Identifying Opportunities for Quantity Surveyors to Enhance and

Identifying Opportunities for Quantity Surveyors to Enhance and

CITA BIM Gathering 2013, November 14th -15th 2013 Identifying Opportunities for Quantity Surveyors to Enhance and Expand the Traditional Quantity Sur...

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CITA BIM Gathering 2013, November 14th -15th 2013

Identifying Opportunities for Quantity Surveyors to Enhance and Expand the Traditional Quantity Surveying Role by Adopting Building Information Modelling. Claire Crowley B.Sc. Hons (Surv); B.Tech in Const.Tech; M.S.C.S.I; M.R.I.C.S Chair of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) Quantity Surveying Working Group E-mail: [email protected] Abstract the introduction of Building Information Modeling (BIM) provides new roles and service requirements in addition to providing a tool to enhance skills and expand on the current Quantity Surveying (QS) services offered to Clients. Despite this, the adoption of this tool appears low across the QS profession in Ireland with a lack of training and education evident within the sector. This paper identifies opportunities for the QS profession that can be realised through education and training and ultimately the adoption of BIM. The data collection methodology included a questionnaire to ascertain the current position of the QS profession directly relating to BIM use and awareness. The outcomes of this questionnaire were compared with reports and research from countries advanced in the adoption of BIM, so as to, further establish possible opportunities for the QS profession through the utilisation of BIM. Adoption of the skill set will strengthen and enhance the role as currently provided reinforcing the place of the QS amongst the construction professional disciplines.

Keywords Quantity Surveying, Ireland, Survey Questionnaire, BIM, Opportunities, Adoption

I INTRODUCTION The current economic climate and significant decrease in construction activity has directly affected employment levels and education enrolment across construction professions including the quantity surveying (QS) profession. In a weak construction sector where output has contracted from 25% of Gross National Product (GNP) in 2006 to approximately 6% of GNP in 2012 (DKM, 2012), QS companies that have survived are struggling to grow and at a minimum maintain a reasonable level of construction clients and projects. The combination of a contracted construction industry and the stagnation of education and continuing professional development amongst QS professionals have the potential to threaten the importance of the QS role in the construction industry.

Design disciplines have adopted new ways of working through the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) which offers the capability to generate take-offs, counts and measurements directly from a model. As a profession our strength is in information management and how we deal with the information management transition. We deal with all sources of information and the model is just another form of information to deal with. The term BIM scares people; we are still working in the same way with the same information although in a 3D world. Persons using BIM must be Information Technology (IT) able and must have QS skills; measurement and Cost Planning (RICS, 2012)

CITA BIM Gathering 2013, November 14th -15th 2013

II BIM – DEFINITION AND RELEVANCE TO THE IRISH QUANTITY SURVEYOR BIM is defined as a digital representation of physical and functional characteristics of a facility. A BIM is a shared knowledge resource for information about a facility forming a reliable basis for decisions during its life-cycle; defined as existing from earliest conception to demolition. [National BIM Standard United States] BIM is a digital design toolset which facilitates integrated project delivery (IPD) by providing an opportunity for design team members to break out of individual working methods and work together in a collaborative way. Benefits of BIM include increased visualisation for client’s at project concept stage, the opportunity to construct the building before construction stage which results in building it right. Most importantly BIM optimises facilities management through the life of a building. The life cycle of a building is fundamental and operational costs represent approximately 80% of the overall building cost. (MacLeamy, 2010) BIM worldwide case studies have highlighted capital cost and programme reductions as a direct result of BIM use. Reduction in operating costs is expected to be significant; savings will be attributed to the intelligent information produced by the model. The progress in Ireland is unlike the United Kingdom (UK) where the government has applied a strategy which aims to reduce whole life cycle costs of building and infrastructure by 20% by the end of the current parliament. As part of the strategy the BIM Initiative aims to improve cost, value and carbon performance. The UK Government will require fully collaborative 3D BIM (with all project and asset information, documentation and data being electronic) as a minimum by 2016. A staged plan will be published with mandated milestones showing measurable progress at the end of each year.(UK Cabinet Office 2011) A year on strategy report by the UK Government claimed that industry has responded rapidly and positively with large scale adoption of BIM. The UK is now recognised by its peers as one of the leading nations in the exploitation of BIM technology and processes with an internationally respected and centrally led programme. BIM is a key agent for economic growth in both domestic and international markets. The report highlighted the urgent requirement to progress with the adoption of BIM to ensure indigenous expertise and essentially avoid a scenario where the importing of BIM service becomes a requirement. BIM competition in construction is likely to come from any construction exporting country. (Departmen for Business Skills & Innovation 2012)

As a quantity surveyor basic skills include construction expertise, information exchange facilitator, analysis and the interpretation of individual designer concepts; essentially QS’s correspond and collate all design information into the cost and contract documentation. By adopting and utilising BIM these base skills can translate into enhanced skills including early input and use of the BIM model to provide enhanced ‘optioneering’ services to Clients, a potential role of model exchange facilitator, enhancement of the existing clash detection of design role, and significant direction and input into the BIM execution plan. BIM allows the QS to gain significant time advantage in the quantification and calculation tasks providing additional time to perform new and enhanced QS services. Life Cycle and Carbon costing can now form a prominent part of the QS role. QS companies need to train, develop and up-skill in BIM in order to position themselves as key service providers within the construction industry both at home and abroad. QS’s that adopt this approach now will gain competitive advantage against other QS professionals across Europe. This is supported by the recent announcement that the forthcoming EU procurement directive is to embrace BIM and digital working on public contracts, paving the way for other EU countries to adopt a UK-style BIM mandate in future. The new draft is expected to be ratified by the European Parliament in October. Member countries would then have to pass national legislation to enshrine the directive in law. (CIOB, 2013) With the current UK mandate, the pending EU directive and ever increasing BIM adoption across North America, Australia and Asia, the likelihood of BIM becoming a major part, if not ‘the’ way of collaboratively working within the construction industry is certain. Education, training and adoption of BIM is the only way to ensure survival as a QS professional as traditional methods of working and providing services will very slowly but almost enviably become redundant. In order to remain relevant, globally competitive and successful, quantity surveyors must now more than ever scan their business landscape in order to discern and adapt to imminent changes to their professional practice. The profession is urged to remember to drive for innovation and to proactively seek out and exploit avenues for adding real value for clients. (Frei, 2010).

CITA BIM Gathering 2013, November 14th -15th 2013

III RESEARCH METHODOLOGY The data collection methodology was based on a questionnaire to establish the current position of the QS profession and to ascertain the awareness of BIM. The attitude towards the tool and the potential benefits and opportunities that may be realised through BIM adoption was also established. The questionnaire was developed by the author as Chair of the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) Quantity Surveying BIM working group and was issued by email link to all QS members requesting completion of the survey. The survey was open for a period of two weeks and one hundred and ten responses were received.

III FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION The first section of the survey identified the employment sector category of respondents, the current position of the individual in BIM awareness and use and the projected use of BIM if currently aware. a) Current Category of Employment From one hundred and ten responses Category


Public Sector


Private Practice


Main/Sub Contracting




The majority of respondents are currently employed in private practice; the response base included a good level of public sector and contractor employees forming a well-balanced pool of survey responses.

statistics, the general perception in the industry is that awareness and use of BIM by the QS profession is much lower. While this result is positive the level of awareness and use is not at a sufficient level. The definition of ‘Aware and currently using BIM is also subjective’; do QS’s consider on-screen measurement and 3D models without information as BIM? This is not BIM. In rationalisation to this; there are many barriers to adoption which will be identified further on. Again, with 3% of respondents identifying that they are unaware of BIM this shows a positive reduction from the levels perceived within the profession over two years ago. c) Projected use of BIM (If Aware) From ninety three responses Category


We Currently Use BIM


In 1 Year we will Use BIM


In 2 Years we will Use BIM


We Will Never Use BIM


The responses to this question add to the established awareness in the findings of the previous question. The statistic that is most surprising is that 16% of respondents have identified that they will never use BIM. When the survey response base is considered the varying employment sectors are not enough to justify this; public sector and sub-contracting category roles could be considered as outside the BIM tool user group. Notwithstanding this, the positive statistics show that most BIM aware QS’s currently use BIM and if not, intend to do so within one to two years. d) Benefits of BIM use From fifty seven responses

b) Awareness and/or use of BIM From one hundred and five responses






Higher Fee Income



Just Aware of BIM


Increased Efficiency/Reduction in Cost Base



Aware & Currently Using




Not Aware


Opportunities for Expanded Services Other



I See No Benefits



The response to this category was surprising; 24% of respondents are aware and currently using BIM. This is the key piece of data ascertained from the survey. To date, with the absence of formal survey

CITA BIM Gathering 2013, November 14th -15th 2013 The responses to this question are a welcomed reinforcement to industry sentiment; utilising BIM does not result in a direct higher fee income but it does however result significantly in increased efficiencies and a reduction in cost base. The key finding is that 78% of respondents consider that BIM utilisation presents opportunities for expanded services by the QS profession. This is fundamental to reinforcing the importance of the QS role amongst the construction industry. e) Measurement Software

Respondents disagreed with the following statements: (% Disagreement) i.

Adopting BIM increases our profitability (55%)


BIM makes our redundant (77%)




The responses to this question support previous findings that BIM brings increased efficiencies, is an opportunity for expanded services however BIM doesn’t increase profitability; previously categorised as not generating a higher fee income.

From sixty nine responses g) Barriers to BIM Adoption Category


Buildsoft BT2


When asked on a scale of ‘very important’ to ‘not important’ in relation to the potential barriers to BIM. The following responses were received:



Majority response ‘Very Important’:

Nomitech CostOS




iii. Lack of Client Demand



iv. Lack of Government Lead/Direction



Respondents indicated the current measurement software utilised within their place of business. Buildsoft BT2 product is a clear market leader with CostX following second. The reasons for this may include familiarity with Buildsoft as a brand in Ireland and the cost differential between products. f) Attitudes towards BIM From sixty two responses When asked a series of statements relating to BIM the majority agreed with the following statements: (% Agreement) i.

BIM resources change our workflow and practices (90%)


BIM improves visualisation (93%)

iii. BIM increases co-ordination of construction documents (80%) iv. BIM improves productivity (73%) v.

BIM brings cost efficiencies (77%)

vi. BIM increases speed of delivery (66%) vii. BIM allows the QS to add value to services (76%) viii. The introduction of BIM means a new and enhanced role for the QS profession (80%)


Lack of Training / Education


BIM use by Irish Designers


Lack of Standards

Lack of Training / Education: At the industry’s leading edge, there are companies which have the capability of working in a fully collaborative 3D environment, so that all of those involved in a project are working on a shared platform with reduced transaction costs and less opportunity for error; but construction has generally lagged behind other industries in the adoption of the full potential offered by digital technology. (UK Cabinet Office 2011) The overreaching aim is to integrate BIM within existing education and worked based learning training services, rather than create an additional tier of qualification. For existing practitioners a work based learning approach is recommended. (CITA, 2011) BIM in used by Irish Designers: A 2011 survey by the Royal Institute of Architects Ireland (RIAI) indicated that 85% of members had awareness or understanding of BIM and 17% had adopted BIM at some level (Hore, 2012).The industry sentiment amongst QS professionals is that BIM is not being made available and is not being used on the majority of Irish projects. This is a direct result of client demand and government direction.

CITA BIM Gathering 2013, November 14th -15th 2013 Lack of Client Demand: Clients demand can play a vital role in driving practices to make progress towards BIM. Low client demand may also be as a result of uncertainties regarding BIM for certain tasks and in turn may be occasioned by a perceived lack of industry capability by clients. In that regard the role of public sector clients as facilitators of BIM adoption would be crucial. (Dr. Ajibade Ayodeji Aibinu and Sudha Venkatesh, 2012). Lack of Government Lead / Direction: A clear absence of government strategy shows the requirement for direction at the highest level for the Irish construction industry. As innovation is not prosperous in these retracted times; the government must take lead, stimulate the industry and drive the reinstatement of Irish construction professionals as market leaders in Ireland and abroad. The recent Forfas report specifically identifies BIM as a key action ‘Work with industry organisations to promote the use of BIM and develop the appropriate technical skills amongst Irish construction firms so that they can successfully compete in markets where BIM is widely adopted or a requirement.’ (Forfas, 2013) Lack of Standards: Standards are critical in the adoption of BIM as a collaborative working approach. Without standards the industry remains in individual discipline groups setting their own standards and ultimately end up working as individual components to the process as is the current practice. BIM needs cohesion through standards. In addition to the UK British Standards (BS) developed for BIM, The UK Construction Industry Council (CIC) has now developed BIM protocol. The Protocol identifies the building information models that are required to be produced by members of the Project Team and puts into place specific obligations, liabilities and associated limitations on the use of the models. The Protocol can also be used by clients to require the adoption of particular ways of working – such as the adoption of a common naming standard. The Protocol adopts many of the core principles used in the preparation of the CIC Consultant Appointment and Schedules of Service, particularly that project teams perform better when there is clear responsibility for action and deliverables. (CIC, 2013) Majority response ‘Important’: i.

Lack of IT Infrastructure

Lack of IT infrastructure was categorised as important. BIM is a technology however BIM is a

tool of IPD. BIM cannot be achieved without IT however the first step is change in mind-set and once this is achieved the physical tools must follow. Majority response ‘Relevant’: i.

Current Conditions of Engagement


Lack of New and or Amended Forms of Construction


Current Professional Insurance Terms


The response to these statements was expected; as we are at the early stages of BIM i.e. independent design models most professionals will not have considered contractual and insurance implications nor will they be aware of them. Much consideration and discussion is on-going within the industry with no major principles established as yet. h) Desired support from the Society of Chartered Surveyor’s Ireland (SCSI) This question identified a need for guidance and training to be provided by the SCSI. In addition to this respondents identified a need to lobby politicians to introduce policy and lobby government departments to introduce BIM pilot projects. Two respondents commented that the industry should refer to the existing UK standards and documentation to minimise administration and committees. I) Interest in Training Sixty respondents identified that they would be interested in BIM training as a QS professional. This level of response is positive however all survey respondents should be interested in up-skilling and developing in the area of BIM as a QS professional.

IV THE EXPERIENCE OF THE UK AND NORTH AMERICA In the UK, in 2013, 49% of Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) members are using BIM compared with just 13% in 2011. 100% of members are actively considering adopting BIM and 51% invest in training. (RICS, 2013).These high statistics can be credited to the government mandate in place but perhaps the identification of a marketable advantage against other QS professionals is also a key driver in the utilisation of BIM by UK QS professionals. Caution is required when considering these statistics as the perception in the UK industry is that QS’s are falling behind in adoption; again the definition of ‘BIM’ in

CITA BIM Gathering 2013, November 14th -15th 2013 comparison with 3D models or on screen measurement is applicable. In North America BIM use has been recorded at 71% across the construction industry in 2012; this is compared with 49% in 2009. The number of construction professionals who consider themselves as ‘BIM experts’ is 54%. The top two benefits of BIM have been identified as reduced document errors and omissions and the ability to market new business. The benefits of new service offerings were widely noted as having value in 2009 and 2012. The rise in benefits suggests a maturing market in which sophisticated users are able to take advantage of what BIM has to offer. (H.M.Bernstein, 2012). Again, reoccurring themes are evident in the survey results from the UK and North America reinforcing the opportunities available to QS professionals by adopting BIM. Significant improvements are clear between the survey timeframes. Having these statistics to refer to is extremely useful to provide a forecast for the Irish market which will inevitably follow these trends.

V CONCLUSION The combination of a contracted construction industry and the stagnation of education and continuing professional development amongst QS professionals have the potential to threaten the importance of the QS role in the construction industry. QS firms who live in fear of new technology and the perceived ‘threat’ of BIM are preventing QS employees from developing an enhanced skill set, increasing efficiency and ultimately becoming more marketable. BIM adoption does carry a capital cost however once the learning period is over the increased efficiency yield is guaranteed. The survey of QS professionals in Ireland shows that a quarter of respondents are aware of and currently use BIM and if not the majority intend to use BIM within one to two years. Survey findings also show that majority of respondents are in agreement that BIM changes workflows and practices, improves productivity, brings cost efficiencies and allows the QS to add value to services. Importantly; BIM allows the QS to add value to services. Important barriers to BIM were highlighted as lack of training and education, BIM availability in the Irish market and lack of demand and government direction. The UK and North American statistics cannot but provide encouragement for the training and education of QS professionals in Ireland. If Ireland is to follow these trends a significant increase in use should be expected within the medium term.

A lack of government mandate and client lead/direction is a main barrier to the adoption of BIM in the Irish industry. The forthcoming EU procurement directive should assist the Irish government in the mandating of BIM. In anticipation of this (or not); QS Professionals must educate and up-skill in order to remain relevant, current and ready to embrace the QS opportunities that the BIM era will bring both at home and abroad.

CITA BIM Gathering 2013, November 14th -15th 2013 REFERENCES Department for Business Skills & Innovation 2012. Building information modelling. UK Cabinet Office 2011. Government Construction Strategy May ed. CIC 2013. BUILDING INFORMATION MODEL (BIM) PROTOCOLCIC/BIM Pro first edition 2013. Beale and Company on behalf of the CIC and the BIM Task Group. CIOB. 2013. Brussels Set to Enshrine BIM in EU Wide Procurement Directive. Construction Manager [Online]. Available: 322028. CITA 2011. A Report for the Construction Client Group.


DKM 2012. The Irish Construction Industry in 2012. DKM Consultants: Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland. DR. AJIBADE AYODEJI AIBINU & SUDHA VENKATESH 2012. The Rocky Road to BIM Adoption: quantity surveyors Perspectives. Management of Construction: Research to Practice. Montreal, Canada. FORFAS 2013. Irelands Construction Sector: Outlook and Strategic Plan to 2015. Wilton Park House, Wilton Place, Dublin 2. FREI, M. 2010. Implications of the global financial crisis for the quantity surveying profession. H.M.BERNSTEIN 2012. The Business Value of BIM in North America: Multi-Year Trend Analysis and User Ratings (2007 – 2012). McGraw Hill Construction. Research & Analysis, 34 Crosby Drive, Suite 201, Bedford, MA 01730. . HORE, D. A. V. 2012. BIM: Ireland’s opportunity – a presentation to the Government Construction Contracts Committee (GCCC). MACLEAMY, P. 2010. The Future of the Building Industry: BIM, Bam, Boom. In: MACLEAMY, P. (ed.). HOK Architects.

RICS. BIM Market Forum Overview of Discussions. RICS BIM Market Forum, 21st November 2012 Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). RICS 2013. Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) BIM Survey 2013. RICS. Parliament Square, London, SW1P 3AD, United Kingdom.