Knauf reinforces the BIM revolution with contractor training

by Laura

BIM Training - KnaufIn response to the needs of its customers, Knauf – the UK’s leading manufacturer of lightweight building materials and systems – is delivering one-day courses introducing the Building Information Modelling (BIM) to first and second tier contractors.

Knauf believes that the course is urgently needed because the Government has stated that all projects should be adopting BIM from April 2016 – yet there is a lack of training or support being offered through accredited training bodies. Knauf also notes the lack of understanding in the market place from second tier contractors and so has invested in supporting its customers to understand BIM and how it will affect them.

The move has been warmly welcomed by the industry. “So far all the attention in introducing BIM has been aimed at the developers, specifiers and architects and not enough upon the specialist contractors. This course developed by Knauf make a significant contribution to redressing the balance,” said Joe Cilia, Technical Manager for FIS which represents the Finishes and Interior Sector.

“Being BIM ready or BIM Compliant is the buzz phrase that we hear with increasing regularity as we approach the March 2016 imposed deadline for [Government] projects to be delivered to BIM level 2, but so far there has been little information on what the  specialist contractors have to do and where  they get relevant information from.”

BIM is set to revolutionise the way in which buildings are designed, constructed and maintained by assembling multiple data streams so that the design team can then generate a comprehensive virtual 3D model of a building.

“We were an early adopter of BIM and regard it as a saving rather than a business cost. Using BIM has enabled us to be both more competitive and boost profits,” said Malcolm Clarke, Managing Director of Baxall Construction, a main contractor with an annual turnover of £20 million employing 50 full-time staff. The company not only sent three staff to the first training session held by Knauf but also is part of the Kent BIM Hub and won Newcomer of the Year at the recent RICS BIM4SME Awards.

“Our staff found the day’s session very informative and useful – it’s good to see a manufacturer taking the lead,” commented Mr Clarke.

Clare and Leigh Brewer of Excel Plastering (Ilford) were also among more than 30 people attending the first training sessions at Knauf’s training centre at its headquarters, the Cube. Clare, a former architectural technician, said: “It was an excellent day’s training and I would wholly recommend it. We’re now looking towards becoming ‘BIM ready’ because our clients do a lot of government work and we need to be able to read drawings and get to the point where our estimators can use BIM in their calculations.” Excel Plastering employs nine permanent staff, directing up to 60 self-employed operatives on projects throughout London and the South East.

Knauf will be offering further courses on BIM and, in addition, supports the Kent BIM Hub forum by offering and hosting events. For details please email

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