ISG and Asda’s BIM journey started around four years ago when discussions were held to evaluate the benefits of BIM implementation for the supermarket’s capital works framework programme. As a longstanding framework partner and early BIM adopter, we were convinced that Asda would see significant efficiency gains across its extensive property portfolio with a more collaborative construction approach.
Understanding the real potential for BIM and sensing a genuine appetite for change provided the drive to engage and bring our delivery network along on the journey with us. From the outset we knew that we could not implement BIM alone, so an open forum was our solution to facilitate the move into a more collaborative environment and we brought along a dedicated BIM manager to act as the hub for information exchange.
Trial projects were used as BIM pilots, where various aspects of the BIM process were tested and evaluated. We knew going all in on the first BIM projects would lead to inconclusive benefits, the change curve for the supply chain and our own teams would be far too great a leap, so we handpicked aspects, such as 4D/5D/6D/Field BIM/COBie, to establish tangible benefits.
Recognising that there was real value for Asda using BIM for facilities management (FM), we sought to understand the FM provider’s specific requirements, looking at improving documentation handover so that we could facilitate day one operation and maintenance activities.
A simple spreadsheet and field BIM software was rolled out containing parameters for commissioning, warranty and Service Level Agreement (SLA) information. This software enables subcontractors on site to capture data required for handover at installation stage, eliminating the information lag that causes delays. This data is then pushed back into the federated model for extraction.
To date, ISG has delivered Asda’s first two BIM projects, with new stores in Barry, South Wales and Beeston in West Yorkshire. ISG acted as the information manager and ran the co-ordination meetings for both schemes, with a key output being the interactive digital handover folder, which contains comprehensive FM information, along with links to O&M manuals.
ISG is the only main contractor represented on Asda’s BIM steering group, sharing best practice and shaping future processes. The next implementation phase looks at further development of the supermarket’s FM system and viability of linking COBie outputs.
Richard Oldfield is ISG’s framework director for Asda.