Building Information Modelling: An analysis of the methods used to streamline design-to-construction in New Zealand
The following study explores and investigates the current methods New Zealand (NZ) Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) firms use to enable effective BIM coordination in their projects. The purpose was to gain and contribute knowledge of the various methods for successful BIM delivery, as well, as to bridge the gap between academia and industry for a greater understanding of BIM use in an NZ context. A qualitative research approach was carried out and comprised of semi-structured interviews in which eight industry participants across the design-to-construction supply chain were selected and interviewed. From the results, the different methods identified were: BIM-to-fabrication; change of procurement methods; and incorporating BIM Collaboration Format (BCF) plugin platforms. These methods identified contribute to knowledge for future researchers to undertake; predominantly to provide direction and recommendations to explore each method in an NZ industry context further. Further discussions of the results identify that although the different methods can contribute to better BIM coordination, the success of a BIM model to be delivered effectively is dependent on two significant factors. The factors are; firstly, to capture the BIM requirements and needs of the client to establish well-defined deliverables in the BEP; and secondly, to ensure that the project team are to understand their role and responsibilities right throughout the project. This was a crucial finding in this thesis as although the methods are effective in enabling greater BIM coordination; ultimately it comes down to BIM understanding and expertise from key project stakeholders; which brings the notion of the issue back to the root of the problem. Other key findings from this thesis indicate a positive future for BIM within the NZ AEC industry, with many of the participant firms recognised to be proactive and open to incorporating BIM into their projects. Though the signs are encouraging, discussions with industry participants still express their concerns on needing to align the understanding of BIM between key project stakeholders. Therefore, an education piece which focuses on the client and their understanding of BIM in an NZ context is suggested for future research. This thesis also presents academia with valuable industry BIM workflow diagrams which the author has either illustrated or been provided by participants.