South African BIM Opportunities Abound – The Employer Representative

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The most important stakeholder in the BIM process is the Employer. Looking at the way in which the UK BIM Protocol came into being, it I easy to see how the client might be construed to be Government (they do spend trillions of dollars on infrastructure around the world). In the UK, the British Cabinet drove the process and resulted in an approximately 20% improvement in efficiency in the AEC sector. Clearly applying the protocol will be most beneficial to large-scale projects, however, the protocols simply refer to an Employers need.

Consider the following figure taken from the British Standard: BSI_PAS_1192_2_2013, Specification for Information Management for the Capital/Delivery Phase of Construction Projects using Building Information Modelling

Micrographics, BIM Level 2, Employer's Representative

It is not guaranteed that the Employer has the knowledge or experience to understand the BIM process from beginning to end, and what information to demand at the decision points throughout the project timeline.

An Employers BIM Representative / Resident Engineer does have the knowledge, skill and experience to contractually stipulate the information required of the entire supply chain such that the Employer is able to make informed decisions over the timeline of the project. The requirements are stipulated in the Employers Information Request (EIR). The Pre- and Post-Contract BIM Execution Plans are composed in response to the EIR.

The unfortunate situation in South Africa is that the Employer delegates their responsibility to the Lead Design and Lead Contractor instead of the Employer Representative. This constitutes a conflict of interest and might actually be counterproductive in the South African AEC community moving towards BIM Level 2.

The following figure is taken from: BSI_PAS_1192_2_2013, Specification for Information Management for the Capital/Delivery Phase of Construction Projects using Building Information Modelling and it shows a schematic of the interplay between the different actors.

Micrographics, BIM Level 2, Employer's Representative

In the next blog, we look at the Design Lead

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