Adopt bim or be 'Betamaxed out' says Morrell
Architects who fail to adopt bim risk being “Betamaxed out”, the government’s chief construction adviser Paul Morrell has warned.
Speaking at a recent bim round table event hosted by National Building Specification (NBS) at the RIBA, Morrell said that bim would be at the heart of the government’s five year plan for procurement due to be published this June.
Morrell first began to suggest that bim would become part of the public procurement process ahead of the publication of the Low Carbon Construction Report which recommended its use for major public projects worth more than £50 million.
However at the roundtable, Morrell said that the £50 million benchmark would “defeat the point” of pushing for bim adoption.
“To restrict it to big projects means it is only about major players and that rather defeats the point,” he said. “We’re looking at whether there’s a lower limit.. and I think that’s south of £5 million. It’s a lot, lot less than £50 million.”
Dismissing the idea of a bim race between architects and contractors, Morrell said: “If you think this is a race between institutions then you’re in the wrong sport.
“There is a huge gulf I think between those who get it and those who don’t. Probably the biggest misunderstanding is that some people think it is about software. They can buy a celophane wrapped thing and that’s bim. It’s more about cultural change than it is about software and I think that’s not understood.”
Morrell said that the government’s five year plan would take a gently-gently approach to introducing new requirements to ease businesses into the new model, starting with making the use of Excel mandatory. And he said he expected larger practices and businesses that we already au fait with bim to help support smaller businesses.
“If you say right you’re going to be working in 3d, fully collaborative bim for big bits of the supply chain that would be a political issue. Small businesses in small towns will go to thier local MP and say I can’t work for the government anymore because I haven’t got this bit of kit.
“We’ll work up slowly from nothing right the way through to fully collabroative. the expectation will be that the big players will support the smaller players in the supply chain. That’s what’s been happening in America.”
Robert Klaschka, director of Studio Klaschka, who also attended the round table, said that recent comments from Ruth Reed on bim being an opportunity for architects to take back control over the construction process had missed the point as bim should be about co-operation.
“If we continue to think like that a lot of architects are going to suffer,” he said.