BOQ’s are dead, long live BIM!

There seems to be quite a bit of chat around at the moment about BIM so I thought I’d have a read of one or two of the articles that I found and share some of them with you.

The first article that caught my attention was from the JCT of all people in their JCTNews April 2011 publication that came out with ‘building’ magazine recently. Then along with that I saw an article in the RICS Modus magazine (page 17) about BIM take up in the UK. Then I found on LinkedIn a discussion in the building industry group that provoked some interesting comments, this also has a link to the NBS with the report they published in March 2011.

So, what is BIM and why will boq’s be dead?

BIM is – Building Information Modelling –  and it’s not new, it’s been around for a while.

Why will boq’s be dead? Well actually they won’t it’s just the way they go about being produced will change.  You see BIM is all about integrating all aspects of the design and specification on a project. Yes it’s about CAD and 3D modelling of projects, but the interesting bit about it is that if we all collaborate and get our act together we will be able to save thousands of pounds off the cost of construction projects. The hard part is getting everyone to buy into it and see the benefits, and at the moment there are too many sceptics around. And also the cost is too prohibitive on smaller projects – at the moment.

The report I liked the best was produced by the NBS as it seemed to portray things warts and all, and gave some great statistics of the participants in their survey, like:

  • 43% had never heard of BIM
  • 64% don’t agree that BIM is all about the software
  • 81% agree that it brings better co-ordination of construction documents
  • 85% agree that in 5 years time they see themselves adopting it for at least some of their projects

Why aren’t we using it more now? I don’t know, but the comments at the end of ‘BIM – the long view from architectural and design practice’ by Robert Klaschka from Studio Klaschka may give you the reason why, (that’s in the NBS report by the way).

Either way it’s an exciting future and I think as quantity surveyors we should be embracing this new technology and endeavouring to make everyone’s life easier in the construction process, instead of ignoring it and thinking it will go away!

If you want to read the RICS defintion of BIM click here

You can also follow Studio Klaschka on twitter @studioklaschka

4 Responses to “BOQ’s are dead, long live BIM!”

  1. 1 Rob Garvey April 19, 2011 at 3:56 pm


    Really good blog and resonates with much my own feelings on the topic. Surveyors in particular need to understand how to embrace BIM rather than ignore it, otherwise the writing could well be on the wall, if it isn’t already!


    • 2 derekmynott April 19, 2011 at 4:35 pm

      Hi Rob,
      Thanks for the comments, it truly does amaze me how much duplication of effort goes into a construction project from things we’ve already learned in the past. Wouldn’t it be great if QS’s could concentrate more on the cost control of projects from the outset with confidence and Architects/Designers could concentrate more on delivering quality buildings to a better design, function and performance. Not saying it’s the immediate answer as still a long way to go, but reckon it’s where our future is whether we like it or not.

      And as far as quantification/measurement goes (the bit that the QS’s seem to be concerned about) it’s the area that is dying out as a skill in our profession, and at the moment there’s no interest in a) it being taught seriously anymore, or b) any interest from the next generation of surveyors wanting to do it!

  2. 3 Rob Garvey April 20, 2011 at 9:44 pm


    There is plenty to discuss on this matter, but my view is we need to understand cost better in the first place. QS’s and the industry have become price managers rather than cost managers and BIM has the potential to be our most effective cost database.

    As far as quantification and measurement, these are the very skills that wil be required to measure amongst other things carbon.


  3. 4 Luap August 8, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Measurement is not and will never be ‘DEAD’.

    Bim is a mere tool for communication, and we are already seeing cases from the US were a complete lack of communication has led to BIM legal case (settled out of court).

    The RICS were pushing the ‘Measurement is dead’ logo and the QS is no more back in the 90’s, oh and what about the humble BQ that was said to be as old as the dinosaurs back in the 90’s never to be seen again……….REALLY?!.

    I would put my house on BIM creating more issues than it resolves, and time will tell.

    The fact is measurement is at the very core of our industry, like it or not every requires measuring.

    I have been working sole with BQ’s for the past 4 years solid, on some major projects. There is life in the old dog yet.

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About Me

I’m now the Managing Director of Mynott Associates Limited my own specialist measurement business. I’ve been in the industry all of my life since I left school. My first job was with Bovis Construction as a management trainee where I trained to become a quantity surveyor. I’ve worked for contractors all through my career, I am FRICS, FCIOB and MCIHT qualified and act as an RICS assessor. I’m also a keen Arsenal supporter having followed them from a young boy

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