Bim can make architects master builders again, says Morrell
Bim technology could herald the return of architects to the role of master builder, the government’s chief construction adviser has said
Speaking ahead of his first meeting with the new RIBA Construction Strategy Group, Paul Morrell told BD that practices could choose to become “integrators” of projects “striving to return to the role that many still romantically profess an ambition for”.
However, he warned they should “check the strength of their balance sheet first”.
The RIBA’s Construction Strategy Group, set up last week, will oversee the delivery of government recommendations made in three reports over the last year.
These outlined industry changes needed to achieve low-carbon, integrated construction - including that all new public-sector projects use bim within five years.
Another potential new source of work is the proposal to replace the role of RIBA client design adviser with that of RIBA client adviser. It is hoped that the new title will bring a broader range of work, with clients hiring advisers earlier in the development process.
RIBA Construction Strategy Group chairman Paul Fletcher said: “One of the key aspects of government strategy is for the public sector to work with advisers earlier. This is key for creating value in projects - further down the line it’s too late.”
The group will also work on “radically restructuring” the RIBA Plan of Work, which Fletcher said “will be a process map for integrated construction design”.
Morrell agreed that the Plan of Work needed modernising, but told BD it was up to individual practices to choose how to use bim: “They can decide to continue to operate as independent studios, or may become part of a vertically integrated supply chain that offers a full service.”
Meanwhile, Fletcher will also sit on a pan-industry panel - CIC Task Force 3.6 - led by the Construction Industry Council in collaboration with the RIBA, which will look at integrated working across the industry.
CIC chief executive Graham Watts said the organisation was not looking at the technology but at the implications for the professions. He added that it hoped individual professional bodies would run their own groups on how to “dim the impact of bim for them”.