Building efficiency can only improve once designers, builders and installers come together from the start and engage in new technologies and processes.
This was the main finding at this year’s BSRIA briefing, which saw the subject of Building Integration Modelling (BIM) explored by key industry figures.
BSRIA chairman Julia Evans stated: “Stronger links with clients will also become necessary in order to enable a more cohesive project. This will allow all parties to pull in the same direction for the greater good. Ms Evans also admitted that there had previously been a lack of consideration when pooling together different elements. “Sometimes we have committed resources in the past, but without really knowing why.”
This approach was also backed by Munish Datta, head of Plan A and facilities management at Marks and Spencer, who said: “It isn’t just about carbon in buildings – there should be a holistic approach to the whole issue of building efficiency if you want to make real gains across the board.”
Mr Datta also warned that the process of improving buildings and their efficiency will only work if everyone is brought on board, no matter how small their size or role. “We have to be reassured they buy into our vision.”
Terry Stocks, director for Level 2 BIM HM Government BIM task group and head of project delivery at the Ministry of Justice, emphasised that the client needs to start pulling the industry into the next stage of BIM and then allow the industry to push the rest of the way.
Concluding, Mr Stocks said: “For BIM to be successful across the whole industry then we need to see better working relationships, tenderers and supply chain need to work together to create a common data environment they can both learn from.”
However, while employing new technologies may bring efficiency gains, a reliance on traditional methods may bring old problems. Head of BSRIA’s Sustainable Construction Group Ian Orme said: There is a wealth of new technologies going into buildings which, as an industry, we are trying to implement. However, we should be developing new processes alongside to close the gap.”
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