Think Smarter: ThinkBIM

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is fast becoming integral to the design and construction of buildings in the UK and Europe, so the ThinkBIM Spring conference was a great opportunity for the industry to explore what good BIM looks like, the success of the initiative in the UK to date, and the plans for BIM beyond level 2. ThinkBIM is in its fifth year and with presentations, round table discussions, debates and networking, the conference was an event not to be missed.

I was lucky enough to participate in a round table seminar where I discussed BIM with consultants, architects, and contractors, to understand their views on the challenges and rewards of its implementation. So how does the industry view BIM in its current format?

A general view of BIM
Across the industry, BIM is viewed as both a concern and an opportunity, depending on an individual’s exposure to it. It was agreed in our round table that as manufacturers, we have work to do in order to change the perception of BIM by re-educating experienced engineers and training new ones. Not only that, but we have a duty to ensure our data is transferred into the model correctly and is available to those who need it. To support this, at Bosch, we offer a free CIBSE approved CPD on the fundamentals of BIM that provides an overview of BIM and wider issues, and considers the future of design and building. The CPD is a perfect complement to a CHP CPD that we can offer at the same time.

The information available
Despite many early successes, there is still some debate over whether manufacturers are providing enough information in their BIM files, the availability of this information, and the way it is presented. Data is essential to BIM and the right level of detail is needed at each stage, for example design information to designers, installation criteria to contractors, and operating information to building managers. All of our BIM files can be downloaded via our website or from BIMstore – making key details on our products accessible to those who need them.

We also discussed how data provided by manufacturers should be delivered in a standardised format to allow consistency across the industry so that differences can be compared accurately. Real time data should be provided to improve the running of a building and help architects and consultants to design future buildings.

The conference was a great success and showed how, as an industry, we have taken the first steps into what could be a true revolution in the way we work and transfer information. I’m looking forward to ThinkBIM’s events throughout the year, which act as a great way to deliberate over the initiative’s development across the UK and Europe.

Shaun Garrod, Business Development Manager at Bosch Commercial and Industrial