For those engaged in the implementation of BIM Level 2, we can already see that project requirements are led by what ability and expertise is available in the industry at the point of procurement.
Clients are relying on suppliers that have invested in the skills and technology to advise what is capable of being delivered. Rather than being demand-led, the supply itself is deciding what the market demand should be.
That trend will only increase as BIM capability evolves on a path to Level 3; perhaps in dynamic purchasing systems there is a way in which suppliers can make new capabilities available to public sector clients.
The Digital Built Britain strategy anticipates that the exploitation of built asset data will create opportunities around the Smart Cities agenda “and the wider market for data analytics and big data”.
Rich data sets
Level 3 will create rich data sets from the delivery, operation and performance phases of projects, through a built asset’s entire life-cycle and allowing for the assessment of asset use and performance.
That intended richness of data and the intended availability of that data in itself creates an opportunity for the market to anticipate needs and to resource and upskill to satisfy existing and future demands.
Based on data from the life-cycle of assets, suppliers that can provide specific packages as part of the overall construction or management of a built asset would be able to identify and meet demand directly, if only there were a way to be procured direct.
In the public sector, “dynamic purchasing systems” have been given a new lease of life under 2015 Public Contracts Regulations, which make these systems more flexible in comparison to framework agreements and therefore more likely to be of use.
In particular, dynamic purchasing systems are open to new suppliers at any time, and therefore potentially respond to evolving technology and capability in a rapidly changing market, as well as responding to the changing needs that the availability of big data would identify.
Digital Built Britain’s vision is that “data developed through the delivery, operational and performance phases… will be selectively published through data.gov and other secure gateways as open data for further market use”.
Dynamic purchasing systems might be the way to use that data to shape as well as respond to the market’s needs.
By Assad Maqbool, a partner at Trowers & Hamlins specialising in projects and construction