It’s 10 years since the UK government mandated building information modelling (BIM) on public sector construction projects. During this time digital construction has become fundamental to how the construction sector operates, with 73 percent of industry professionals reporting to have used the tool. We talked to MiTek’s Global Product Portfolio Manager, Ben Tabolt to find out why, and discover the important role Dedicated Services can play in helping the UK market benefit from digital design and build…
With a degree in architecture and many years of experience in design and construction across both the residential and commercial sectors, Ben is well placed to understand the critical importance of BIM. It can, he says, be a great tool for streamlining the design and construction process, giving the opportunity to ‘build it before you build it, so to speak’.
“Catching issues on the computer, not in the field once you’ve started physical work on the project is vital, but not everyone has the in-house expertise to support this effectively,” he says. And that’s where Dedicated Services comes into its own.
“Our team of experts brings together architectural experience with expertise in a host of software programs. Together they use this to create BIM, with everything from estimating and drafting through to complex design, fabrication drawings and 3D modelling, including stills rendering, fly-throughs as well as AR and VR experiences.”
Ben adds: “Our large estimating department assists with material takeoffs, bill of materials, etc, even down to sticks of lumber. We provide support whether it’s builders who need new product or maintenance of their plans; fabricators or component manufacturers that just want assistance and maybe more muscle.”
The greatest asset of Dedicated Services for industry is its scalability says Ben: “We provide a very efficient solution by having a flexible and scalable workforce available to clients when they require it.”
MiTek’s Dedicated Services’ design solutions are delivered with offsite construction in mind – a more cost-effective, faster and ‘greener’ approach for any project whether residential or commercial: “The BIM work carried out by our Dedicated Services team, iron out potential issues, incorporate design changes and visualize projects for clients, before any on-site work begins.”
“It’s about optimization, collaboration and communication – meaning that when clients begin their building work, they have everything they need, all to the correct specifications, with minimal on-site changes required.”
The team is also connected to a variety of consultants within MiTek that assist in identifying the best products to use with a client’s design – whether timber frames, Posi-Joist or Ultra Span. “It means we’re presenting clients with an informed solution.”
Offsite fabrication, says Ben, means construction of client orders take place in a controlled environment that’s not impacted by changes in weather conditions so that modular and panel solutions, as well as advance components, can be preassembled and then installed in the field once the construction team is ready.
“There’s less waste, components are built and made to measure, and this means a safe, efficient and speedy installation can be achieved. And of course, this is a more financially economic approach.”
Ben admits that BIM and off-site construction are metamorphosing the construction industry, not least in the UK where it has the most striving and radical BIM strategy in the world. “The UK has the opportunity to take on a global leadership role, and we’re here to support the industry with the services they need.
He adds: “We have our four pillars at MiTek, everything from our services, automation, software, and products – but while these are vital, it’s not enough just to have these types of solutions, it’s also about partnership for us. We want to collaborate with our clients and take that journey with them.
“We want to be effective advocates for both off-site and on-site construction and of course, for BIM, leading the charge into innovative design, make, build services, so we give clients absolutely the best, from conception through to building hand-over.”