BIM for Contractors and Sub-Contractors

Main Contractors now have increased visibility of a project a lot earlier in the process via digital 3D models. This provides richer information and opens digital processes such as quantity take off and construction sequencing which were never possible in the past. But as BIM requirements become more defined it also places new responsibilities on contractors.

Receiving a full data-rich model in accordance with the project BIM requirements helps contractors minimise error from the tendering and estimating stage through to as-constructed handover data. It also brings certain responsibilities for the main contractor: the reliance on the skills of their sub-contractors to help them deliver the information requirements on a project becomes a key piece to the overall delivery. The supply chain needs to be assessed to ensure participants are BIM-compliant and able to deliver as required, allowing the main contractor to meet the BIM requirements.

The ideal working model: cost certainty

Tender packs in the days before BIM did not offer a complete and detailed picture, and relied heavily on the skills of the quantity surveyor and main contractor bid team to understand what has been suggested in the design phase. This reliance was mainly down to the information being provided mostly in the form of 2D drawings and floor plans. With a 3D model it doesn’t take away the need of a QS but BIM will certainly speed up the process and give the main contractor much more confidence in the materials required to build the project, which then supports more accurate pricing.

Excitech can deliver processes that will utilise the model elements and bring this out of the model in a simple spreadsheet format for you to link to the estimating software.

We help you reduce risk and waste by supporting you in better coordination and collaboration processes which will help to anticipate and solve problems in a virtual environment rather than on site. We can also assist contractors and sub-contractors with training on the processes and technology that BIM requires, and how to deliver better structured information.

Information is now an important focus in the delivery of a BIM project, so traditional O&Ms are being replaced by electronic O&Ms linked to the model assets, and additional information is being collated by the contractor to meet the client requirements. This can be in the form of COBie or to meet the client requirements as defined in the EIR which will ultimately link to the clients CAFM system to manage and maintain the building during its lifecycle.

Getting more from sub-contractors

It is important for contractors to be able to participate in the BIM community due not only to government mandates but also to the intrinsic efficiencies that owner /occupiers now know they can expect from construction to handover process with the data rich models and intelligent links to handover data.

We help you embrace BIM right through to sub-contractor work packages and the information that is now in the model and the electronic Operations and Maintenance manual. From the colour and batch number of paint, through to the warranty details of maintainable assets, everything can now be digitally captured to hand over to the Facilities Management team on completion, or to be used during the soft landing period.

Excitech realise that BIM cannot mean the same to all parties on a project and the approach is clear when we start to look at the sub-contractor trades. These can easily be segregated into three categories to ensure that BIM education and clarification of requirements is passed through the whole supply chain effectively:

  1. Trade 1 - Trades such as bricklaying, plastering, decorating, tiling
  2. Trade 2 - Suppliers such as door and window manufacturers; companies who need more than just data, but need to provide 3D model elements that they can put into the model to give the contractor all the information the client needs on completion
  3. Trade 3 - Architects, building services sub-contractors, who need to be engaged in the BIM coordination and collaboration process.

For more on Excitech services for contractors and sub-contractors click here