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BIM Academy students to help contractors

The launch of a new building information modelling training academy has been hailed as a ‘historic moment’ for the industry.

Chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association and incoming Strategic Forum for Construction chairman Lord O’Neill said the new BIM Academy launched by Northumbria University and Ryder Architecture was coming at a crucial time for the industry.

He said: “To launch the academy at this time is exactly the right moment for the industry – this is a fantastic institution being started at exactly the right time.”

The academy will train students and allow them to develop their experience by working with contractors and architects to provide BIM experience throughout the industry.

Among the companies to have already implemented BIM with its supply chain is Asda, whose head of model development James Brown told an audience of industry representatives that the future held enormous possibilities through greater working use of BIM.

“We are getting information delivered a lot earlier in the building process as well as early clash detection and reduction in fees,” he said.

“Future opportunities will include cost assessment where you can use early information to drive down costs and in facilities management where the biggest benefits will be and which is an area that is largely untapped.”

The government has said it will mandate the use of BIM across public sector procurement within five years and an industry working group this week delivered recommendations that BIM be used as a differentiator in pre-qualification stage for government procurement.

Social housing firm Cyntra’s managing director Peter Woolliscroft said: “We do some fantastic things in public procurement but have never taken a serious role in collecting data and using it to inform our investment strategy going forward.

“We need to use new standards for new buildings but also to look after what we have got; it’s all about (existing buildings) because money is being cut.”

Specialist Engineering Contractors Group chief executive Rudi Klein said: “There will be suppliers and industry members who are going to be worried. If government says BIM has to be used they will be saying how am I going to catch up and this academy’s role will be to help make people less concerned.”

For further details on the BIM Academy see here.

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