Ireland's only dedicated building services engineering journal
Ireland's only dedicated building services engineering journal

CITA BIM Gathering for innovation and collaboration in a digital Ireland

David Philp, Head of BIM at the UK BIM Task Group

David and the Task Group team have been regular visitors to Ireland supporting the CITA BIM initiatives over the past 12 months. However, this forum – with over 300 delegates over two days – was undoubtedly the biggest and most exciting yet.

Following a supportive opening address from Brian Hayes TD, Minister of State for Public Service Reform and the Office of Public Works, David gave a keynote presentation highlighting the half-time progress on the central UK BIM programme and the potential prize for Ireland through a wholesector approach to BIM adoption and sector modernisation through collaborative digital technologies.

David illustrated how the BIM Task Group is supporting the UK Government’s Level 2 BIM mandate by 2016, a key part of the overall UK Government Construction Strategy. Through this reform and other strategy interventions the BIM Task Group is helping UK Government construction become more efficient, collaborative and innovative, aiming to achieve sustainable savings to reinvest in new projects to achieve growth.

There are now over 20 central UK Government early-adopter projects in the pipeline with the Departments covering buildings and infrastructure; new, and refurbishment jobs; in addition they range from small works under £5 million to large £100 million plus. This is a demonstration of fantastic progress and an appetite from the UK Government Departments to adopt BIM into standard procurement measures and operations.

It also tells us the UK is right on track with the plan for getting BIM Level 2 production-ready, and positions the UK Departments perfectly for increasing the roll out of BIM across its  projects, roles and making it business as usual.

David also advocated how BIM was good not just for Government, but also for the supply chain (better efficiency); the construction economy (growth and exporting new skills); and the image of the construction sector for future generations.

On the second day David led a workshop supported by Laura Handler, Director of VDC in Tocci Building Companies in the US. David and Laura presented the benefits of BIM to a selection of senior people from both the public and private sector in the Republic of Ireland. There was a positive and lively debate about the opportunities and these centered on the following:

— Better for less;

— Improved

— Reduced risk;

— Improved efficiency;

— Certainty of outcome.

Overall, the gathering went a long way in showcasing Ireland’s professional skillset regarding innovative collaborative working and the use of digital technologies such as BIM within the AEC landscape. The UK BIM Task Group looks forward to continuing the friendship with its colleagues in Ireland, sharing its learning, collaborating and generally supporting Ireland’s digital built agenda.

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