Opinion

‘Challenge the status quo and you will find yourself overboard’

A selection of readers’ comments about news and issues in the industry from across the CIOB community.

Paul Morrell’s CIOB lecture

‘Standards are not red tape’: takeaways from Paul Morrell’s CIOB lecture

CM 06/12

Paul Morrell OBE reviewed the industry’s burning issues at the Sir James Wates lecture, titled ‘How much longer? Why is change so difficult (and yet so necessary) in construction?’

I particularly resonate with the point raised about the lack of enforcing standards. This absence of enforcement from the very top is a significant factor contributing to our industry’s ongoing struggle with information management standards and transformation in general.

I’m curious about our next steps, though. Although we frequently discuss these matters, it seems we persist in the same direction day after day.

Take the BIM aspect, for instance. Early on, those of us on the front lines, well versed in information management and modelling, sensed almost immediately that the BIM initiative was reaching too high and too far, too soon.

The assumption that most projects already had the digital and information management basics in place and adhered to BS 1192:2007 immediately led us astray. And our clients were also not ready for COBie, nor did they have any enforced objective on them to digitise their facility/asset management contracts unless they were critical infrastructure reliant on data.

Despite our current situation, we have learnt nothing and are still aiming too high. This approach of ignoring the issues and creating new ones will inevitably require more education and problem-solving going forward, leaving people drowning in the rough seas of incomprehensible standards as those developing them continue sailing on without looking back.

And if you challenge this status quo? Then you can find yourself overboard too.

John Ford


BIMplus 23/11

I applaud the Women in BIM group. I’ve been to a few sessions myself but I don’t get why we keep talking about digital twins. Are we builders or are we maintainers?

Our industry BIM folk are so off-target that everyone is running around like headless chickens. I still have QSs wanting to measure drawings, project managers who prioritise everything other than IM and clients who haven’t a clue what to do with IFC models and COBie.

Can’t we just stop and think about what we are pushing and the impact it’s having on the rest of us?

You can’t promote change and digital adoption by skipping the simple steps and going 100mph.

Kirsty Gaskell


CM 20/11

The climate and biodiversity crises are indeed linked but would add a third: the timber crisis.

If we are to leave enough of the world’s forests intact to support biodiversity and pivot towards more sustainable construction materials, then it is predicted that by the end of this decade, world timber demand will exceed the capacity of the planet to supply it.

By 2050 the deficit is predicted to be between 3 and 4 billion cu m of timber per year.

We need to dramatically increase the area of sustainably managed productive forests to meet demand for timber and timber products.

Stuart Wilkie


Greenwich ‘mutant development’ demolition order: what’s next?

CM 09/11

The Royal Borough of Greenwich recently ordered the demolition of two newly built blocks of flats for breaching planning conditions.

This strikes me as appearing to possibly have some similarities with the building commissioned by the family of Captain Sir Tom Moore in his memory and served with an enforcement notice as not in conformity with the approved plans.

Whatever feelings may be had – and what a waste – lawful exercise of authority must be upheld and be seen to be.

I take it as read that, as professional people, members of CIOB expect to behave accordingly.