BRE’s BIM expert Paul Oakley interviews Erol Erturan, Managing Director and Balasz Trojak, BIM Manager from Leeds based engineering consultancy ADEPT about its recently awarded BRE Global BIM Business Systems Certification which demonstrates a company’s compliance with the requirements of BIM Level 2 and the benefits that BIM brings to ADEPT, its clients and the supply chain.
1. How long have you been using BIM in your projects and what have been the main challenges so far?
Adept started using Revit & Civil 3D in 2008. We didn’t know the BIM acronym then, it was just 3D modelling. At first it was a leap of faith; there were very few people using this technology and we felt this could provide a distinct advantage to the fledgling company. There were challenges aplenty with a basic help system and small community of users to lend a hand, we learnt “on the job”. Despite this we felt we were onto something, something big. Over the years as BIM gathered momentum our market has confirmed we were right to persevere.
Learning to use the software well does require dedication and effort, but by all means this is achievable. Our biggest challenge so far has been engaging our design teams in BIM collaboration. You can’t do BIM on your own. Unfortunately over 90% of our design partners are still not using the process not just making the project harder to deliver, but also limiting our chance to learn and grow.
One of the first projects we designed using BIM was a Sea Palace for a dignitary in Abu Dhabi. The architect was based in Singapore, the contractor in UAE, the steel fabricator in Turkey making this a truly global and successful project.
Since 2013 we took the decision to design all projects in using BIM software and processes regardless of size. Adept are pioneers in their field and so initial challenges were in the general lack of BIM use in the industry so a lot of our BIM was done in silo. We were still offering the benefits of BIM to our customers which is our primary aim, but ultimately full collaboration with the entire design team is our goal.
2. BIM Level 2 is government-driven, but are you embracing BIM as a business opportunity?
Definitely. We have embraced BIM since our beginnings in 2008, before any Government legislation. We saw the potential of BIM and the efficiencies it brought to our projects, meaning we could deliver faster results, better quality and value to our customers.
BIM has provided significant savings to our customers where costly clashes have been identified pre-construction and avoided, preventing any remedial action.
We recognise that technology is but the enabler to improved design and construction processes and believe the true success of BIM relies on people ready and willing to embrace change.
3. Why have you sought BIM certification?
As a forward thinking business, Adept seek to utilise the latest technology and processes and BIM fits this aim very well and allows us to differentiate ourselves from the competition. We are committed to the BIM agenda. As an SME consulting engineering practice, seeking BRE Global certification made us focus on achieving recognition in the industry through independent confirmation of our competence, enabling us to announce our achievements in this field, and profile our expertise.
As with all bench-marking, there must be reason to advance the industry. We understand the importance of true collaboration and are always looking to expand our links with other like-minded professionals to contribute to the agenda.
4. What has BRE Global certificated? (summary of what the scheme looks at)
We are now BRE Global BIM Level 2 certificated business and therefore recognised as successfully being able to implement and utilise advanced 3D modelling tools in strict compliance with the Government’s strategy, meeting the requirements of PAS1192-2:2013 and section 4.2 table 8 of the PAS 91:2013 prequalification questionnaire document which covers BIM capabilities.
We can develop or contribute to BIM Execution Plans, Master Information Delivery Plans, Level of Detail/Definition Matrixes and can utilise any of the main Common Data Environments.
5. What was the approach to certification and how did you find the process?
Following attendance of the BRE BIM AP and BIM PIM and TIM training by one of our directors we decided to apply for the certification. The BRE approach is firmly structured around processes defined in BS1192 and PAS1192 series. The process was well structured and following detailed development of our company compliance documentation we submitted our application and then received feedback from BRE Global. An internal update of our company documentation was followed by the auditors visit. This was a hands on assessment of our capabilities on site. To prepare for the assessment we carried out a number of internal workshops and training sessions. We found the approach very useful and it allowed us to review and document a number of processes internally. We’ve also learnt a few things about BIM we realised we didn’t know!
6. In what way was the process especially valuable, for example, what did you learn from it?
The process was very valuable as it allowed our team to work together in workshops and internal training sessions and discuss and agree best practice. We believe the process allowed us a thorough understanding of the requirements of BS1192: Part 1:1997 and PAS1192: Part 2: 2013. The process also allowed us to reflect on our existing procedures and discover numerous improvements offered by the BIM mind set.
7. Has the certification process helped with integrating BIM into your business?
We have already integrated BIM into our everyday work life, using it on all projects. Our clients receive an accurate model of our design whether they ask for it or not!
8. What other benefits do you see from being certified?
Our staff have a sense of pride and achievement. We feel the certification supports the Adept brand and mission statement to remain at the forefront of leading technology as a proactive and dynamic engineering practice. One of the most obvious results was when we modelled and detailed approx. 800 tonnes of rebar without any site issues for a £55M project (60,000sqm distribution centre plus 8500sqm office).
Our younger staff and apprentices have confidence that Adept are fully on board with BIM which makes them excited to work with us and gives them opportunities to develop new skills and progress in their career.
The business can now offer a validated opinion to our design partners to engage a project in the BIM process and hopefully work in full Level 2 workflows in the near future.
9. How have your existing clients responded to your certification and do you see it as an important aspect of winning new work?
The BRE Global certification sets Adept apart from other SME civil and structural consulting engineers and during the tender process allows us to excel in any PQQ questions regarding our use of BIM and the benefits we can offer customers. We encourage our clients to “contract us in” as their consulting engineers and collaborating as a partnership – rather than contracting the job out. We feel we can better inform our clients and other design team members on the use and benefits of BIM in this way and create a more harmonious construction team.
If we want true collaborative BIM processes that are best for the client’s needs, not only do all engaged need to understand the agenda up to the Level 2, but we need to go beyond this or we will continue to see ‘silo’ BIM, the isolation of SMEs and slow innovation instead of educating the client.
10. Would you recommend Certification through BRE Global?
Yes. It’s not as difficult as some people imagine. If you have a technology background and are not averse to small changes to the business practice, the certification will open new avenues.
Adept provides a full range of civil and structural engineering solutions including surveys and reports, feasibility advice for new schemes, BIM services, geo-environmental studies, site investigations, conceptual and detailed drawings, flood-risk and drainage assessments as well as highway design.
The company works on all types of projects including commercial, warehousing, retail, ecclesiastical, educational, healthcare, food processing and residential schemes.
The company was established in 2007 and now employs a team of 30 at its offices in Leeds Manchester and London.
For further information visit www.adeptcsce.com
BRE BIM Business Systems Certification: Helping you prove to your clients that you have the capability to deliver the Government’s BIM Level 2 requirements
The BRE BIM Level 2 Business Systems Certification scheme assesses a business, relating to the BIM policy and capability as defined within PAS 1192-2:2013 and PAS 91 as well as assessing the ability of the business to meet the requirements of an employer to carry out a BIM capability assessment.
The scheme has been designed to enable certificated businesses to demonstrate compliance with the PAS91-2013 section 4.2 so that as a BIM Certificated company you will not have to provide evidence of competence each time you undertake a tender.
The benefit of the scheme means that as well as speeding up the tendering process, certification saves businesses the time and costs involved in responding to ever-varying tender questions, and for those issuing tenders, having a BRE BIM-certified business in the running removes the need to check replies or employ someone to do it for them.