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Paul Oakley, BIM Director at BRE caught up with Mark Costello, Director at RPS in Ireland about the company’s recently awarded BRE Global BIM Business Systems Certification which demonstrates a company’s compliance with the requirements of BIM Level 2. He explains how BIM is making a positive impact on their internal processes as well as winning new business.

1. How long have you been using BIM in your projects and what have been the main challenges so far?

RPS introduced “Early BIM” into our working systems in 2007, and limited advancements were made. RPS had delivered projects where BIM had not been part of the design process, commonly known as “Lonely BIM” and this process was used to produce 3D visuals and walk-throughs to assist clients at an early stage. We identified the need to deliver projects where BIM would be an integral part of the design process. This is known as “Collaborative BIM” (Level 2).

In response to changes within the Construction Industry, RPS recognised the need to up-skill staff in the area of Building Information Modelling (BIM). This was a significant challenge for RPS due to the large number of staff, the time commitment involved and the high level skills required to work on projects in a level 2 BIM environment.

RPS sought out the required training and when it was not available, set out to develop a suitable course with a reputable institution – the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), with the required Level 8 on the NFQ accreditation, and relevant modules to support existing and future BIM projects. In partnership with GMIT, we developed an award winning Higher Diploma in Engineering in BIM and together with the BRE Global BIM Level 2 Business Systems Certification scheme RPS have the systems and expertise to make us market leaders in the delivery of projects in a Level 2 BIM environment.

2. BIM Level 2 is government-driven, but are you embracing BIM as a business opportunity?

Opportunities for RPS (Ireland) are greater in the UK and Europe at present. One of the main drivers for a significant step change, and which provided an added focus for our training needs identification was the publication in 2011 of the document titled “Government Construction Strategy” by the British Cabinet – the development of standards enabling all members of the supply chain to work collaboratively through BIM – Fully collaborative 3D BIM by 2016.

The significance of BIM is reflected by the fact that many other governments (Finland, Denmark, Norway, and the USA) are now stipulating that BIM be deployed in the delivery of key public works projects.

Given that RPS is embedded in the, planning, engineering, environmental, and infrastructural and construction sectors in the UK and Europe, it is clear that in order to be in a position to successfully bid for contracts, RPS needed to rapidly up-skill to fulfil these requirements and integrate BIM into the workplace.

3. Why have you sought BIM certification?

RPS committed to developing the systems, skills and expertise to make us market leaders utilising the most up-to –date software, technology and computer aided design capabilities. BIM has the potential to alter the entire way a project is procured, delivered and constructed.

The BRE Global BIM Level 2 Business Systems Certification scheme and the GMIT Higher Diploma in Engineering in BIM (Level 8 on the NFQ) are integral to the delivery of RPS Company Strategy 2014-2018. One of the specific objectives of this strategy is to restructure our internal services, and to develop BIM across all disciplines and sectors in RPS in a coherent and efficient manner.

The BRE Global BIM Level 2 Business Systems Certification scheme assesses a business, based at a single location 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.

4. What has BRE certificated? (summary of what the scheme looks at)

The scheme has been designed to enable certificated businesses to demonstrate looks for evidence of compliance with PAS 1192:2 2013 andthe PAS91-2013 section 4.2 so that as a BIM Certificated companiesy you will no longer not have to provide evidence of of BIM competence with each tender. each time you undertake a tender.

5. What was the approach to certification and how did you find the process?

We were introduced to Certification through the BIM Level 2 Certificated Practitioner Scheme. This scheme provides on-going, independent, third party assessment of BIM practitioners where scheme members will undertake training, pass an examination and must successfully complete an audit to show compliance with the scheme requirements.

The BRE Global BIM Level 2 Business Systems Certification scheme requires the completion of an online application, followed by a desktop assessment that is carried out to assure that companies provide evidence that the policies and procedures are in place to deliver BIM Level 2. This is followed by an onsite audit to confirm compliance.

6. In what way was the process especially valuable, for example, what did you learn from it?

The process provides clarity and ensures companies are making the necessary changes within their organisation to meet Level 2 BIM requirements. The team in BRE Global are especially helpful andprofessional and, while there is a lot of work required to meet the requirements, we found the certification process a positive experience and rewarding having achieved certificationaccreditation.

7. Has the certification process helped with integrating BIM into your business?

Yes – The certification process provided the focus required to implement the required system changes across the multi-disciplinary nature of our business.

8. What other benefits do you see from being certified?

Having successfully completed the certification process, RPS now have the systems in place to deliver projects faster, more economically and with reduced environmental impact. We look forward to the opportunities and challenges that this will bring, the active collaboration that is integral to the process, and the rewards that will follow in terms of future business and new markets.

RPS certification

9. How have your existing clients responded to your certification and do you see it as an important aspect of winning new work?

Many of our clients are now looking for projects to be delivered in a Level 2 BIM Environment. The benefit of the scheme means that as well as speeding up the tendering process, certification saves businesses will save us the time and costs involved in responding to ever-varying tender questions, and for those issuing tenders, having a BRE Global BIM-certified business in the running removes the need to check replies or employ someone to do it for them.

10. Would you recommend certification through BRE?

Definitely Yes – RPS would recommend all companies required to meet the 2016 deadline or adopting Level 2 BIM to work with the BRE Global to achieve BIM Level 2 Business Systems Certification.

About RPS

RPS is an international consultancy providing advice on the development of land, infrastructure, natural resources, environmental management and health and safety. They have over 5000 employees located in over 120 countries worldwide.

In the UK and Ireland, they employ some 1,200 people in 66 offices, delivering infrastructure planning, design and related services. They pride ourselves on using local knowledge, combined with international expertise to maximise project benefits to our clients.

For further information visit http://www.rpsgroup.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. www.bre.co.uk/BIM

Paul Oakley
About the Author
Paul Oakley, Director of BIM at BRE, sits on the management board of buildingSMART UKI, the network organisation that develops industry standards for BIM.

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