Initiative aims to boost growth in construction work

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A new small business initiative is being launched in Sheffield to encourage growth in the local construction industry.

Known as BIM4SME, the initiative aims to help SMEs win business by making use of Building Information Modeling - a new technology that government has made mandatory for the construction of public sector buildings

Building Information Modeling - or BIM - is a formal way of defining and managing every aspect of information relating to a project from start to finish. It highlights the precise skills required for contracts, enabling SMEs to recruit for specific tasks, and enables the entire supply chain to conform to the same criteria and plans.

Martin McKervey, chairman of Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership Property and Construction Group and a partner at the Sheffield office of lawyers Nabarro, says there are already many supply chains which insist firms use BIM.

“Industry and SMEs must meet the challenge; only through the implementation of BIM will we be able to deliver more sustainable buildings across the region, quickly and efficiently,” says Mr McKervey.

Jeremy Blackburn, from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, which is supporting the launch of BIM4SME in Yorkshire and Humber, said: “Most construction projects involve small to medium sized organisations and their ability to engage with BIM will be key to remaining competitive, especially when the use of BIM becomes mandatory for public sector projects in 2016.”

The launch of BIM4SME in Yorkshire and Humber takes place at Electric Works, on Sheffield Digital Campus on Tuesday, September 24 and will be chaired by Will Stirling, managing editor of The Manufacturer.

Speakers will include the government’s chief construction adviser, Peter Hansford, David Philp, head of UK BIM implementation at the Cabinet Office and Mike Tynan, chief executive, Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

Mike Tynan says: “SMEs must engage more quickly and more firmly if they are to become serious supply chain players in the larger infrastructure projects. So it is vital for SMEs to get onboard at the early stages of this project in order to understand – and benefit from – the new thinking in procurement and supply chain management.”

To register for the free BIM4SME launch event visit:www.rics.org/bim4smesheffield or 0207 695 1600.