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Building Products July 2017

DRAINAGE, PLUMBING AND WATER SUPPLY LEARNING LIBRARY While BIM is the future for the building and construction industry, it is only as good as the BIM library of products supplied by the manufacturer. Early teething problems with this data has caused problems on site that need resolving through supply chain collaboration states Matthew Hassall. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and Naturally this would be avoided if the data was right in the first place, but this is not a case of the manufacturer inputting the wrong data, but rather a problem with the software used to develop a BIM library. Typically these platforms will allow you to enter data and drawings, but you need to put constraints on the diagrams – so in the example above a 45deg. bend cannot become a 54.3deg. bend. Ultimately the data has to come from the manufacturers; after all it is they who provide the products and systems for installation. With that in mind it is surprising how often people turn to a generic BIM library, where – in theory – anything JULY 2017 | BUILDING PRODUCTS 63 manufacturers need to learn some lessons from the supply chain if they are to produce BIM libraries that actually work in the real world. Unfortunately, as with anything new and innovative, there can be problems when it comes to implementing new methodologies. One lesson that has been learnt the hard way is that the limitations of the software used to create BIM libraries has resulted in some odd and inaccurate data. Ultimately, any drawing has to have a basis in products and systems that actually exist in real life. The problem with too many BIM libraries is that the software can allow the specifier to design whatever they like, but the practical delivery of the designed system on site may not be possible. So for example with drainage products, it is all very well the designer producing a 3D drawing showing a 54.3deg. drainage bend in it, but you will not be able to purchase one for the actual installation. Such situations are frustrating for both the designer and the installer. The problem is compounded by the fact that we have a wellpublicised lack of skills within the construction industry, so while in theory the diagrams can be altered on site, what happens in practice is the consultant or specifier has to visit to make sure that the installation can be adapted. After all, using the drainage bend example above, changing the specification could affect the routing of other services through the building. Continued on page 64 >>>


Building Products July 2017
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