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BIM conference: Time for industry to unlock potential

Steve Trevenar

By Donna Kelly

30 July 2013 — Conference: BIM is bringing a lot of workload forward, says Steve Trevenar, head of business development and strategy, healthcare and scientific research with Lend Lease.

That’s good, he says, but it also brings challenges for issues like procurement.

“My observation is that BIM is bringing lots of decisions forward which is challenging what is happening in procurement,” he told the Air-Conditioning and Mechanical Constractors’ Association BIM-MEP AUS Construction Innovation Forum last week.

“We need to maximise what we can and understand the shift.

“The opportunity is to get in there, get the right people, bring the plan together. We have to think about how do we engage people and use innovation at the right time.”

Mr Trevenar, who has been in the construction industry for over 21 years, 19 of them with Lend Lease, said “there are 3D models and there are 3D models” but whatever they were, the need was there to enter a project and understand how they could be used to advantage.

“For us at Lend Lease, when we wrote out our business plan about what we were doing with BIM, our original thoughts were just focused on high quality, robust 3D models so we could start to leverage what we were getting.

“(But) we’re getting better models all the time, with diversity across projects, but you can see that the benefit will come.

“To plan for 3D success, and if you don’t plan for what you want when you start the job you won’t get what you want, or you’ll get lip service of window dressing, or Hollywood BIM [all style and no substance], (then) clients and contractors need to set clear objectives about what they are doing, set the rules, get the right people, the right skills, right time.”

Mr Trevenar said it was time industry found a way to unlock the potential of the BIM flow through.

Talking BIM – Steve Trevenar

For example, he said Lend Lease had explored “numerous prefabricated options for ensuites and not one manufacturer produced in the same way as another.

“We are trying to understand how we can all come together and move onto the next step.

“We all have find a better way to do it.”

Mr Trevenar said he was a BIM realist.

“I am really trying to figure out how do we communicate what we want to do with our clients and take that forward.

“Clients are increasingly asking for BIM and they are often blown away by 3D and they think that’s BIM.

“Then they are going ‘we really want some BIM’ and contact us to deliver it.

“Unfortunately, with some BIM protocols and BIM structures, the way the models are being constructed often are untranslatable into anything we can use with too much logic or sense.”

But that was no-one’s fault, he said. Everyone was doing their best with what they had.

Mr Trevenar said most consultants had ditched paper in favour of 3D – with a few packages now available.

“We are starting to see savings generating through some of the 3D processes (and) we also see when we come up with projects the consultants sometimes looking for leadership and guidance. They are trying to push the boundaries to get greater benefits from BIM.”

Mr Trevenar said there was “a lot of BIM wash in the BIM world”.

He said he had three BIM terms – BIM like, BIM enabled and BIM planned.

The first, BIM like, was for those taking on 3D models but most not really being inspired robust 3D models that could be translated into something real.

BIM enabled was about design teams coming together, receiving more guidance, generating more robust 3D models. It was the next level of benefit with more site coordination, smoother documentation and a reduction on sub contractors having to rework plans.

“BIM planned is really how you plan to deliver this building and then designing it the way you are going to put it together.

“People have to work together to make it successful.”

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