David Philp promises ‘value to the people of Scotland’ in new BIM secondment

UK BIM guru David Philp FCIOB has taken up a new role implementing Level 2 BIM across Scotland’s public sector estate to an April 2017 deadline, with a secondment to government agency the Scottish Futures Trust.

Philp will chair the SFT’s newly established BIM Delivery Group, whose full membership has not yet been finalised.

He has been seconded on a part-time basis from his role as director of BIM (Europe, Middle East, Africa and India) at Aecom, and will also remain head of BIM at the UK government’s BIM Task Group. 

Responding to the news, Philp told BIM+ that Scotland was “well placed to build on the [level 2 BIM] work that’s already been done, to drive better value for the Scottish people and all its built assets”.

“It’s extremely exciting to be part of the SFT team, building a cohesive startegy for Scotland. BIM is all about creating value, and that’s the role of the SFT. So it’s not just about BIM in isolation – that’s one of the key things about the Scottish view.

“As a nation, Scotland is good at innovating and driving change – it’s exciting times for Scotland.”

The Scottish Futures Trust was set up in 2008, operating at arm’s length to the Scottish government to improve outcomes in public infrastructure and construction investment and deliver savings of £100m-£150m a year.

In September, the SFT was invited by the Scottish government to implement many of the 67 recommendations in the Review of Scottish Public Sector Procurement in Construction, published in October 2013.

A key recommendation made by the review was that, where appropriate, public sector projects within Scotland should adopt BIM Level 2 by April 2017.

Philp said: “The scale of the ambition is to aim at all the public sector projects, where it’s appropriate to use BIM. We’ve broken the tasks down into a series of ‘horizons’, a logical sequence of steps to get the best strategy for the Scottish government.”

This could include progressing a number of trial projects ahead of the 2017 deadline, he said. 

He added that Scotland had some positive examples of “early adopter” clients, including NHS Scotland. “They’re well advanced, they’ve published a suite of Level 2 documents and they’ve done comprehensive training on Level 2 BIM and had workshops with all the [regional health] boards.”

Martin Blencowe, SFT’s director leading the procurement review work, said: “Having such a respected expert resident in Scotland and available to lead this work is a marvellous opportunity to develop a deeper capability in the public sector in embracing this emerging technology.” 

One of the first actions of the new BIM Delivery Group is to launch a survey for construction professionals to help inform and develop the next stage of the BIM strategy in Scotland.

The group is seeking responses from all parts of the construction industry, from clients, advisers, project and cost management consultants, designers, and local authorities, through to contractors, subcontractors, manufacturers, suppliers and industry bodies.

I am delighted to be part of this journey towards a digitised Scottish construction sector and look forward to helping implement what I believe will be a game-changing strategy to better create and care for Scotland’s built environment.– David Philp

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