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Steel construction ready for BIM

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Andrew Bellerby

Tekla Managing Director Andrew Bellerby

Structural steelwork is well placed to rise to the challenges of the government’s drive towards using Business Information Modelling on all its construction projects by 2016, the BCSA National Meeting heard (see page 28).

Tekla Managing Director Andrew Bellerby, a member of the Government Working Group on BIM, said that BIM is already in use and steelwork contractors were already taking part on BIM led collaborations on projects.

BIM is not just 3D modelling or just clash checking or prevention, he said, but was a process. He defined BIM as,  in its simplest form, effective communication and collaboration of geometry and information through the design, construction and operation of a building in collaborative and open workflows and processes.

Mr Bellerby said BIM is an opportunity for steelwork construction to lead the field as it already has all the experience of building models.

Software developer CSC’s Business Development Manager Kevin Lea said structural engineers have a pivotal role in the BIM process. Most engineering firms already have all the software they need but are not using it effectively. For example, Fastrak is a good design tool that has BIM capability and Tekla provides a good detailing tool that has BIM capability, but many did not realise this.

The success of BIM depended on software solutions being able to communicate with each other and on a full appreciation of internal and external BIM processes.

National Meeting Chairman Ian Hoppe said some questions had been answered by the presentations but questions remained about how BIM was going to be implemented. He said the steel construction sector would continue to support the government’s drive towards greater efficiency.

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