Global multi-disciplinary consultancy RPS is the latest business to be accredited as BIM Level 2 compliant by BRE Global.
Oxford-headquartered RPS joins a growing number of companies that are becoming certified, with architect HLM and Adept, a firm of civil and structural consulting engineers based in Leeds, also securing certification with BRE last month.
RPS is a multi-disciplinary consultancy, working on projects through planning inception, design, implementation and final completion. It has more than 4,500 staff worldwide, with 2,000 based in the UK.
The BRE certification scheme assesses a business, based at a single location, in relation to its BIM policy and capability as defined within PAS 1192-2:2013 and PAS 91, and also the business’s ability to meet the requirements of an employer to carry out a BIM capability assessment.
The certification covers the company’s 100-strong Galway office, which focuses primarily on infrastructure, and has significant exposure to UK projects. The company now plans to roll certification out across major offices across the business.
According to RPS, gaining certification for the Galway office was the culmination of three years work to transform the business to be able to be competitive in the UK market in advance of the implementation of the BIM mandate.
Mark Costello, director of BIM at RPS, told BIM+: “The driver for investing in BIM was to gain work in the UK. One of the first things our new managing director did when he took over in 2012 was to produce a four-year strategy for the company. This identified opportunities in the UK as a key focus of the business. Being able to work in a BIM environment was a requirement that would make us competitive.”
RPS undertook the certification both to provide reassurance to clients and to ensure that the processes that the company had set up were fit-for-purpose.
“It has taken us two and a half years to get to the point where we are able to deliver BIM. The BRE has given us guidelines on how to prepare and improve our systems. It has provided focus so we can be certain that we weren’t missing anything, and that what we are implementing is working,” continued Costello.
Costello, who himself has a BIM Level 2 Certificated Practitioner Award after successfully completing the BRE’s project information manager/task information manager accreditation, describes the process as highly involved with BRE.
The scheme requires the completion of an online application, followed by a desktop assessment that is carried out to assure that companies provide evidence that the policies and procedures are in place to deliver BIM Level 2. This is followed by an on site audit to confirm compliance.
The scheme is designed to demonstrate compliance with the PAS 91-2013 section 4.2 so that BIM certificated companies do not have to provide evidence of competence each time a tender is undertaken. Costello believes that this will help clients that may not have the capabilities to accurately access how BIM enabled a company is.
“Without certification people can say what they want about their capabilities,” he said. “Many clients may not have the capabilities to check compliance and if they do this takes time. Having an independent body that says you have all the correct systems in place gives the client assurance that a company can deliver projects with BIM.”
The Galway office is the highways, geotechnical and civil design consultant for the A9 dualling project in Scotland, where other offices in the group have other roles in the project.
This follows a similar appointment in the Design, Build, Finance and Operate consortium for the £400m M8/M73/M74 upgrade in Scotland.
Current projects in the UK include acting as strategic adviser to BAA, advising on sustainability and waste management at Hinkley Point, and client planning adviser to Westfield.
Without certification people can say what they want about their capabilities. Many clients may not have the capabilities to check compliance and if they do this takes time. Having an independent body that says you have all the correct systems in place gives the client assurance that a company can deliver projects with BIM.– Mark Costello, director of BIM, RPS