News

Report shows BIM models lagging at tender stage

2 July 2019

BIM models at tender stage are provided for only 27% of projects, despite a 70% industry-wide adoption rate.

That’s according to a survey by construction consultancy Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB UK), which suggests designers and clients may fear that earlier models portray a worse picture of the design, rather than reflecting the design status. 

RLB questioned key figures across the supply chain, in varying sectors, size of projects and type of contractor. The results showed a gap in the provision of digital information, despite the benefits it offers in terms of interrogation of design and reducing risk allocations.  

Meanwhile, despite the UK government’s recent push for modern methods of construction (MMC), such methods are typically being adopted on less than a quarter of projects, according to the survey. However, respondents said they expected adoption to increase by 14% over the next three years.

When it came to contractors’ concerns about the next 12 months, they were chiefly worried about supply chain capacity, material costs and availability of materials. The impact of the UK’s departure from the European Union on future workload only ranked fifth out of a list of six different concerns.

Regional pressure points - key issues in next 12 months

Other results from RLB UK’s Getting Close to Your Supply Chain report found:

  • The most likely size of project to accept a single-stage tender was up to £7.5m and £30m-£60m, meaning mid-size projects and very large projects are facing a less competitive tendering environments 
  • 66% of projects were utilising design and build contracts
  • Despite the best practice recommendations of the Construction Leadership Council’s Procuring for Value report, less than half of projects in the private sector have explicit value selection criteria. Tendering in the private sector remains fixated on price and time.  
  • 30% of contractors advise that brickwork and blockwork along with bespoke joinery are the trades with least capacity – a trend consistent across the UK.
  • 30% prefer a “design and dump” approach to D&B tenders with RIBA Stage 4 Design provided at tender stage – perhaps driven by the need to prevent incorrect design assumptions leading to underbidding. 

Matt Brooker, head of national commercial at RLB, said: “There were some real surprises that came out of us sitting down and talking to the supply chain that illuminated the chasm in some cases between perception of what is happening at a senior/policy level and the reality on the ground. Understanding the issues, predictions, challenges and opportunities felt by the supply chain is crucial for us as an industry to help navigate business going forward, and of course, for us to advise our clients on procurement strategies.”

The RLB Getting Close to your Supply Chain report, led by Paul Beeston, partner at RLB, was conducted with one-to-one conversations with 51 supply chain contacts across the UK. The full report is available on request.

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