the BIM wave is here

I first attended a CPD session on BIM in New Zealand in 2009. BIM was a “tidal wave” that was going to change the industry. Ironically, the term ‘BIM wash’ was the overriding preclusion and apathy from non-designers was the only wave to surf. Thankfully things have changed and now it’s time for the Quantity Surveyors to ‘pop up’ on their boards before they are wiped out.


Clients are growing increasingly attuned to the benefits of a coordinated data asset. On their way to this holy grail of facilities management best practice, clients want to crystallise their aspirations through a design process. Having spent some time with an Architect navigating a Revit model in VR, surely this is the best way?


The supply chain appear inconsistent; tech-savvy main contractors recognise the benefits of BIM, driving the design process and supporting the establishment of a coordinated model (when they are engaged early). Subcontractors and suppliers have either wholesale bought into BIM and invested in it’s roll out or they simply don’t see what all the fuss is about. Surely BIM only works when everyone’s on the water?

Then it comes to the QS’s…..they’ve spent years waxing their boards, but what’s in it for them? The real benefit became blindingly obvious on a recent project; the central Revit model, coordinated weekly, sat in all it’s glory on the shared project portal. I needed to quantify the external envelope of our proposed building to update the cost plan. However, only three of four elevations had been drawn in 2D, parapets oversailed the first floor cladding and my list of assumptions grew every time the caffeine kicked in with a fresh look. So, the choice was clear….use the Revit model or wait for the elevations? The former prevailed.

I recognise that many QS readers stand proudly atop their boards, riding the crest of the BIM wave; working their way through the levels of maturity, capable of working with Revit models, extrapolating quants, feeding in to IFC databases and so on, but are they in the majority? I suspect not.

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