Tuesday, January 16th, 2018
We are proud to have been awarded the BRE BIM Level 2 Business Systems Certification. The certification process, headed up by Tom and Das, was very rigorous to make sure that we were meeting all the requirements of the standard, but working with our assessor, BRE’s Sean McCormick, made it a really constructive and valuable exercise.
As a practice, we believe in the value of measuring systems and demonstrating capability. We also believe the process of journeying through the accreditation process allowed us to learn a great deal about ourselves. The areas we concentrated on, the preparation required, and meeting with people like the BRE allows us to further develop that capability.
The BRE Accreditation process was quite lengthy, intense and very in-depth, covering all our business processes around BIM and ensuring that everything we do is Level 2 compliant. This includes meeting the requirements of PAS 1192-2:2013 and section 4.2 table 8 of the PAS 91:2013 prequalification questionnaire document. We were also assessed against BS1992 and the CPIx BIM Assessment criteria.
We have a review with BRE in 12 months to catch up on the some of the recommendations for improvements that came up in the assessment and how these have been implemented. This shows our ongoing commitment to the process as a means of constant incremental improvements on our processes.
Perhaps our biggest challenge during the process was ensuring our in-house Common Data Environment (CDE) was compliant; as a smaller practice, we are quite often operating using someone else’s CDE. We could have gone through the accreditation a lot earlier just as a supplier, but we were keen to ensure that we had full capabilities, so we delayed the process until our CDE was up and running, working with the BRE to ensure it was compliant.
Another challenge lies in where we sit in the supply chain. We are the smallest architectural practice that has gone through this process, and we may even be the smallest firm, in general, to have achieved certification. However, being a smaller practice should not be seen as a barrier as it can allow an opportunity to go through the certification process early.
We hope the certification demonstrates not only a commitment to the process but also a capability that’s been assessed by a third party. For our practice, it means a guarantee that when we say we can meet BIM Level 2, we have the certificate to prove it.
One of the benefits we see to this achievement is we believe the certification will make it easier to bid for future projects, similar to gaining a Quality Management Qualification. We hope that this will even allow us to reduce the amount of time on Pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQs) when trying to demonstrate capability.
It feels like a milestone in what has been a long journey going right back to the inception of the practice with projects like the Pool House in 2006. It is always good to have your systems reviewed by an external accreditor as it gives you the ability to evaluate your capability and put in place processes for continuous incremental improvement. It’s great to be joining the slowly growing band of consultants that have reviewed their capability to deliver BIM Level 2.