BIM bytes: Partnering at Cookham Wood

The combination of two-stage open book and BIM under PPC2000 enabled the MoJ to achieve 20% savings.– David Mosey

It is significant that in an economic downturn the Government Construction Strategy in 2011 made a clear connection between partnering on the one hand and savings on the other.

The Government Construction Strategy recommended JCT Constructing Excellence, NEC3 and PPC2000 as the contracts through which to achieve these objectives and embarked on a trial project programme to gather objective evidence of whether its recommendations worked in practice.

Of the trial projects, the Ministry of Justice Cookham Wood Young Offenders Institution is particularly relevant to the links between BIM and collaborative working. The Cookham Wood project was the first government project to adopt BIM, and the MoJ developed a BIM model for use in its team selection, throughout all stages of design development and user consultation, and also to inform its post-completion operational requirements.

Cookham Wood adopted early contractor involvement through “two stage open book” under the PPC2000 form of contract, which provides for a multi-party team to sign a single contractual hub. This enabled all of the BIM contributors (architects, engineers, main contractor and sub-consultants) to understand how their work fitted in with that of the other parties. They worked under the same terms of appointment, all signing one multi-party contract.

Most critically, the two-stage structure of PPC2000 ensured that Interserve (the appointed main contractor) and its key specialist subcontractors such as SSC (precast volumetric cell provider) and EMCOR (mechanical and electrical specialist) were formally appointed months in advance of start on site, with a clear set of BIM-led design stages and other activities that led up to authority for them to begin work on site.

The combination of two-stage open book and BIM under PPC2000 enabled the MoJ to achieve 20% savings. These savings were directly attributable to efficient joint working by all levels of the supply chain, particularly during their early contractual appointment in advance of starting on site.

It is clear from Cookham Wood and from Growth Through BIM – the report that followed the trial projects – that we are entering a new era where partnering, supported by a clear set of controlled systems, can generate undeniable benefits.

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