Constructing Excellence is set to provide tier one contractors and SMEs in their supply chains with support to implement BIM after it was awarded European funding.
The £140,000 sum has been allocated by the Institute for Sustainability’s FLASH programme, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Constructing Excellence has already held talks with Mace, Laing O’Rourke and Willmott Dixon about getting involved.
The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills has yet to reveal how it will spend the millions of pounds it will set aside to support BIM take-up, as revealed by CN last month.
The ERDF funding will go towards providing 12 hours of support for companies on tier one contractors’ supply chains.
Constructing Excellence director Jon de Souza said: “We are working with a number of tier one contractors who are realising they need to support their supply chain partners to understand why BIM is important and the sustainability benefits that can be derived from using it.”
The support will also focus on demonstrating why the Level 2 BIM required by the government does not demand changes in contract terms or insurance.
Constructing Excellence hopes to deliver support to around 200 SMEs through the programme.
Mr de Souza said: “There is a real mix of knowledge out there at the moment. A number of companies recognise that this is a huge opportunity but a lot know they need to do something and don’t know where to start.”
The news comes just weeks after the Construction Industry Council’s chief executive Graham Watts told CN that the group, working with CITB-ConstructionSkills, had failed to secure funding for BIM training from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.
Mr Watts said: “We are working hard on BIM and our bid was one of those that didn’t get through so the groundwork is not really being prepared [for the government mandating BIM by 2016].
“I’m not suggesting we are not going to be able to cater for it, but there will inevitably be skills shortages which will end up driving prices up.”