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14 May London and 28 May Milton Keynes - BIM

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Building Information Modelling - BIM

Maybe retitled "Better Information Management" ? David Churcher of Hitherwood Consulting gave a fascinating exposition of the drive to introduce Building Information Modelling - and how we should define it. 

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Vice-Chair Athina Papakosta welcomed Gary Mann of CIBSE HCNE in London and at Milton Keynes, Chair Chris Jones welcomed of James Sheehan of CIBSE East Midlands. This repeated seminar drew strong interest and reviewed the detailed standards. Signally, the data security standard is imminent. Both audiences, Pushkin House and Milton Keynes, observed that the potential of BIM Level 2 is as revolutionary as say 'farm mechanisation' - a broad concept, partly relying upon a collection of existing technologies, but potentially bringing sweeping changes when taken to its fullest extent - iBIM.

The Government requires fully-collaborative 3-D BIM for all projects by 2016. Can we meet the target ? Well importantly building services engineers could already be ahead in terms of the professional team. But the larger implications of BIM, we heard, are that everyone needs to appreciate that the information flow is two-way between design and operation of a building - redefined as a lifetime asset, with many sub-assets within it. Perhaps with iBIM, buildings, designs, project management and FM even become intellectual assets and we discussed the IP implications.

The government's aims for BIM are better and more cost-effective built assets, better project delivery and better estate and portfolio management - achieved through inter-operable data. The government seeks BIM for all projects too, from a small refurbishment to a brand new office facility, but it seems not in health or education which are devolved.

The last government set some ambitious aspirations in terms of cost and time reduction, and we reviewed the skills and career directions building services engineers (in design, project and FM) should be seeking to make sure they are equipped for that streamlined possible future.