In London this week, Opentree is sponsoring an award for effective collaboration. We are backing the award for Best BIM Project for Subcontractor Engagement at the 2017 BIM4SMEs Awards event aboard HMS Belfast, close to Tower Bridge.
We are pleased to be promoting a category that reflects the need for improved collaboration and timely information-sharing in construction project delivery.
Traditionally, construction has often been somewhat adversarial, but we believe collaboration should be the norm. It is about co-creation. It happens when two or more organisations – a designer and a specialist contractor, for example – combine their different knowledge, expertise and other resources to develop something that could not have been delivered individually. And over the past 10-15 years, an integrated IT approach (to quote Sir John Egan) has been a key step towards such collaborative working.
Timely and compliant collaboration
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is supporting new ways of collaboratively delivering built assets, and underlining the importance of timely exchange of design information. As well as mandating ‘Level 2’ BIM for its projects, the UK government is testing new models of procurement designed to reduce commercial risks. It wants clients to engage with their supply chains using principles of Early Contractor Involvement and high levels of supply chain integration. This is where information technology such as Opentree’s Cabinet can help.
Cabinet streamlines the issue of approved information from behind the designer’s firewall into a shared common data environment ready for use in the project’s construction by other businesses. And by ensuring process compliance (with BS1192:2, for example), it helps promote trust in the shared content, so that contractors concentrate on adding value rather than checking or even recreating design information.
Awards programmes such as BIM4SMEs help the industry identify where businesses haven’t just tinkered with the technology, but have also developed their inter-company collaborative competencies.
(Image source: Dmitry A. Mottl – Wikipedia)