SMEs to do battle in virtual BIM competition

SMEs are being invited to battle it out in the virtual world in the UK’s first live 48-hour BIM competition.

BIM4SME Live! takes place in January and is being organised by BIM4SMEs, a working group set up by the government’s BIM Task Group to help smaller businesses engage with the digital technology.

It will involve at least 15 teams of BIM novices, from the construction, building services, manufacturing and property sectors. They will be challenged to set up and manage a live project, hosted by software provider Asite on its cloud-based collaborative platform Adoddle.

Each team will be asked to design and construct a building on a 200 sq m site located within a detailed point-cloud model of Newcastle quayside.

They must progress the design through each RIBA Plan of Works stage, completing tasks such as clash detection, 4D construction simulation, extracting materials costs, calculating the carbon footprint and structural analysis, right through to populating the model with FM information.

The competition is open to single or multiple teams from each of the UK’s regional BIM Hubs, which will each receive assistance from a BIM champion – a local firm with experience of BIM, who will bring them up to speed with the software and guide them through the project.

A team from Ryder Architecture participating in a previous event

Their performance will be assessed and scored throughout the 48 hours by a panel of expert judges, expected to include Mark Bew, chairman of the BIM Task Group and the government’s chief construction adviser Peter Hansford.

Prizes and awards will be presented to the winning teams, including software licences, with details being announced closer to the date.

The competition represents an evolution of the previous one-day competitions, Build Sydney and Qatar Live, organised by the north east regional BIM Hub, explains project leader Jonathan Munkley, BIM manager at Niven Architects.

“SMEs found those events incredibly useful to help them develop a company strategy around BIM, and as an opportunity to experiment with various BIM processes without the worry of losing work with a client. As a result, some went from being total BIM novices to becoming BIM consultants or making it the main focus of their business. This inspired us to spend six months organising a national BIM4SMEs Live! event. ”

He added: “With the government’s 2016 Level 2 BIM deadline looming, it will hopefully help many more firms find the confidence they need to drive forward with BIM. Firms will not get a better playground in which to test out the BIM process and go ‘hell for leather’ without the risk of losing a client.”

Tim Platts, chair or BIM4SMEs, said: “We are passionate about pushing ahead with events like this, not only to broadcast BIM but to debunk the mythology that has grown up around it. With BIM4SMELive! and the forthcoming BIM4SME awards we aim to provide a route map for those in the supply chain to be able to learn, understand, and perhaps celebrate BIM.”

The BIM4SME Live! competition will take place the week commencing the 26 January, 2015 with precise dates and briefing documents to be finliased shortly.

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  1. Fantastic idea and initiative to run competitions such as this. Companies are reluctant to get involved and will not do so unless forced to do so.

    Well done

  2. Among the elements that help in success of virtual collaboration teams, new study stated Relationship Building, Trust, Communication skills, Knowledge sharing, Collaboration Skills, Motivation, Technological and Web Skills and more. To read the full study you can reach it here

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