New guidance has been published by the Specialist Engineering Contractors’ (SEC) Group and NSCC to provide specialist contractors with a practical understanding of the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM).

The First Steps to BIM Competence: A Guide for Specialist Contractors, developed by a BIM Working Group set up by NSCC and SEC Group in collaboration with the University of Northumbria’s BIM Academy and officially endorsed by the Cabinet Office, explains the benefits of investing in BIM technology and training to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

The BIM Working Group is designed to keep the specialist sector informed on developments regarding BIM so that it does not lose out on work opportunities and is in a position to work with Government to ensure a smooth transition to the mandatory requirement for the use of Level Two BIM on Government projects by 2016.

BIM is a collaborative way of working throughout the entire life-cycle of a project through the creation, collation and exchange of shared 3D models and intelligent, structured data attached to them. It enables businesses to make informed decisions on the design of a project ensuring that any potential problems are identified and resolved early on rather than on site when it’s too late.

The implementation of BIM forms part of the Government’s drive to reduce costs within the construction industry by 20% and it is hoped that the initiative will increase efficiency at all stages of the project life-cycle. The joint Government-industry BIM Task Group, which was set up to support the objectives of the Government Construction Strategy, has emphasised the importance of raising awareness of BIM throughout the supply chain and the new guidance will go a long way to explain the use of BIM to the specialist sector.