complacency. On the client side, David Glennon, managing director of consultant DoubleD, noted that “more mature clients are trying to create smart destinations in retail or airports, to get closer to their customers and make their asset more relevant to them. They are seeing the value of BIM in making that happen.” Understanding their drivers is key, felt Andrew Victory, global BIM lead and technical director at Arcadis, who pointed out that not all clients think about operational benefits: “We need to understand that for some clients it’s simply about selling on and reducing costs to maximise their profits.” And Ray Purvis, associate director of digital construction at Atkins,

added: “Why would a client know about BIM anyway? It’s our job [as BIM consultants], to raise their awareness.” Procurement methods were generally seen as unhelpful for BIM adoption. Rob Jackson, associate director at Bond Bryan Digital, said: “If a client decides it wants a building, it immediately appoints a project manager or architect and then you’ve lost the opportunity to get everyone around a table and working collaboratively. “It would be better to have those initial stages managed as a separate service, to develop a proper brief from an information perspective and only then appoint designers and other service providers.” Most of the panel felt that the supply chain had gained most from BIM, through internal working efficiencies, rather than clients and end users. But some believed the apparent ‘compliance’ masked a lack of underlying change. “Many construction companies haven’t fundamentally changed how they deliver projects,” said Jackson. “They are not digitised, they are just ticking boxes to get certification.”

If construction’s traditional powers do not step up, many of the panel felt that ‘digital disruptors’ would take their place. “There are startups everywhere which is always a sign that disruption is just around the corner – we should be scared,” said Andrew Victory, global BIM lead and technical director at Arcadis. “Facebook is talking about open standards with Google around crowd simulation in towns. How can we compete with companies like that?” Chapman reported that “Google has been doing a lot of work with a major constructor, trying to understand its processes”, while David Owens, automated design and engineering manager at Costain BIM Consultancy, mentioned that “WeWork has just appointed a Revit developer as its design technology automation lead.” There was also a warning about increasing global competition. “The amount China is investing in BIM and digital construction is phenomenal,” said Chapman. “We’re leading the world now, but we need to continue to invest and change fast. Otherwise we will drop the ball.” ●

The BIM consultants panel: David Owens Costain BIM Consultancy Ray Purvis Atkins Andrew Victory Arcadis Stefan Mordue Aecom Michael Hudson FL Innovations Thomas Lindner Nitty Gritty Andrew Johnson Operam Lawrence Chapman TempleGate Projects Jennifer Macdonald PCSG Rob Jackson Bond Bryan Digital David Glennon DoubleD and UK BIM Alliance Nahim Iqbal BIM Academy Marzia Bolpagni Mace

Key takeaways l The sector needs a clearer articulation – with case studies – of BIM’s benefits for clients, the supply chain and end users of the asset. l If BIM is to deliver those benefits, the industry needs new collaborative procurement models. l The industry needs new skills, particularly data scientists and information managers, and a way to attract them from sectors such as fintech. l Standard or ‘vanilla’ templates for BIM data would simplify the process and help client take-up.

l The sector’s professional bodies and educational institutions need to reflect the industry’s changes and move towards a more collaborative, less siloed, way of working. l Other countries are investing heavily in BIM and may overtake the UK if we do not accelerate adoption. l If construction firms are unable to digitise the sector someone else will come in and do it instead.


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27 September 2018

Digital skills for a changing industry New technology can inspire a new construction generation – but educators need to address concerns about relevance, consistency and accreditation

Inconsistency across courses and certification, a lack of accreditation, a gap between academic tuition and industry needs and insufficient rigour in CPD programmes – just a few of the concerns of education professionals about digital training in the construction sector. One issue raised was that BIM and digital is too often separated from ‘core’ built environment education. “It is seen as a specialism; you train as a structural engineer or an architect, but then go off and do a separate BIM course,” said Gareth Sewell, BRE’s associate director for BIM. “But BIM and digital should be part of your daily job, so it needs to be integrated into training for every discipline. “The training should also teach people to integrate with other disciplines. But most of the courses are separate.” This is a concern Iain Miskimmin attempted to address as manager of the Crossrail-Bentley Information Academy, which has trained over 6,000 people. “From the launch in 2012, we made sure people didn’t end up in silos according to their role and organisation,” he explained. “Whether they were a

CAD manager or project manager, we concentrated on giving them the digital skills that they needed to use in their job from day to day. It wasn’t a bolt-on.” Paul Allford, CITB qualifications and standards policy manager, was worried about “inconsistency” in courses. “Standardisation is lacking – we need to define the skills sets required,” he said. Academia panel: The same feedback was coming from the industry, said Niraj Mistry, head of Rob Garvey University of BIM at certification body Stroma. “I Westminster am working with 78 companies, half of Niraj Mistry them tier 1 contractors, but they don’t Stroma know how the current standards apply David Greenwood or even understand the information Northumbria that is passed down to them from their University employers,” he said. Gareth Sewell Nigel Midmer, digital chair of the BRE National Association of Construction Paul Allford CITB Frameworks (NACF), was also worried Steve Pittard about the existing workforce. “We need South Bank to address the professionals already University working in the industry,” he said. Nigel Midmer “I’m looking for a single source of NACF truth that we can all reference to provide Iain Miskimmin scalable training programmes – that way Bentley we can create an educational process Karen Alford all the way through the age groups.” Environment The panel felt digital technology could Agency attract new recruits. Miskimmin noted Sarah James how the Bloodhound supersonic scheme Midas Thomas Harrison helped children with engineering. “Who doesn’t like sticking a rocket motor on BSI to a car and send it flying it across the Julian Sample playground?” he asked. “Everyone wants Harlow College to be an engineer after experiencing Eleni that, but they want to be an automotive Papadonikolaki UCL Bartlett engineer – not in construction.” ●

Above, from left: Nigel Midmer, Steve Pittard and Paul Allford

Does education help deliver a digital built Britain? Gareth Sewell, BRE “No. It has been pushed too far into BIM and digital and become differentiated from construction, so it is a specialism.” Julian Sample, Harlow College “Yes, there has been an improvement in digital skills in compulsory and post-secondary education. But many people working in the industry have low digital skills and will be hardest to educate.”

Key takeaways l A ‘Bloodhound’ style programme could inspire and encourage new recruits into digital construction careers. l Young people’s digital learning should be nurtured and progressed post statutory education. l Professional institutions need to insist on digital, BIM and collaborative content in courses. l Courses should be accredited to ensure consistency of message.


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15/01/2020 17:58


Keith Waller Construction Innovation Hub

A catalyst for change UK construction must embrace the digital revolution if it is to thrive, writes Keith Waller

“We are focused on helping the sector to create buildings which are delivering better social outcomes for their end users, be those students or hospital patients. But this is simply not achievable without robust data which allows us to make better, more informed decisions.”

2019 was an eventful year for the Construction Innovation Hub. Our first full year saw us launch our Platform Design programme and a new procuring for value collaboration with the Construction Leadership Council. We also appointed a high-level advisory board with some of the big names of construction and announced formal partnerships with major players such as the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, BuildOffsite and Constructing Excellence. Most important of all for the Hub however, 2019 was a year of talking and listening to industry. As I’ve pointed out many times before, our best efforts to transform construction will amount to nothing unless we can take the sector – our ‘fourth partner’ – on the journey with us. To this end, Hub experts from the Building Research Establishment (BRE), the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) spent 2019 travelling to every nation and region of the UK meeting with construction businesses big and small. UK construction is wrought with challenges; these are well known, and I won’t spell them out again here. But what we often fail to recognise is that the solutions to many of these are also locked within the sector itself and a core part of our mission as the Hub is helping construction unleash its own potential. Embrace the digital revolution Critical to ensuring that construction shifts gear over the coming decade is getting the sector – and its wider supply chain – to fully embrace the digital revolution, as the other leading sectors of our economy have already done. Digital tools and ways of working have transformed how we shop, how we travel and how we learn. Digital is starting to transform how we build our buildings, but the pace and scale of

that transforming is nowhere near where it needs to be. The 2019 BIM round tables afforded us great insight into the sector’s thinking on the uptake of digital, and most importantly where we are falling short. It was telling to see widespread recognition of the sector’s skills gap being a big blocker to the uptake of BIM. Not only is there a lack of investment in the latest digital tools and technologies among construction businesses, but the sector has an image problem which is preventing it from attracting the best and brightest graduates. Those innovative thinkers are instead flocking towards other sectors of the economy which are reaping the rewards of being at the forefront of the technological revolution. There’s also a measurable divide between large and small construction businesses, with companies based in London and having easier access to expertise than those in other regions of the UK. Participants also rightly flagged concerns around the under-utilisation of data in the construction sector. As the Construction Innovation Hub, we are focused on helping the sector to create buildings which are delivering better social outcomes for their end users, be those students or hospital patients. But this is simply not achievable without robust data which allows us to make better, more informed decisions. As I’ve already mentioned, we don’t need to go very far to find many of the answers to the challenges facing construction. The BIM round tables have shown us that many of the key ingredients for change are already there in the sector as well as crucially, an appetite for change. Over the next year and beyond, the Construction Innovation Hub will continue to be the catalyst for that change. ● Keith Waller is programme director for the Construction Innovation Hub.


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15/01/2020 18:03

BIM+ The UK's best read digital construction resource. Exclusive news, views, interviews, debate and case studies on all the latest digital technologies from 3D printing and robotics to off-site manufacturing and virtual reality. How digital technologies are creating efficiencies and productivity for firms across the supply chain from designers to contractors and product manufacturers. A site for anyone working in digital construction from beginners through to experienced practitioners. Every part of the BIM journey provided by industry experts, software developers and industry bodies. Project stories and case studies to guide you through BIM adoption. Bimfillersingle.indd 9

15/01/2020 15:41

The Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) works with government, industry and academia to develop, support, accelerate and promote the information management standards, guidance, tools, skillsets and capacity, as well as the supporting digital economy, which underpin the use of all digital systems, technologies and associated ways of working across the lifecycle of social and economic infrastructure and buildings. It is a partner in the Construction Innovation Hub and is supported by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. Centre for Digital Built Britain University of Cambridge 21 JJ Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0FA

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16/01/2020 10:39

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