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23 August 2012 | Adam Leach
Crossrail and Bentley Systems have teamed up to launch an academy to train suppliers and contractors to use Business Information Modelling (BIM) to make savings and improve working practices.
BIM, through which construction projects are configured on a digital 3D platform and shared across relevant parties, was identified as a key priority in the Government Construction Strategy. By 2016, all government construction projects should use the software. By creating a 3D model with details on all components, contractors and suppliers can work more closely together and identify opportunities for increasing efficiency.
The academy, which will be housed at the Bentley Systems office in London, will be open to all contractors involved in the £14.8 billion Crossrail project, to construct new railway lines from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. The benefits of training the supply chain in how to use the technology include reducing risks by creating greater visibility in the design and construction processes, increasing safety by providing more detailed plans and designs, and fewer errors through having a single plan shared across parties.
Andrew Wolstenholme, chief executive at Crossrail, said: “The academy will support the Government Construction Strategy by increasing the use of BIM in the construction industry and creating a lasting legacy of best practice in innovation. The training received at the academy will also help contractors use the knowledge and skill gained here on other major projects such as HS2.”
A report covering progress made in the first year of implementing the government construction policy by the Cabinet Office said it expects the seven main government departments to be using BIM by midway through 2013 and expects all “centrally procured” construction projects to use it by 2016.