Support the underdogs

Are we creating a class system in the construction industry where large projects are for the elite, supported by BIM to keep the underdogs at bay?

After reading an article in AJ, on small businesses struggle to win larger projects. I do recall seeing the PQQ questions on finance and insurance over the years, while implementing BIM Level 2 at large practices. What we did was to standardise these PQQ responses to make the response a semi-automatic admin task.

Over 2018 and 2019 DDC Solutions have focused on helping smaller practices to get on board with the BIM process and technology. And the AJ article clarified that SMEs are playing the same game as large practices, but with different rules.

What I have seen while working with clients who have lots of resource, is that even though they also need to comply with BIM Level 2 requirements on large projects and they do need to fill in the tiresome PQQs. The larger practices are privileged with policies and requirements that apply to their financial status. Many of which didn’t exist when these practices were just starting up as an SME.

BIM is now creating an additional “ability” barrier for SMEs to comply with, if they have any aspiration to grow as a company and wanting to compete for large projects. By now we have all probably heard the “prophesy” “adopt to BIM or go under”. And it is easy to say when you look at it from the top.

What the glory of Highrise projects and BIM Level 2 looks like for the small practices are quite different.

I am not talking about architectural abilities, design or ambitions here. What I am highlighting is that an SME is trying to grow in an industry that have setup targets that an SME often cannot meet.

In AJ three of these rules were mentioned:

  • Insurance
  • Turnover
  • Previous experience

And we also have the BIM Level 2 / ISO 19650 requirement to meet and in many cases a specific software is also required.

After speaking to a few small practice directors, asking what the perceived risks seem to be from a developer’s point of view, risks that have set the financial and insurance thresholds. The concerns seem to be around the delivery of correct information, on time. So, it is a technology, process and support issue then? If the small practice has the correct software, they have the correct process (BIM /ISO 19650) and can demonstrate what information will be produced and when and how it will be delivered, they have the support behind them to develop and deliver and they have the required knowledge. Is a small practice still a risk element to a project?

What if, the developer had the ISO 19650 implemented and worked with a small practice who could meet every point of the ISO 19650 requirements set by the developer and on top of that had a faster response time with collaboration and communication and the direct attention of an architectural director. Would this not reduce the risk compared with to large practice who might not be ISO19650 compliant, have a slow response time and the project is not rigorously monitored by a director?

As for Experience. Sure, going from a kitchen extension to building the next HSBC tower, might be a little bit of a step. But, applying different targets and policies depending on project types and the abilities of the SME would help the industry by opening up the playing field and competition.

Regarding the BIM Level 2 / ISO 19650 requirements set in the PQQs. Sure, being BIM or ISO compliant will not help with the automatic rejection on insurance and turnover in the PQQs. But, it will help when there is an opportunity to influence and demonstrating capabilities and capacities. Having the BIM / ISO compliancy in place, both for developers and small SMEs will automatically demonstrate efficiency at the very start of communication on the project.

E.g. the developer is asking for process and deliverables at day 1 and the BIM / ISO compliant SME can respond with the process and deliverables proposal on day 2 including full 3D coordination testing of the site, capability statements, BEP, CDE process and collaboration, modelling and training strategies and knowledge evidence for all team members. Something that usually takes weeks or months to achieve on any given project. Would an SME that can demonstrate this level of capability not lower the risk to the project?

But if an SME is automatically rejected based on PQQ and not given a chance to compete. Where is the incentive to try to progress and grow?

If we are to reach the goals set for the UK construction industry and continue being a dominant market. We need to change the direction of creating a monopoly-based industry and let talents and ambitions be heard and be given the opportunity to contribute. Still with-in controlled environments but with policies, targets and processes that enable people to grow, rather than preventing them access.


#SME #smallbusiness #architects #professionalism #BIM#BIMLevel2 #process #standards #pqq

Inspired to progress, in the best way possible. By driving the innovation of technology, process and service to unify an industry. To communicate and collaborate to be the best we can be.
DDC Solutions

LinkedIn Jimi Clarke

Twitter @AEC_People

BIM. A Worldwide Process

ISO19650 – Part 1 and Part 2: 2018 are out!

Let’s quickly recap on what we already know about Building Information Modelling -BIM- in UK.

The British standards BS 1192:2007+A2:2016 and PAS 1192‑2:2013 are aimed at clarifying standards for achieving a collaborative framework for BIM Level 2 in the UK. Despite the British governmental mandate for its adoption, several challenges have been underpinned in the latest studies. In fact, being developed from the BSI – national standards body of the UK- the usage of aforementioned standards has been limited to the British AEC Industry without its adoption worldwide.

We received good news a month ago when ISO19650 – Part 1 and Part 2: 2018- Organisation and digitisation of information about buildings and civil engineering works, including building information modelling (BIM): Information management using building information modelling – have been published as internationalisation of the UK’s BIM Level 2 standards.

We have been lucky from this side of the world, ISO is based on the British standards. Are you wondering why you should adopt International Standards at this point? Well. National standards are no longer in place, instead, a transition guide has been published in the UK whilst waiting for the National Annex to ISO to be published, later this year.

In the meantime, adjustments regarding current documentation and process are required, as further details about the information delivery and flow have been outlined. In fact, the aim of these ISO standards is to support all the involved parties to achieve their business objectives, with an appropriate framework related to management of information during operational and delivery phase of assets.

These ISO principles are applicable regardless of types and sizes of organisations and regardless of the chosen procurement strategy. Although each stakeholder shall collaborate for delivering sets of required information and developing adequate ISO compliant documents while following a defined flow of information, the appointing parties as Developers, shall evaluate the most effective management of information throughout the project and schedule the appropriate strategy for the long-term asset information management, establishing protocols and requirements for lead appointed party, as architects, and third-appointed parties.

This is what is going on with BIM and ISO. What about us?

DDC Solutions strongly believe that the development of this well-structured ISO19650 – Part 1 and Part 2: 2018 will enable an effective exchange of agreed information in the entire construction supply chain not solely in the UK, but worldwide. This newly defined and structured flow of information will highlight the beneficial application of BIM – Building Information Modelling – as collaborative process between different involved parties and especially to cost and time effective for the project delivery and further asset management.

We updated our resources and improved our knowledge. We keep choosing to be part of this global expansion process.

Are you?

For more information on how we can help follow the link and drop us a message:


By Cristiano Barretta – Consultant, DDC Solutions



#ISO19650 #professionalism #BIM  #BIMLevel2 #process #standards #AECPeople

Inspired to progress, in the best way possible. By driving the innovation of technology, process and service to unify an industry. To communicate and collaborate to be the best we can be.
DDC Solutions


LinkedIn Jimi Clarke

Twitter @AEC_People



Is validating our work really that time consuming?

Validation Image

In my industry, and yours, validation of the work we do is critical to make sure that the products and services we provide are up to standard and fit for purpose. E.g. an MOT. But often, validation is over looked and seen as a process pushed by a “manager” to tick a process box. But on the other hand, we highly value the time we spend on procrastination validation. How much time do we spend on such activities and how does it compare to the validation that we should prioritise but happily neglect?

Why do we validate? Or rather, why do we happily validate when there are no set or agreed criteria to validate against and there are no real gains from the validation. But as soon as we have agreed criteria and there is something to be gained from the validation. Well, then we are most reluctant to waste the time on this extra work.

Example. Procrastination validation on social media posts and comments relating to food, selfies, cats and cucumbers etc. The average person in 2017 spent 116 min a day on social media (Reference 1) and, based on my own “validation” on that statistic, the average person did not make any great advances physically or spiritually as a result of the time spent.

Validation methodology. The methodology I used in validating the above statistic, was the old and tested technique we all use. I am of course talking about the “I bloody know what I am talking about”. We make quick judgments (Validations) about facts, fiction, people, cats, pasta and shelves. Based on our 30 second google research and our vast experiences on every subject known to man.

116 min a day!!

The time you have left in between social media, eating and sleeping we spend working. At work, validation is often critical to our results and for us to get paid. If we, at least that is what they tell us, validate our work against the standards and processes that industry experts have spend a significant amount of time developing, testing and training “you” on. We could help the company, help the clients, progress our career and become experts our self, as a result of knowing how to deliver great products and services.

What is the most used comment to the request to learn new validation standards and actually using them?

“it’s a lot of work and I don’t have time”.


Example. In my industry, validation is key. The average architect or engineer need to learn a handful of validation points to be used as they are working. They would need to run through the validation again before sending information out or using incoming information and they would need to do a more thorough validation every quarter or so per project. Total validation time spend. . . ball park. . . about 400min per month or to put it in a different way. 4 days of social media validation.

The average person spend about 3h per week on social media during work hours (Reference 2) or 30 min per day. That is 10 min more than the professional validation of one’s work require per day.

I’m just saying!



#validation #professionalism #BIM #bs1192 #BIMLevel2 #process #standards

Reference 1:
Reference 2:
Inspired to progress, in the best way possible. By driving the innovation of technology, process and service to unify an industry. To communicate and collaborate to be the best we can be.
DDC Solutions

LinkedIn Jimi Clarke

Twitter @AEC_People