What Has BIM Got to do with us?

BIM is fast becoming an industry standard and accepted norm for new building projects. Here, David Wigglesworth, Managing Director of newly formed UK Specification from ASSA ABLOY, demonstrates why it is so important for even manufacturers to take note.

Discussing his own journey to BIM, David highlights some of the key issues he has personally faced in ASSA ABLOY’s journey, as well as some of the decisions the global leader in door opening solutions has taken that will be proven when put into practice in the evolution of UK Specification.

BIM is by no means new news. It’s fair to say, if you’re only just discussing BIM then you’re already behind the curve, especially as the journey to creating BIM objects and a suitable offering for your customers and the market is a long one, not to mention a steep learning commitment.

BIM Journey
BIM is something I understood as early as 2011 in my prior role as Managing Director of ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions and is now integral to our success at UK Specification.

ASSA ABLOY Security Solutions made excellent progress to stay ahead not just in adopting and delivering on the principles of BIM, but also in understanding, developing and driving BIM strategy.

We were able to leverage and drive this strategy alongside showcasing our knowledge and understanding of environmental performance declarations and whole life costings to leverage market influences at leading industry events such as ecobuild, held in London.

Although we’ve learnt a lot along the way there are still many unanswered questions and unknown elements for producers of smaller components. For the most part this is going to be a case working alongside end users and adapting to the changes as BIM practices become more sophisticated and common practice across a variety of builds.

And there is no doubt BIM has taken us to many places. But with the mandate by the government that all government-funded projects should use BIM by 2016, now just a year away, overall it has certainly taken it from a theoretical concept developed in the 1970s to an everyday practice that will impact on almost all levels of our industry.

So, Do You Care about BIM?
The real question for us was did specifiers, architects, design led main contractors or property development companies care about BIM and architectural ironmongery and doorset specifications?

Admittedly, our first instinct was probably not, but when you consider the amount of doorsets that can be used in a building and the impact of, for example, the door width on a building’s overall dimensions, flow of people through a building and ultimate safe and security of those people, we soon began to see that if positioned correctly BIM did have a role.

If approached correctly in a way to help not hinder specifiers with too much detail, then BIM objects for architectural ironmongery and doorset specifications would indeed be beneficial.

Thus, early on we created a BIM task group and obtaining feedback from our customers and their clients the early decision was made that this was a specification solution driven project rather than a product led one.

We then decided to pursue the development of doorset objects before latterly extending this to design led architectural ironmongery and doorset specifications sets.

By providing doorsets as BIM objects we believe we are providing a more solution-based proposition that is useful on all building scales.

The initial nine BIM objects were developed and designed to offer a total package of both architectural ironmongery and doorset specifications and doors and each object is tailored for the most common applications and uses.

Demistifying BIM
More than this, the purpose of BIM is to create efficiencies in the development and construction of buildings, save time during the planning and build stage and reduce the cost of rectifying mistakes or unnecessary maintenance work. From the initial research we conducted we believe that supplying doorsets as BIM objects is inline with these objectives.

It creates an ‘off the shelf’ solution that has the correct architectural ironmongery and doorset specifications included, tailored to suit nine different applications, whilst supplying the information needed to be useful in an overall BIM development.

The next stage of the journey of these doorset objects was to find out how useful they are by establishing how are they used and the specific requirements of specifiers? We then rolled out 20 generic doorset objects, which we expect to have a much more select audience and again this will be another stage of the journey from which we can build and learn from.

This objective is something we are very proud to have not only achieved, but exceeded, with over twenty nine BIM doorset objects now available, designed to help architects and contractors who are under increasing pressure to use BIM building practices in all aspects of a building design.

Our BIM Future: My Summary
The RICS describes BIM as “the biggest cultural change in a generation”. Culture is a set of shared beliefs, values and practices. In the case of BIM, it represents not just a process or technological trend but a cultural change is caused by external forces i.e. governments and other groups.

As ASSA ABLOY takes the next step in its own evolutionary journey in the launch of the unprecedented UK Specification business division, BIM is undoubtedly integrally important to our success.

By overseeing the background to the launch, our proposition to the market is now very clear and our objective is to depict the specification market and define what it is all about.

Our mission is to act as design consultants in the context of arranging ironmongery schedules to work with the design and performance of a building in terms of security, operation and the intended footflow of traffic. And we know anything specified must be fit for purpose and meet the standards that are legally required.

Deep within this proposition, we know that everything starts from a design led approach. The added value we are looking to capture is whole life costings – in terms of durability and lifecycle of the product for the building and our driven involvement with BIM initiatives will be key to our success.

We also know we still have many more lessons to learn but are determined to stay ahead of the BIM knowledge curve to deliver exact requirements for architectural ironmongery and doorset specifications.

For more information on UK Specification, please visit www.assaabloy.co.uk or join the debate on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/assa-abloy-uk.