The government will start procurement of a new-build BIM trial project this month as it gets set to trial four projects through the Ministry of Justice.
Speaking at the RICS BIM conference 2012 this morning, chairman of the government’s BIM working group, Mark Bew, said that four projects would be rolled out.
He revealed that of the four, a new build project for a 180-cell extension at Cookham Wood prison in Kent will go to tender on February 28.
The remaining projects are for refurbishment at Chelmsford Prison and applying BIM to existing projects at the £150m Oakwood Featherstone Prison being built by Kier and the £5m Aberystwyth Law Court.
Mr Bew added that the government wanted to get a trial civils project underway by the time of the budget next month.
He added: “We are getting there but we wanted to get some projects going so that we have good case studies coming through – but road and rail is high on the agenda.
“We are just getting to a position where we will start to learn whether our thoughts [on BIM] were right as [the trial projects] enter the supply chain.”
In response to a question about implementation of BIM outside the UK, chief construction adviser Paul Morrell said the government strategy was important in that it wasn’t mandating aspects of BIM that would rule suppliers out of working in foreign countries.
He added: “There is no point in being a world leader in something no-one else will use but we should be leading implementation.
“In the US they can’t get the government departments to talk to each other; this means there are 12 departments who are all convinced that their way is the best. But if you encourage conversion it doesn’t lead us to a situation where you can’t operate around the world.”