BIM Success Starts at the End

Successful Building Information Modelling (BIM) must start with the end in mind, according to AE Smith National BIM Operations Manager Mark Jacobson

2 Sep 2014


If you leverage your information correctly, collate it, make it relevant, give it a purpose, you’ll get productivity gains out of it

Mark told delegates at the BIM-MEPaus Construction Innovation 2014 Forum in Melbourne: “Starting with the end in mind allows the construction team to build appropriate systems and appropriate channels of communication back up into the start of the process.”

His presentation was one of the highlights of the two-day forum, a major Asia-Pacific event focusing on Building Information Modelling.

With BIM still in its infancy in Australia, Mark is leading the way when it comes to educating project contributors on BIM as a construction strategy, and this presentation was a major leap forward in terms of bringing AE Smith’s BIM capability to a wider audience.

The BIM-MEPAUS Construction Innovation Forum brings together thought leaders and practitioners from across the world to discuss and share information at an industry level, while demonstrating how technological advances meet best practices applications on Australian and international projects.

Mark’s presentation focused on the “I” in BIM, and looked at data management and information gathering as the keys to a successful project.

“We need to get the right information to build the right picture,” Mark said, adding that information leads to knowledge.

He drew the audience in with an analogy involving the MCG and “birds” to signify Hawthorn’s win in the 2013 AFL Grand Final – without the full picture it would be impossible to draw any conclusion.

And an important part of getting the right information was having the correct data management system, including naming conventions, version control, a responsibility matrix and deliverables.

“If you leverage your information correctly, collate it, make it relevant, give it a purpose, you’ll get productivity gains out of it.

“If you’ve looked through your delivery chains you will find the way that BIM can actually provide those sorts of savings to you.”

“The information will actually be able to provide a way forward if the management and collection process has been carried out correctly.

“It gives you a return on investment, and that’s not just the client, it’s all the key stakeholders within the process. The major advantage comes from leveraging the processes that have occurred ahead of you, minimising data rework.

“So when you generate a data set, you need to ask yourself who’s going to use it and how is it going to benefit them? So, you can see how the process can improve from an architect to consultant ,and consultant to contractors ,and so on. It just needs to be on everyone’s mind.”

Using AE Smith case studies, including the Lady Cilento Childrens Hospital and Redcliffe Courthouse, Mark spoke about the benefits of prefabrication. He also spoke about available software and how it can be used to preserve data integrity.

BIM is much more than just a 3D model. It provides the integral junction between technology, process and knowledge, enabling cohesive and integrated design, construction and management of a building project across all contractors. AE Smith has been a long-term facilitator of BIM on significant construction projects, because, when used correctly BIM will improve productivity in all areas of the building sector.

With a track record in significantly improving productivity and implementing effective field technologies, Mark was the perfect choice to be appointed AE Smith National BIM Operations Manager.

He is currently undertaking development work in conjunction with Services Trades Queensland (STQ) to formulate a BIM enabling course that will provide site staff with the relevant skills to benefit from the advantages this construction methodology brings.