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ADCAS believes improved stardard could aid fight against Information Overload

Britain’s ductwork specialists have called for positive action to stem the rising tide of excess information.
ADCAS believes improved stardard could aid fight against Information Overload
Paul Adlam, who heads the ADCAS campaign to highlight the problems caused during tendering by an excess of unclassified information, believes the construction industry must follow a clearly defined standard.

'There is a British Standard that could help,' he said, 'but it is not well enough known and not well enough defined. ADCAS will now lobby for contractors to adhere to BS 1192-5 1998 and for the standard to be revised as a matter of priority.

'It's not a perfect tool by any means but it could be a much better one and it could make a contribution to cutting some of the confusion and wasted time in the tendering process, now estimated to cost the construction industry more than £1billion every year.'

Information Overload affects everyone in the procurement chain but tends to become more acute with every step down, so specialist contractors are particularly vulnerable.

Before the world went almost exclusively digital, issuing paper-based specifications and drawings was expensive, so the specialist contractors received only the relevant documentation.

Now it's all too easy just to send a CD of the whole project with everything on it. Identifying relevant drawings is a particular problem.

ADCAS, The Association of Ductwork Contractors and Allied Services, believes a week's work could be cut from the tendering process for almost every major ductwork project if specifications were better defined in relation to specialist services.

Saving that time could cut the final cost of the job significantly.

BS1192-5: 1998 Construction drawing practice – Guide for the structuring and exchange of CAD data provides recommendations for ways in which individual drawings or CAD layers for all building systems and components should be named by their originators. The objective is that the technical content of those drawings and CAD files can be identified as easily as possible.

Using the Standard, project teams should, in theory, be able to label drawings or CAD layers, making it easy for contractors preparing a tender to identify just what is relevant to them.

'Unfortunately at the moment that remains just a theory,' said Adlam.

'The Standard is not widely used and the coding is contained within another document, the Common Arrangement of Work – Sections for Building Works that is intended to be used with it, is not specific to the individual project.

'For example, every possible variation of volume control damper may be listed but there is nothing to indicate which type is actually required, unless a particular specification is issued, which itself is often poorly written.

'Part of the problem is that these documents are outdated. The Common Arrangement was first published by the Building Project Information Committee back in 1987 long before computers and e-mail were part of everyday working life.'

ADCAS colleague Paul Etty is also convinced that BS1192-5 is flawed but could be turned into a practical tool.

'If every tender disk had the drawings properly coded we could cut into the waste of time and money. The Standard has a code, which could be improved, but there are other codings in use, including the redoubtable DW144 and some consultants even have their own.

'Something as simple as an A4 sheet of tick boxes could identify all the information required to produce an accurate price and eliminate the ambiguity in the current documentation.

'We need to take the best of these inputs and create a Standard that's clear enough to help get the job done.'

ADCAS technical experts are now working on suggested amendments to the Y and U schedules within the Common Arrangement documentation.
13 August 2010

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By Anonymous
13 August 2010 01:01:00
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