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Crossrail spreads BIM technology to suppliers

Crossrail chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme this week announced a new partnership with software house Bentley Systems.

Crossrail chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme this week announced a new partnership with software house Bentley Systems.

He said it would transform the role of Building Information Modelling (BIM) across the £14.5bn project’s lifecycle.

Crossrail chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme

The agreement will make the entire Bentley BIM technology suite available across the project supply chain and, via a newly created Crossrail/Bentley

BIM Academy, and will drive ideas and innovation from industry directly into future software developments.

Moving the boundaries

“We are moving industry boundaries,” said Wolstenholme, declaring himself as “passionate” to see rapid uptake and development of BIM in construction.

“Crossrail had the vision to invest in a product that it could instruct the supply chain to use,” he said, adding that it was now crucial that potential barriers to the supply chain getting involved were removed.

“This arrangement enables the same preferential access to Bentley’s products across the whole Crossrail supply chain,” he said.

“It is not going to cost Crossrail anything, but simply enables all suppliers to use the Bentley Enterprise License subscription currently offered to the project team.”

Crucial decision

Wolstenholme said Crossrail’s decision to form a technical partnership with Bentley was crucial to ensuring that the whole supply to engages with BIM by ensuring that it has cost effective access to the technology.

He said there were big savings to be made using BIM technology at the brief, design and construction stages of projects but that the real wins were likely to come from its integration into the testing, commissioning, operation and management of infrastructure.

“The real win is not in better sequencing on construction but in how to manage that asset,” he said. “The real prize is to understand how you manage the asset.”

Wolstenholme highlighted what he described as the “thin red line” of the design and management process from design through construction to operation and management.

The challenge, he said, was to create a single BIM model that links up the information and data sets at every point along that line.


Readers' comments (1)

  • Good to see a major organising taking on board a holistic approach to BIM. We've been pussy footing around with bits of BIM for years but never seem to have been able get it consolidated. Too much of the VHS/ Betamax attitude!

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