Although BIM is very much commonly associated with building and vertical infrastructure it is branching out into other distinctive sectors including the water industry. However, when we start to look at the water industry the approach is applied in a marginally different manner.
Unlike other industries the benefit of BIM for the industry comes from when you look at Asset Lifecycle Management that includes the operations phase which has now been coined ALIM (Asset Lifecycle Information Management) to incorporate the digital transition. This allows for the BIM concept to not only be utilised on a single project but to be employed across large scale schemes and the entire industry.
But the adoption of BIM within the water industry is most definitely in its early stage, with a slow uptake, as the sector awakens to the savings that could be made in operation cost, energy costs, maintenance and capital maintenance.
Once the industry has woke to how valuable having condition information and asset performance information is to a project, the sector will be able to make more informed decisions about how they operate, maintain and upgrade those assets going forward.
One organisation that has come round to the benefit of BIM is Anglian Water's delivery partner for the AMP 4 and AMP 5 programmes, who delivered, a 15,000 population wastewater treatment plant in Cambridge for around £11M which was delivered for 20% less cost and 45% less carbon.*
With huge cost and carbon savings this project paves the way for many more water firms to implement their own BIM regulations. Yet the massive problem with the industry is that it has an abundance of legacy information which is kept in disparate systems. In order to contend with this some may have to adapt their mind-set when it comes to information management.
In order to do this it is worthwhile for those to take a look and implement Autodesk Vault Data Management in order for businesses in a BIM workflow to effectively communicate information from initial plans to well beyond the decommissioning of a project.
This being said the biggest mistake that is made is that BIM is just a technology system but it is much about the people and the processes as it is about technology solutions.
Nevertheless without technology a Building Information Modelling approach cannot be implemented. In order to support those in the industry to make the move to BIM, Autodesk have a powerful set of solutions for not only documentation and data management but for visualising and simulating projects virtually including: Autodesk Building Design Suite, Infrastructure Design Suite and Plant Design Suite for a range of requirements and abilities.
So, if businesses in the water industry start to take the lead on BIM now they will certainly have an advantage in other markets and discover a collaborative approach is vital for efficiency in the sector.
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