BIM in the water industry: addressing challenges to improve the project delivery process
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AbstractThe UK Government BIM implementation 2016 target for all public projects formed the major driver for the construction industry to upskill and learn new ways of working. The water industry is a private sector that has no mandate to implement BIM and would also benefit from its use. Research has identified that fragmentation and inefficiency still existed in the water industry project delivery processes. These issues can be addressed by harnessing the collaboration that BIM brings by using emerging information technology. The UK water industry has had little research in the use of BIM in the project delivery processes over the years. Therefore, the aim of the research is to explore and examine BIM use in the water construction industry, as well as understand the challenges faced and how they are being addressed to improve project delivery processes. The qualitative case study approach was adopted for the collection and analysis of data which was carried out by undertaking observations, document reviews and semi structured interviews. A water company and a design and build contractor on a framework formed the research sample. The design and build contractor was also part of other water industry frameworks. The research findings identified that there are similarities between the water industry and the other infrastructure sectors in the use of BIM realizing benefits of collaborative working. These benefits included improved information quality, cost reductions, shorter programme durations and greater collaboration. However, BIM was yet to be fully understood and used which led to challenges of overcoming and changing organizational cultures, developing levels of BIM expertise, data and information control, interoperability and data entry. The research also identified that the water company was lagging in BIM use despite noticeable benefits shown by its supply chain. The paper concludes by identifying that the water industry supply chain has taken positive steps and started to benefit from BIM use. However, more needs to be done as BIM is still in its infancy facing challenges associated with changing organizational cultures. The research recommends that the water industry and its supply chain should continue to invest more resources in implementing BIM to achieve the benefits realized by other sectors with NBS and CITB becoming more visible. This should include staff training, creating standardized approaches, processes to harness the collaborative nature of BIM.
CitationSuresh, S., Renukappa, S. and Kamunda, A. (2019) BIM in the water industry: addressing challenges to improve the project delivery process, in Kumar, B., Rahimian, F. P., Greenwood, D. and Hartmann, T. (eds.) Advances in ICT in Design, Construction and Management in Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operations (AECO) 2019 Proceedings of the 36th CIB W78 2019 Conference. Newcastle: University of Northumbria, pp. 327-337.
PublisherUniversity of Northumbria