Balfour Beatty has disbanded its BIM Centre of Excellence and is handing over responsibility for BIM development and spending to individual business units.
It is understood that the head of the BIM Centre of Excellence, Peter Trebilcock, has been made redundant. Others in the eight-strong group have been given roles in the operating divisions.
Trebilcock, a leading figure in a number of BIM steering organisations, became director of BIM for Balfour Beatty Construction Services in 2013 and has been responsible for the implementation and development of BIM across CSUK and the leader of the BIM Centre of Excellence team.
Prior to that he was director of design across the group having held the same position in the northern division, where he spearheaded the use of BIM.
A source told BIM+ sister site Construction Manager: “The BIM Centre of Excellence provided help and support across a number of divisions including construction, power and rail – anyone who needed help.
“Clearly the implementation of BIM has reached a level of maturity which means that it is now built into tendering, bidding and construction processes. BIM is used by default. And in the days when the company is looking at overheads the central group was considered to be an area where it could make savings. But it’s a disappointment that there will no longer be a focal point.”
When it announced its annual results last March, the company said it had cut 846 backroom staff, which helped to deliver annualised savings of £60m from the 2016 target of £100m. Turnover of the UK Construction Services division was £2.35bn and it lost nearly £200m on legacy contracts. Total group turnover was £8.4bn.
Balfour Beatty is seen as clear leader in BIM and in March became one of a handful of construction firms to have its UK operations verified as Building Information Management (BIM) 2 certified by BSI (British Standards Institution). The certification came ahead of the April 2016 UK government mandate which requires all centrally procured government contracts to be compliant with BIM Level 2.
The BSI certification is for “Tier 1 Lead Contractor and Lead Designer”, which includes construction and design management.
To achieve the certification the company had to demonstrate its compliance with BIM Level 2 in accordance with BIM industry standards: PAS 1192-2:2013, BS 1192-4:2014 and BS 1192:2007.
Neil Thompson, Balfour Beatty principal BIM integrator, who managed the accreditation process, said at the time: “This accreditation gives assurance to our customers that we utilise BIM to handle and manage information with the upmost degree of care and accuracy and to the highest standard, throughout project delivery.”
Balfour Beatty’s BIM team has played a founding role in establishing the Construction Industry Council BIM 2050 task group whose objective is improving the image and efficiency of the construction industry and sharing knowledge.
Balfour Beatty is yet to comment.
Clearly the implementation of BIM has reached a level of maturity which means that it is now built into tendering, bidding and construction processes. And in the days when the company is looking at overheads the central group was considered to be an area where it could make savings.–