In the four previous blog posts, we have published as a guide to the UK BIM Alliance’s “Going Digital” document, we have covered becoming aware of BIM, making a strategy, equipping the office to be able to work digitally, and formalising the use of digital with your client. The next step, therefore, is to take a closer look at your team formation to ensure it is compatible and that a framework agreement is in place.

Conventional Team Formation

On a construction project, the team is usually formed with the appointing of an architect and cost consultant, who will study the feasibility of the project and work together on writing the brief. Once the project has reached stage two, then a project manager and engineering consultant will usually be selected after shortlisting.

In our experience, the main contractor is not often involved in the project until the design has been developed, and they are usually chosen through price competition. The problem with using the price competition as a way of selecting a contractor is that the contractor will inevitably price themselves keenly to win the contract, knowing that they will be able to get more profit from the issues they will have to solve after the build has begun. They can sometimes also substitute materials and products for lower costing options, to reduce costs even further – enhancing their profit while ensuring they stay in budget.

As you can imagine, maintaining a whole-life client approach can be a little challenging when it comes to running a BIM project.

Best Practice Team Formation

Any BIM Manager worth their salt will tell you that putting a team together in the way outlined above is not ideal when it comes to working with BIM. When you have a team that don’t know each other, the speed of working is going to be slower, and levels of BIM competence in BIM will also vary quite widely too. You may also find that different contractors use different BIM software as well – which are not compatible with each other.

Best practice, therefore, suggests that the team is put together following the recommendations of the lead consultant or from a pre-existing panel who have known ability and have already been working together to improve working methods. Either of these ways of putting a team together will allow the contractor’s expertise to come to the fore.

Using best practice to form a construction project team is critical if any aspect of your project involves offsite prefabrication, as the key manufacturing specialists will also need to be part of the team as early on as possible.

It is important to note that putting the team together this way does not allow for tendering on a completed design; instead, the tender will be based on ability, compatibility, and setting product performance and cost targets to be achieved.

To find out more about the outsource BIM services that The CAD Room has to offer, and how we can help you with any of your BIM related projects, please get in touch with us on 0161 427 0348 or email us at