Local companies that supply construction projects can find out everything they need to know about Building Information Modelling at a high-profile networking event this autumn.
The government has said that all construction projects must use Level 3 Building Information Modelling (BIM) by 2016.
On Thursday 9 October, hundreds of delegates from West Midlands businesses are expected to converge on the Bethel Convention Centre in West Bromwich for ‘Meet the Hospital Bidders’.
Talented supply chain
The all-day networking show is being organised jointly by Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council and Birmingham City Council. They want to champion the region’s talented supply chain to companies intending to bid for the development of the £353m Midland Metropolitan Hospital in Smethwick.
The event will also see the launch of the West Midlands Virtual Hospital (WMVH), a digital procurement tool to show how West Midlands businesses are capable of supplying every component, piece of technology and service required to build and run a 21st Century hospital.
WMVH has a BIM platform to help manufacturers and engineers to get to grips with the new technology. Local businesses can use it to present their designs, drawings, dimensional tolerances and CObie data-formatted specifications using easy-to-configure 3D analysis.
Lord Digby Jones
Attendees at ‘Meet the Hospital Bidders’ will see the WMVH in action for the first time when it is launched by Lord Digby Jones.
David Emery, director of architectural and design consultancy Virtechs, will be running a 30 minute practical advice seminar on the day.
David said there are several reasons why manufacturing and engineering SMEs should embrace BIM techniques in the near future.
"Relationships and trust”
"Building Information Modelling is at the heart of the government’s 2011 Construction Strategy which seeks to drive down costs through innovation and collaboration,” said David. "Far from being purely a technology, BIM is, first and foremost, a business process which – although it exploits technology – requires the building of long-term relationships and trust between businesses for their mutual benefit.”
He added, "By sharing data, businesses can have access to the information they need at the time they need it.”
Councillor Ian Jones, Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for jobs and economy, said, "The West Midlands is a hotbed of manufacturing, construction and engineering talent, and we see BIM as a new and creative way to give our businesses a competitive advantage.
"Specialist skill sets”
"We really do have a world-class manufacturing base and it’s important to see innovation, continual advancements and specialist skill sets being channelled into making our region's supply chain more competitive.
"We are keen to support the skills development of small companies with practical assistance to ensure they can meet the legislative requirements of becoming BIM-compliant by 2016."
Councillor Tahir Ali, Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for development, transport and the economy, said, "We are delighted to be co-hosting this event, which will serve as a showcase for the very best that the Birmingham and the West Midlands’ construction supply chain has to offer.
"Real business advantage”
"I hope that as many of the region’s businesses as possible will sign up to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to win new business, build strong relationships and ensure that they are up to date with the latest technological advances, giving them a real business advantage.”
‘Meet the Hospital Bidders’ takes place on Thursday 9 October 2014 at the Bethel Convention Centre from 8.30am to 3pm. David’s seminar will take place from 12 noon to 12.30pm in the Skills Development Zone.