While UK construction companies have been ramping up their BIM activity in preparation for the BIM Level 2 mandate, firms in Ireland have had no such regulation to work to. However, recognising the value BIM would bring to both its business and clients, one of Ireland’s leading construction companies, JJ Rhatigan & Company (JJR) proactively decided to invest in the needed BIM 360 tools regardless. As could be expected, this forward-thinking investment recently gained JJR a cover story in Irish Building Magazine.
Building blocks to BIM
JJR kicked off its BIM journey in 2013 by deploying Autodesk Revit, which it selected due to its ease of use, support of Industry Foundation Classes (IFCs), and ability to merge with other models. The Revit roll-out was quickly followed by deploying Autodesk Navisworks for to help boost coordination and clash detection.
“We turned to BIM to give our teams the technology and processes to enable them to work more efficiently with greater control over project information,” said Michelle Fahey, BIM Implementation Manager, JJ Rhatigan and Company.
While BIM and model-based design were new to many of JJ Rhatigan & Company’s employees, training programs were designed to accelerate current and future adoption of BIM. Since its implementation, the company has trained over 100 of their employees in different aspects of the BIM process including software and protocols.
According to Fahey the benefits of BIM were instant: “Revit and Navisworks greatly improved collaboration for the entire project team and delivered time savings. We also realised that hosting the models and undertaking clash detection were going to offer enormous benefits to our subcontractors by improving their comprehension of the project. A single source of truth for the project ensures every member has instant access to the correct information.”
Collaborating in cloud with BIM 360
To ensure it remained at the forefront of this progressive technology, JJ Rhatigan & Company knew it needed to invest in cloud-based construction collaboration software. Building on its work with Revit and Navisworks, the company chose Autodesk BIM 360 as the tool to use across all future construction projects.
“We looked at other products but given our experience and success of working with Autodesk software in the past, we were confident that BIM 360 would deliver and meet our needs,” said Fahey.
The cloud based software makes it easier for all construction stake-holders to collaborate more effectively, saving on time and resources. JJ Rhatigan & Company’s clients are gaining better insight into their projects which accelerates the decision making process.
JJ Rhatigan has also been able to reduce the time their employees spend on resolving minor clashes with subcontractors prior to coordination meetings, making these meetings much more productive. Quality, Environmental and Health and Safety Managers are also able to access company forms in BIM 360 Field remotely, which dramatically streamlined the process. This has enabled the project to progress without delays.
BIM now and beyond
To-date JJ Rhatigan & Company is using BIM in 20 projects in both the private and public sectors, setting the standard for other Irish companies looking to incorporate BIM into their construction projects as well. JJ Rhatigan & Company has undertaken the role as a key member of the BIM Western Steering Committee, promoting BIM in the West of Ireland and sharing their experience and knowledge in BIM to a wider community across the Construction sector.
Commenting on the future, Ger Ronayne, Regional Director said: “In order to deliver more efficiency to our clients and projects, we will continue to explore opportunities to innovate and utilise BIM technologies and processes. Although we don’t currently have a mandate to work towards, we view BIM as a key enabler for delivering on our promise of ‘Setting Standards’ in the speed and quality of our construction”.
JJ Rhatigan & Company is one of Ireland’s leading general building contractors, with offices in Galway, Dublin, Cork, Sligo and London. With over 60 years’ experience, JJ Rhatigan & Company has established itself amongst the top building companies delivering high quality, sustainable construction projects across a range of sectors including Commercial, Retail, Hotel, Leisure, Education, Industrial, Residential, Healthcare, Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical and Municipal. Our vast portfolio spans from traditional building contracts, new builds, fit out and renovations, to the design and build of large scale landmark developments. We are committed to ‘Setting Standards’ in the industry through the speed and quality of our construction. Our pledge to our clients it to continue to provide our services to the highest levels of integrity, safety and quality delivering best in class solutions time and time again.
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