Architect BDP receives first BRE Level 2 BIM certification

Architect Building Design Partnership (BDP) has become the first firm certified BIM Level 2 compliant under BRE Global’s Business Systems Certification scheme.

Certification by the independent organisation demonstrates that BDP’s London studio has the policies and procedures in place to deliver Level 2 BIM in line with the government’s strategy, meeting the requirements of PAS1192-2:2013 and the pre-questionnaire document BS1192.

Alistair Kell, director of information and technology at BDP, told BIM+: “BIM is becoming a prerequisite for securing ongoing government work, there has been a huge investment made in the technology across the industry, and by BDP, so certification was a means of validating that investment and confirming that the firm is moving in the right direction. It will also help us win work, speeds up the tendering process by avoiding the need to duplicate BIM-related documents, and helps us more efficiently and effectively deliver work.”

For the certification process, BDP completed an online application form, submitted documents for review, then underwent a desktop audit and telephone discussions. In addition, BRE Global conducted a site audit to review processes and procedures at the London office. The architect has now been issued with a certificate, number 001, which entitles it to use a BRE Global BIM badge of compliance and is planning to put the rest of its studios through the scheme. 

“The assessment looked at the existing systems we had in place for Level 2 BIM and confirmed that they were appropriately considered and structured, it wasn’t about us having to do something new to achieve certification,” said Kell. “One of the most difficult decisions was opening ourselves up to independent assessment and having industry experts come in and judge us for what we had done. Once we got over that obstacle it was a very refreshing exercise that confirmed what we had was working, albeit with a few areas that needed updating.”

The BIM Level 2 Business Systems Certification scheme is an evidence-based assessment of BIM business and management systems in line with Level 2’s process requirements. It assesses a business, based at a single location, relating to the BIM policy and capability as defined within PAS 1192-2:2013 and PAS 91.

Certification proves that an employer is able to carry out a BIM capability assessment and demonstrates its compliance with PAS91-2013 section 4.2 and therefore does not have to provide evidence of competence every time it undertakes a tender.

Firms that go through the process are issued with a post-assessment report that details areas of compliance and, if applicable, non-compliance. A yearly site audit and review is performed to verify that standards and criteria continue to be met, with a full reassessment carried out every three years.

BRE has been trialling the scheme with three companies, BDP, David Miller Architects and Heatherwick Studio. Practice director David Miller said: “We’re thrilled to be part of the pilot scheme. In a climate where accurate, fast and reliable information is required as a bare minimum, it makes sense to us to put measurement procedures in place that will help us to maintain and progress these workflows within our practice.”

Paul Oakley, associate director of BIM at BRE, said: “Apart from speeding up the tendering process, certification offers significant benefits all round. It saves businesses the time and costs involved in responding to ever-varying tender questions, and for those issuing tenders, having a BRE BIM-certified business in the running removes the need to check replies or employ someone to do it for them.”

For BDP, achieving certification marks the latest stage of a process of digitisation, added Kell: “BIM is on the cusp of becoming BDP’s normal working practice, it is already the norm for many project teams across various sectors and our BIM users currently exceed our traditional non-BIM 2D users. We set a policy that by summer 2015, 75% of our technical staff would be using BIM tools and we are now close to achieving that.”

The assessment looked at the existing systems we had in place for Level 2 BIM and confirmed that they were appropriately considered and structured, it wasn’t about us having to do something new to achieve certification.– Alistair Kell, BDP

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