BIM People – Michael Murphy, BIM Manager, BAM Group Ireland


Michael Murphy is Chairperson of the CitA Eastern BIM Regional Hub, and BIM Operations Manager at BAM.

Working in the construction industry since 1997, Michael studied Civil Engineering Technology at Dublin Institute of Technology, Bolton Street and graduated in 2004. He has worked for a variety of consulting firms, including DPS Engineering, Diatec, McCabe Delaney Consulting Engineers, Casey O’Rourke Associates, and Nicholas O’Dwyer & Co Ltd before moving to contracting and working for BAM. His interests are in BIM, CAD and new technology.

Here Michael talks to about his work with BAM, the CitA Eastern Regional Hub, and Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the Irish Construction Industry.

Please tell us how you got interested in BIM?

I was first introduced to BIM in its current guise back in 2004 when I received a copy of Autodesk Revit. Previous to that, I had always been interested in technologies and software that could assist with workflows, particularly those that replaced mundane daily tasks.

Could you tell us about your work as a BIM Operations Manager?

My work for BAM is focused on the procedural and technical delivery of BIM within the organisation. BAM currently have 26 live BIM enabled projects nationwide. I provide a support role for each of the projects Information Managers and assist in driving BIM implementation for both BAM and the wider industry.

Could you describe the CitA BIM Regions, specifically the Eastern BIM Region? 

The Eastern BIM Region is a free to attend group of individuals who share an interest in further developing the use of BIM within the Irish Construction Industry with a specific focus on the East Coast. All of the events are free to attend and I would actively encourage all who are interested in BIM, no matter where they are starting from, to get engaged.

Are you satisfied with the quality of BIM education and research in Ireland?

Yes, considering the standing start that education has had thrust upon it in relation to BIM, I do think all third level institutes are making good progress in the introduction of BIM into their academic programmes. Understanding the impact of the BIM process will lead us all to have a greater appreciation for the progress that has been made to date.

What are your observations when graduates join multidisciplinary BIM projects? 

Generally very positive, any recent graduate I have interacted with recently has had a very positive attitude towards new ways of working i.e. BIM and VDC (Virtual Design and Construction). They are of course less set in there ways and less afraid of technology. The Industry will be in a very healthy place in about five years when this tranche of graduates gain the required professional experience and can start to influence projects at the front end.

Has BAM got any upcoming BIM projects in Ireland? Can you tell us about them?

Yes, we have numerous BIM projects either just underway or on the horizon. The Microsoft HQ project has recently commenced on site, the Courts PPP project is due to commence on site in the New Year. This project consists of 7 Level 2 projects being delivered nationwide simultaneously. The development of the Cork Event Centre is also on the horizon; this is only a small portion of the current BIM workload we have ahead of us. We expect 2016 to be a very exciting year for BIM within BAM.

BAM is a BIM vanguard in Ireland, when and why did the company adopt BIM?

BIM within BAM Ireland has been brought forward through the Group Companies main board. BIM is being delivered from the top down in BAM and we are very fortunate to have the support of Theo Cullinane (CEO, Bam Ireland) and Ger Harrington (General Manager, BAM Building). We are also very fortunate to have a very strong team of dedicated, innovative professionals working hard to deliver this new process internally.

I cannot stress enough the importance of high level sponsorship when such a disruptive process is being introduced to an organisation. BAM believe that the introduction of advanced technologies into our business processes will lead to better outcomes through a reduced risk approach.

Can you tell us about using BIM on the DIT’s Grangegorman Campus project?

The use of BIM on the Greenway Hub project has proven to be very successful and like any current BIM project, lessons were learned along the way by all involved. The use of the different software solutions such as BIM 360 Glue and Field definitely assisted with both bringing the delivery team closer to the process as well as assisting in a very positive way to the BCAR deliverable on the project. BAM delivered the project two months ahead of schedule and on budget which classifies the project as a success in our eyes.

You attended the CitA BIM Gathering. What were the standout moments of the recent CitA BIM Gathering?

For me, the CitA BIM Gathering was a great event, well organised, excellent venue and world class speakers. Congratulations to CitA.

For me the stand out moment of the event was the Midland Steel presentation which was given by Tony Woods (Managing Director).Tony’s presentation encompassed all that is positive about this new way of working; he demonstrated how his business has improved as a result of it and explained in simple business terms the reasons why he decided to move towards the BIM process. It was an inspiration to all within our industry and clearly a company that is doing BIM for all the right reasons.

Will BIM affect the duties and responsibilities of the professions?

In my opinion the required inclusion of standardised data within the models will and is proving to be a challenge for all involved as this is an area that would not traditionally have been dealt with by our industry. The challenge now is for the Industry to better understand that this is actually about the digitisation of our industry and that standardised data will lead to better results for all involved.

How do you see the Irish Construction Industry changing in the next decade?

I hope the Industry further accepts BIM and the benefits it brings, and I do feel that a decade is a very long time. The emerging governmental mandates will also move Ireland towards a point where I hope we will also finally see the introduction of an Irish mandate.

What has the CitA Eastern Regional Hub planned for 2016?

The Eastern BIM Region will be meeting in the New Year to review the year ahead. Given that CitA has been successful in the BICP Tender there will now be the possibility for all the BIM Regions to feed back into the programme in a truly collaborative way. We aim to develop a programme that will complement the main CitA series and at its core will remain free to all and continue to drive the BIM good news story within each of the regions. © BIM Ireland

Follow Michael on Twitter: @MichaelMurphy10

BAM Contractors:

CitA BIM Regions: will keep you updated on the people shaping the development of BIM. ©

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