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Government urged to demand prequalification BIM tests

The government is being urged to insist public sector clients test contractors for building information modelling (BIM) competence at prequalification stage on contracts.

The government has released the BIM Working Party Strategy Paper, which advises that public sector clients set out clear, progressive steps for the supply chain to be able to deliver BIM.

The report estimates that BIM adoption would increase costs by 1 per cent overall, but that net savings of 5 per cent should be achieved on construction cost as a minimum.

It also recommends that BIM Level 2 be adopted on public sector projects within a five-year timeframe and calls for further work to be done to ensure more complex take-up of BIM after that period.

A report commissioned by the Department for Business in 2008 to look at the benefits of BIM suggested that the net benefit to the UK could be up to £2.5bn each year in the construction phase.

The BIM Working Party Strategy Paper states that changes to contract and insurance models would not necessarily be required to get the industry to BIM Level 2 within five years.

But it says government construction clients should promote the development of integrated project insurance ahead of Level 3 integration, and that standard insurance clauses for NECs should also be developed.

Specialist Engineering Contractors Group chief executive Rudi Klein (pictured) said that, while Level 2 projects can be managed under traditional insurance models, the financial and efficiency incentives of switching to project finance are too great to ignore.