Managing Director, Chris Wynne urges clients to engage BIM Level 2 qualified contractors if they want to avoid unnecessary financial loss. Clients will lose out financially unless they demand evidence during the tendering process, that contractors are not only using BIM for modelling, but applying the full BIM level 2 process as well, says the managing director of Wales' only indigenous firm to have acquired full BIM Level 2 certification through the BRE.
A lingering lack of awareness about BIM overall within some client companies, means that they may not realise until it's too late, says Chris Wynne.
He said: "By appointing a contractor that only uses BIM for 3D modelling and not maximising the full benefits of the process including delivery of the full asset information model (AIM), they are seeing a small element of the potential benefits that the BIM process can deliver. The client is potentially missing out on the biggest benefits of BIM - significant cost savings on facilities management through the entire lifespan of the asset. At tendering stage, they should be seeking evidence that companies can deliver a BIM Level 2 compliant project with the correct outputs at handover stage."
Wynne Construction chose back in 2013 to become an early adopter and begin the journey to attainment of full BIM certification.
Now, the company, has just handed over its latest project: the £10m Ysgol Cybi primary school scheme comprising refurbishment of a Grade 2 listed derelict former school, plus new build extension in Holyhead, built utilising a BIM level 2 compliant process, in collaboration with the in-house design team at Anglesey Council.
Chris Wynne added: "We are also delivering a full suite of asset information embedded within the client's facilities management software to support the authority's asset operations and management. Not all contractors apply BIM properly, as a collaborative tool. It is necessary to deliver project and asset information, documentation and data electronically at design, construction and handover stages. We are delivering this on our Holyhead project to ensure full Level 2 compliance.
"In my opinion, many clients don't necessarily know you need to appoint a contractor that delivers BIM level 2. They are potentially losing out on all the benefits of this process."
His views were echoed by Ben Curtis, BRE Global BIM scheme manager. He said: "A lot of companies may claim in tenders that they are BIM level 2 ready, but there is still a misconception out there that BIM is just about using architectural software, when it is really about following a strict process.
Itís not just about having a software license; it's about collaboration, process and delivery. Top marks to Wynne Construction for leading on this."
And in the case of the Holyhead School scheme, client and contractor took the concept of collaboration to a new level: they worked together to train respective teams and install the digital resources to deliver a BIM Level 2 compliant asset.
Explained Gareth Thomas, architectural services manager at Anglesey Council: "This was the first design and build project we had had in many years. The authority wanted to make it a landmark scheme. We were aware that it has been mooted that BIM Level 2 would become a funding requirement for public sector work in Wales. Together with Wynne, we went ahead and delivered a scheme that is BIM level 2 compliant.
"Wynne's are now completing a fully digital handover. We'll have all the information to hand going forward. We have agreed asset data on key architectural elements, plus mechanical and electrical assets, along with certain external features. It will be so easy to capture the necessary data to maintain or change any element of the building in future. Maintenance resources will be greatly reduced. There is no reason to believe we won't save on FM running costs during the lifetime of this BIM Level 2 compliant asset."
He added: "While it still hasn't become a funding requirement yet by the Welsh Government, it's working out well for us. The authority saves money and we are ahead of the game for when it does become a requirement."
Of the benefits of applying the BIM process during earlier stages of the scheme, he said: "As designers, we could see immediate benefits. It changed the way we worked through the design process as the client. It speeded up the design and eliminated a number of on-site risks, errors and clash occurrences.
"Everything is in 3D constantly. It eliminates walls or steelwork being in the wrong place before you get on site, so in the long-term it reduces additional costs on site and programme delays."
"It's been a learning process for my team. We invested heavily in training so we now have a good understanding for future jobs. Wynne Construction took the lead as to what was required and what levels needed to be achieved. They set out the roles and responsibilities and their lead BIM manager, Andy Garner, carried out training for us. My team members also did separate external training."