Better outcomes through appropriate standards
As governments across Asia and in Australia have indicated that they intend to invest heavily in infrastructure projects in the coming years, the industry as whole can look to the UK’s experiences in mandating building infrastructure management (BIM) to deliver projects on time, on (original) budget and to a set of standards that facilitate more effective maintenance and operations beyond design and construction.
With the construction industry in Asia discussing BIM as an opportunity to increase efficiency, many are calling for the mandating of BIM to drive change. The mandating of BIM has helped the UK government save taxpayers AU$1.8 billion in construction costs in 2013 and 2014. Whilst standards are essential to test deliverables, they have to be appropriate to the specific industry or project they are being applied to.
Mandating the use of BIM—as evidenced in the UK—creates significant market movement, but Bentley Systems believes that if the government and infrastructure owners push even further towards mandating BIM outcomes, a greater value will be realised across the whole life cycle of the asset.
Taking a Totex View
Infrastructure owners should be encouraged to shift from taking Opex (operating cost) and Capex (capital expenditure) models towards a more holistic Totex (total expenditure) approach. The bulk of expenditure for most civil infrastructure assets does not come during the design and build phase, but rather during its total lifespan as operations and maintenance costs mount over time. In fact, as much as 95 percent of an asset’s Totex costs over its lifetime comprise Opex.
It is critical that infrastructure owners ensure information remains usable as much as possible throughout the life cycle of a project—from design through to construction and into operations.
Information Life Cycle Management
The true value of BIM is realised when infrastructure owners shift their thinking, plan ahead and start with the end in mind to reap the rewards. It is critical for infrastructure owners (employers) to scope out detailed employers’ information requirements (EIRs) at the commencement of a project to ensure that models and other information developed maintain their values.
Shifting the focus from the immediate capital expenditure for projects to more of a Totex view will help drive necessary change in the way that public funds are spent.
The UK government is currently achieving 20-percent savings1 in the Capex phase of their capital projects and is now aiming for a 33-percent reduction in Totex.
In Asia, matching the 20 percent in Capex savings that are already being realised in the UK means that dollars earmarked for infrastructure projects can be stretched further to deliver more for taxpayer dollars. For every 4 kilometres of built road or rail track laid, a fifth is free. Or for every four hospitals that are constructed, a fifth can be provided within the current budget. That is a platform every politician making promises on infrastructure spending would love to be standing on.– By Brian Middleton, Vice President – ANZ, Bentley Systems
For more information, please visit www.bentley.com.