The government’s BIM mandate for the public sector is taking hold faster than many individual firms realise, as the long timespan of projects means that knowledge of market conditions can lag behind reality, according to Jason Ruddle, managing director of the software company Elecosoft’s UK operation.
He was speaking as Elecosoft launched the third version of Asta Powerproject BIM to the market – timed shortly ahead of the imminent BIM mandate for centrally-procured projects.
Ruddle told BIM+: “The majority of our clients are already heavily involved in BIM projects [for the public sector] – I’d say that 60-70% of public projects tendered already have BIM requirements.
“If you’re working on a project that started a few years ago, that runs for a considerable period of time, and it’s difficult to assess [the scale of adoption]. But many people do not realise how far it has gone.”
He added: “The 2016 government mandate is of course focusing attention on BIM, but even without the approach of this BIM target, [our clients] tell us that projects are getting both larger and more complex, and they need to enable greater collaboration and a more integrated view of projects.”
Asta Powerproject BIM software is marketed as a relatively low-cost BIM suite for contractors, allowing them to federate designers’ models in the Powerproject environment while adding 4D project programming and 5D cost management.
Powerproject BIM is a server-based software suite, rather than cloud-based – Asta says this responds to the contractors’ preferences on data security, although Ruddle says he expects it to move to a cloud-based model in the future.
“Our core focus is main contractors and subcontractors, but adding information from other disciplines is very easy so we’re getting take-up from architects, who are using it to share data with main contractors,” said Ruddle. “So we’re now spreading the ability to get hold of 4D and 5D BIM at an affordable cost.”
The new version has improved the ability to import designers’ models using IFCs, via a data transfer service such as Dropbox. It can federate and overlay IFC models, and display and compare alternative IFC model views.
It also improves 4D planning capability, and cost estimation tools. All changes were based on user requests and feedback.
The update can also create videos of timeline simulations and fly-pasts for sharing with clients or team members who do not use Asta Powerproject BIM.
Asta’s parent company, Elecosoft, develops and delivers software and services to architectural, engineering and construction industries from subsidiaries in the UK, Sweden and Germany.