Last edited 04 Jan 2021

ACO welcomes UK BIM Alliance

ACO Water Management has pledged its support to the UK BIM Alliance, but has challenged the construction industry to ‘think beyond the walls’.

The UK BIM Alliance was officially launched in October 2016 year at the ICE BIM Conference and at Digital Construction week, both of which were attended by ACO, and provide a common and clear point of reference for companies working in the built environment, with the overall aim of helping companies of all sizes begin their BIM journeys.

The purpose of the BIM Alliance is to lead the industry-wide drive for awareness, education and adoption of BIM Level 2 and to promote its benefits to the construction sector. However, ACO has concerns that the construction industry’s BIM thinking stops with the building fabric.

Water management external drainage products, in particular, suffer from BIM usage stopping at the building’s walls,” says Gary Morton, Head of Business Development at ACO. “If we are to develop a digital system that allows an efficient interaction with the lifecycle of the infrastructure, after it is installed, which is a vital component of BIM, then we need to extend our thinking beyond the building fabric and introduce BIM into all aspects of construction, including the surrounding landscape.”

He continued: “BIM Level 2 is hugely important and, as the first drainage company in the UK to provide BIM data, we recognise that it is vital to be part of the digitisation of the industry and to support its implementation throughout the entire supply chain. Drainage plays a vital role as the bridge between the built and the natural environment.”

Mr Morton also believes that more must be done to help smaller manufacturers lower down the construction supply chain. “The higher reaches of the construction supply chain have a good idea of what being a government client entails, but this is not the case further down. Tiers one and two understand what is required, but this is not the case across the entire supply chain. Smaller subcontractors are really struggling to get access to the levels of information required and remain concerned at the cost of getting up-to-speed with BIM."

Official statistics support Mr Morton’s concerns with figures from the National BIM Report 2016 demonstrating that a minority (37%) use models from the start of a project to the very end, which suggests that, for most, BIM is restricted to the design stages. The report also identifies that only 30% produce a model that is software independent and just 16% pass on a model to those responsible for the management of a building.

Mr Morton concluded: “ACO welcomes the UK BIM Alliance initiative. We pledge our full support to, and will be in attendance at the launch at Digital Construction Week, as well as the ICE BIM conference before, to discuss the important issues in the Construction Industry.”

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