Opinion

Why architects need BIM

There have been many changes in the way the construction industry operates over the 40-odd years I have been working in it. While some have been for the good, others have been not so good, and three in particular stand out.

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Successful Asset And Project Delivery – What Does It Look Like?

​20 Feb 2015

​by Peter Barda, Executive Director, ACIF

What can project sponsors and project team members do to achieve successful project and asset service delivery? How will they know if they have achieved success? Maybe that’s too obvious a question I hear you cry. Perhaps it is, but apart from the usual time, cost and functionality metrics, there are other markers of project success.

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Could changes in procurement improve the way we deliver projects?

by Peter Barda, Executive Director, ACIF

Could changes in procurement policies and processes improve the way we deliver projects?

First, it is important to ask what private sector suppliers (constructors, designers, and other consultants) want from government procurement policies and processes.

The Productivity Commission in its draft Report on Infrastructure Costs had a crack at some suggested changes, arguing that “There is significant scope to improve public sector procurement practices and lower bid costs for tenderers, with potentially large benefits for project costs and timing.”

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It's our industry - but do we care enough?

25 June 2014

by Peter Barda, Executive Director, ACIF

ACIF’s latest forecasts for the industry and some interesting “births and deaths” numbers set me to thinking about our industry’s resources, and how we approach skills formation and retention. Our May forecasts presented a strong (though geographically patchy) recovery in residential building, non-residential flat-lining overall, and a decline in new engineering construction, albeit with current workloads still at historically very high levels.

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We need a National Skills Strategy

April 2014

by Peter Barda, Executive Director, ACIF

The Productivity Commission's draft report on Infrastructure Costs released in March is a thorough and detailed study of the structural and operational issues surrounding the way the industry delivers  economic infrastructure, and in particular the argument that we pay too much for it.

The draft report reviews the relationship between the historically high levels of activity in the infrastructure markets, and the resultant high demand for appropriate professional and trade skills that created skills shortages. Remember them? All the talk was about skills shortages as the mining and gas development boom took off, and before the GFC applied the hand brake. We are still debating the merits of, and the need for, 457 visas for some mega projects.

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How Australia Can Drive More Benefit from BIM

January 2014

by Peter Barda, Executive Director, ACIF

As the construction industry in Australia continues in its efforts to derive maximum value from Building Information Modelling (BIM), a recent report provides an interesting snapshot on how our industry is progressing overall and what we need to do going forward.

Analysing survey data collected from construction firms in nine of the world’s top construction markets, the Business Value of BIM for Construction in Major Global Markets released earlier this month highlighted a number of areas where important progress has been made in Australia but demonstrates that more needs to be done in order to unleash the full power of BIM as a transformative tool.

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Innovation - what's in a name?

December 2013

by Peter Barda, Executive Director, ACIF

Have you noticed that the construction industry doesn’t talk about ‘Research and Development’ much any more? Perhaps the constant reminders that we spend less on R & D than most other sectors (some fraction of three fifths of...) have made us altogether too depressed to talk about it, never mind do anything.

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Stop the waste - 30% is too much

July 2013

by Peter Barda, Executive Director, ACIF

The construction industry in Australia and overseas wastes over 30% of its efforts. The sources of wasted effort are diverse, from design drawings that require multiple information inputs, to architects and engineers providing drawings that don't give trade contractors the information they need - and the cost of rework that can account for 5-10% of construction cost.

Research studies in Australia and overseas all point to the need for a change in the environment in which project teams are appointed and operate, if this waste is to be reduced. A collaborative environment is required, where all team members are encouraged to contribute to problem solving, and those contributions are respected - in other words, a genuine team environment.

Can the construction industry embrace real, structural and cultural change in how we work and communicate, and handle risk, so that we can all benefit?

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ACIF welcomes the NSW Infrastructure Plan

January 2013

by Peter Barda, Executive Director, ACIF

Identifying specific projects is a good in itself, but the larger benefit will come when the government and its agencies, and the construction industry, agree on how best to realise the vision of a coherent long term plan, says Peter Barda, Executive Director of ACIF.

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