the construction industry has steadfastly adopted [an] anarchic approach to contract formation… formalities in the construction industry are typically left until the contract is half-completed and, in many cases, until after the performance of the contract is actually complete
Process is not really a strong point in the UK construction industry. If you don’t believe me, the NBS Construction Contracts and Law Report 2018 says 30% of projects start without a contract in place and 3% finish without a contract. Some are never signed!
In addition the top 2 causes of disputes in the Arcadis Global Disputes Report 2018 are based on process (contract administration or poor/incomplete claims).
BIM involves an entire process of information generation and sharing, and distinct changes of process in design, construction and facilities management.
Poor process with a BIM-enabled project will increase the work required (and cost) for everyone, particularly the information managers.
Going Digital 2018 confirms that when digital working methods are employed, the standard forms of appointment and contract need to be augmented to take into account changes in traditional processes and obligations.
What should you do?
Processes need to be designed and developed collaboratively so they suit the needs of every project partner, rather than being dictated by a client (or its lawyers).
Project contracts need to deal with key process issues affected by BIM, including deadlines/programme, interfaces with data and design submission, clash detection and changes, early warnings, and risk management. The Protocol may cover the common data environment (CDE) process.
Reference: Building Information Modelling, Winfield (2015), SCL Paper 178.