Mapping roles in an altered landscape: The impact of BIM on designer-constructor relationships
Davies, Kathryn; McMeel, Dermott; Wilkinson, Suzanne
Citation:Davies, K., McMeel, D., and Wilkinson, S. (2013). Mapping roles in an altered landscape: The impact of BIM on designer-constructor relationships. CIB W78 30th International Conference on Applications of IT in the AEC Industry. 9-12 October; Beijing, China(Ed.)
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/2785
The increasing uptake of Building Information Modelling (BIM) is contributing to pressures and changes in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry, which require adjustments and adaptation in the roles of almost all participants. One of the most commonly cited changes is the increase in collaboration and a shift to more integrated project teams. Thus the traditional role descriptions for the various professionals involved in a construction project become less distinctly separate, or new roles emerge. Definitions of skill sets and competencies that have been charted over many years are now being unpicked and reshaped as the needs of industry change. Different organisations, projects and partnerships take different approaches to the adoption of BIM, and consequently there are several different strains of work under this broad umbrella. This has resulted in a wide variety of interpretations of what constitutes successful or appropriate BIM use, and it is valuable to distinguish between the varied concerns. The impact of BIM and its associated process changes vary considerably depending on how it is interpreted and whether a global or an incremental approach is taken within the project or organisation. There is also significant potential for unexpected effects on the nature of the product (the design and construction of the built environment) or on the organisations and industry structure, beyond intended productivity improvements and quality enhancements. Based on a review of existing literature, this paper provides a typology for identifying current BIM adoption trends in industry, with an analysis of available empirical data to help identify the effects of BIM on roles within organisational and project contexts. The review centres most significantly on the contours of the designer-constructor relationship. It explores the impacts of the varying degrees of collaboration identified and the extent to which a BIM-mediated process reshapes skill sets and competencies.