Can the government drive interoperability?
It is a key question occupying Fiona Moore from GIIG (Government and Industry Interoperability Group), who told delegates at Digital Construction Week how both the government and the construction sector are finally beginning to move beyond bold but vague statements on digital construction.
Moore – director of Cirrus Consultant Services and technical lead at the GIIG – said government and construction are beginning to engage with the detail of how digital projects are managed.
Describing the shift in engagement as going “beyond the hype”, she said: “My favourite mantra is ‘don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good’.
“We’ve got beyond the hype, and people are rolling their sleeves and doing detail on projects.”
Interoperability is the ability of two or more systems to exchange information securely, and use the information which is exchanged.
Put simply, it’s making sure that the information lives outside it lives independently of the technology used to produce things.
In construction many contractors and clients manage projects via Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie), however often the management of the information is poor.
Moore says that working with the Ministry of Justice on a project has helped hone their data requirements down to what was useful.
She said: “With my BIM journey with the Ministry of Justice, when I asked what COBie information they wanted, the answer I got was, they wanted everything.
“What is it you want, and what do you want it [the information] for.”
According to Moore, structured information refers to information that is exchanged, and how that information relates to the lifecycle of a building or project – rather than simply the construction phase.
Also speaking in the morning session, Nick Smallwood, chief executive officer of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, said that he wanted to demand more as a client in terms of productivity.
He said: “We need very different contract structures for projects.
“We have to be a bit more pointy and driving change in the construction space.
“When it comes to innovation, I don’t see it on my projects.
“I want to see 40% improvements on productivity, which means it’s better for the environment, better for clients, and costs less to the taxpayer.”
Image: everything possible/Shutterstock. Written by Tim Clark
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