Mott MacDonald (MM) was appointed the delivery partner by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) for an international development project to progress inclusive and sustainable infrastructure and economic development in strategic countries, whilst improving trade links and export opportunities.
There is a strong link between infrastructure development and increased prosperity. The construction and operation of hospitals, train stations and schools makes a lasting difference to health, inclusion and mobility of communities and stimulates economic growth. By harnessing modern digital processes, we can help governments reduce poverty and create a more equitable society. The Building Information Modelling (BIM) Pathfinder Programme aimed to vastly increase adoption of BIM in partner countries (Vietnam, Indonesia, Colombia, Peru, Mexico and Brazil) to help achieve these goals.
The MM team was led from the UK, with inputs from MM Singapore, Indonesia, and Colombia offices with sub-consultant Atlas Industries contracted in Vietnam. We supported the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) International Programme providing consultancy excellence, cultural understanding, inclusion expertise, and in depth technical knowledge of BIM.
We instilled an open approach to discussions with the client team early, with issues raised and tackled promptly. We worked together in a highly collaborative way, setting the project up for collaborative working, with SharePoint open to CDBB. Deliverables were shared during development, increasing the confidence of client team. The sense of one-team was very strong, which enabled us to work through complex challenges. Issues were tackled quickly as a result, for example the COVID-19 mitigation plan.
Over the 26 months, strong relationships were built with stakeholders in partner countries that would provide energy, capacity and momentum to national BIM implementation plans. Leadership from the government of the partner countries is key to success. We advised in the creation of a BIM Steering Committee and BIM Working Groups (BWGs) and documented the relationship, and roles each would contain.
We worked particularly with partner country BWGs (a blend of public, private and academic stakeholders) to develop and move the National BIM Implementation plans forward. The BWGs, with our support and guidance, communicated the plan to their industry peers, produced the documentation required for BIM use, created communities of practice, commenced pilot projects, and promoted training sessions.
At programme close the collated data showed that the objectives of the programme were met, and in some cases exceeded by the project. For example, the target number of BIM pilot projects was 10, with 49 achieved and target number of trained government officials 750, with 2087 achieved.
The construction industries of Vietnam, Colombia, Peru and Brazil in particular have transformed from having pockets of knowledge on the use of BIM in the private sector, to having BIM policies in place, an upskilled public sector workforce, and informed supply chain. The BWGs have continue the adoption plans following project close, thus continuing the journey and leaving a legacy from the programme. With the partner countries sharing learnings through regional networks, this has become a truly globally impactful and internationally important project.
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