Building Information Modelling (BIM) is increasingly becoming a standard and integral part of the construction process. The UK Government has mandated BIM level 2 on all its projects from 2016 and the Welsh Government has endorsed the approach following the launch of the Wales Construction Procurement Strategy in 2013.

Pilot projects are already being used to test and measure the effectiveness and value of BIM and so far positive results have been recorded. CEW Exemplar projects are also helping to demonstrate the benefits of BIM and are identifying valuable lessons learnt.

The BIM strategy developed by the UK Government has a clear focus on UK Government projects and is not necessarily applicable to circumstances in Wales; apart from UK Government spend on non-devolved matters. CEW identified the need for a Welsh response to BIM and for a clear plan for the implementation of BIM to be developed to ensure that the industry in Wales could maintain commercial and technical competitiveness.

CEW established a BIM Task Group in June 2012 to assist the Construction Procurement Steering Group and the Welsh Government with a BIM implementation plan for Wales to provide clear direction to the industry in Wales. The outputs from this group are available in executive summary format and as a full report.

Whilst many in the supply chain have been exploring the benefits of BIM, client leadership is recognised as a key driver in moving the BIM agenda forward in Wales. This is why the Consortium of Local Authorities in Wales (CLAW) and Constructing Excellence in Wales (CEW) have developed a BIM Toolkit for Clients. This will ensure that public sector clients in Wales are able to specify their BIM requirements in a consistent fashion which should make the process of engagement simpler for the supply chain. The toolkit was launched in 2014 and has now been web-based for ease of use and navigation and to ensure that CLAW members are able to apply the toolkit to their current and future projects. Access to the toolkit for the supply chain will be made available by each client as work is commissioned. 

The Welsh Government, via their 21st Century Schools Programme and in partnership with local government, are currently considering the benefits of requiring BIM to be applied to Level 2 on all their grant funded education projects. Further information is expected in the Autumn and will be made available via the CEW website.

Building Information Modelling can be instrumental in waste minimisation and best practice.  CEW has used Building Information Modelling (BIM) as part of Enabling Zero Waste in the following ways:

  • To review the original design with the aim of designing out waste
  • To establish whether design changes impact upon material usage and waste production, for example value engineering
  • To provide a visual tool to demonstrate design changes, for example the incorporation of additional material, changes to a roof line to clients and regulators
  • To develop practical solutions to help designers prevent and minimise waste on future projects
  • To identify and prevent clashes from occurring
  • To calculate the potential for saving resources by using BIM post design to identify possibilities of reducing waste generated from repetitive items and define processes for future projects
  • To deconstruct a building to ascertain how much material could currently be reused and what changes would need to be made to the design in order to maximise the potential for material reuse at the end of the building’s life
  • To provide a mechanism to easily identify hidden M&E

By using BIM in these ways we have realised material savings of over 4,600m3 and cost savings of over £96,000 as part of the construction and demolition waste programme, Enabling Zero Waste project.

Please click on the reports to find out more:

CEW Design for Deconstruction Ice Arena Wales Project - ICE Arena Wales D4D Video Graphic
CEW Building Information Modelling Enabling Zero Waste Ice Arena Wales reducing waste blockwork case study
CEW BIM Waste Ice Arena Wales Reducing waste pile case study
Castleton Care Home - BIM Model for Constructing Excellence in Wales