Andy Stolworthy

Lessons learned as an early adopter of BIM

  • 14 Apr 2016

GUEST BLOG: Andy Stolworthy, BIM Manager for ASSA ABLOY UK Specification, discusses how their early experience of developing BIM objects taught them an important lesson in data. 

BIM is far from a new concept. In fact, its origins can be traced back to 1962 whilst its use along with CAD software has been prevalent in the construction industry for over 20 years. 

The introduction of the Government Soft Landings and Construction 2025 strategy, which saw BIM level 2 become mandatory on all public funded projects this month, changed things at every level of the construction industry. And whilst the degree of success to which it has penetrated the sector is debateable there is no doubt that is has become a mainstream requirement. 

When we initially created the UK Specification division, we were clear that a value add service was key to winning specifications above and beyond our product capability, and BIM was very much integral to this. From the early days we had a desire to play a part in making BIM work for us and our clients. 

So, whilst we weren’t pioneers of the BIM movement, we were an early adopter as a manufacturer and this came with a very steep learning curve. 

Throughout the process (from understanding the concept to making it a reality) our view of BIM changed. The more we understood and spoke to architects and design-led contractors the more we realised that BIM wasn’t just about creating objects that fit into a certain software or work within a larger model but it’s about the quality of the data you provide. 

This is when our journey took a turn and we realised that the true goal for us and the real benefit for our clients was about adding value not meeting a required standard or being able to say “we’ve got BIM objects.”

To that end we started thinking about the data clients needed with a doorset and how we delivered that too them. Yes, BIM is still important but so are whole life costings, sustainability data and creating a single source of supply across multiple packages.  

First and foremost architects and designers need data from manufacturers but how and when this data is delivered will vary and will continue to evolve. BIM has been highlighted as an effective way of communicating this data and one we will continue to use and develop. However, to truly add value and improve our service we believe it must be used alongside other methods of communicating important and valuable data.

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