Rider Levett Bucknall

Rider Levett Bucknall shares their experience in adopting BIM tools for quantity surveying.

1. Q: Could you share what your company’s journey in BIM implementation has been like?
A: We formed a dedicated BIM workgroup to research and develop our BIM competencies and capabilities, develop training material, and conduct BIM workshops for our staff.BIM helps to complement or augment our practice, depending on the project requirements and the level of sophistication and quality of models. BIM enables us to better visualise designs efficiently. We also use BIM to carry out rapid bulk checking, ensuring accurate measurements and estimates.

With parameters in either the native or non-editable models, we create bidirectional links which will link the BIM families/elements to quantity surveying rule-sets (including descriptions and rates). This allows us to generate Bills of Quantities and extract information the right way.

2. Q: When did it begin and why did you decide to start?
Rider Levett Bucknall
A: We decided to implement BIM early as we believe that BIM will be a game changing tool for the industry.

3. Q: What were some of the challenges you faced at first? How did your company overcome these challenges?
A: Initially, we received models of varying quality and had to spend a lot of time auditing and organising the information. Another challenge faced was to convince our experienced staff to adopt BIM. To overcome this, we came up with a structured training program.

4. Q: How has implementing BIM changed the way things are being done in your company?
A: BIM enables us to explore different workflows and gain expanded skill-sets to complete tasks in a more efficient manner.

5. Q: What advice would you have for companies who want to go down this path?
A:  Perseverance is important in order to overcome the steep learning curve in the initial stages. Our practice can be dynamic, hectic and fast-paced, but we have to invest in people and the suitable technologies in order to reap the benefits.

6. Q: What are the future plans for BIM in your company?
A: We plan to expand the core skill-sets of our current staff and to impart BIM knowledge and experience to new staff. We also plan to pilot test some of our in-house developed innovations on live projects to improve productivity, as part of our iterative development and improvement workflow.

7. Q: What trends do you envisage for the construction industry in the next few years in terms of BIM usage for quantity surveying?
A: BIM is increasingly becoming a necessity instead of an enhancement in the current project delivery process, especially for complex buildings and innovative designs. The next step is to enhance multi-disciplinary collaboration and explore collaborative workflows between the various professional disciplines.

Source: Build Smart Feb 2015 Issue 26