BIM People – Michelle Fahey, BIM Implementation Manager at JJ Rhatigan & Company


Michelle Fahey is BIM Implementation Manager at JJ Rhatigan & Company. Michelle graduated in 2002 with an honours degree in Construction Management. recently spoke with Michelle about her work with JJ Rhatigan & Company.

With over 14 years’ experience in the construction industry, Michelle has a wealth of knowledge across varying industries including Commercial, Mixed Use Developments, Education and Healthcare sectors. Working as a Project Manager and Quality Manager with JJ Rhatigan & Company since 2002, she worked on many live environment projects, including the award-winning Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) Library Building and Athlone Town Centre, as well as the Medtronic Customer Innovation Centre project where she was involved in implementing LEED to Gold Certification. More recently, Michelle has taken on the role of BIM Implementation Manager at the company, supporting the integration of BIM at JJ Rhatigan & Company since they embarked on their BIM journey in 2013.

I see JJ Rhatigan & Company have just won ‘Contractor of the Year 2016’.

Yes, we are delighted to have won this prestigious award. It’s a great recognition of the hard work and commitment of all the team at JJ Rhatigan & Company. I feel our advancements in BIM have greatly contributed to the successful year we have had at JJR.

Could you tell us about your work with JJ Rhatigan, and your day-to-day duties?

I’m responsible for implementing the adoption of BIM in the company, including supporting and evaluating software for BIM, managing the training of BIM software and processes across the business and ensuring a high level of competency is maintained, as well as assisting teams in the BIM project set up. Currently, JJ Rhatigan & Company have 32 BIM projects across Ireland.

Please tell us how you got interested in BIM and about training programmes you have undertaken?

I have always been interested in innovative technologies and software. I have been interested in BIM and its processes for some time, I enjoy researching and developing my skills through training courses and attending technology events. In 2011, I became an Autodesk Revit Architecture Certified Associated, since then I have completed the Architectural Module on the Higher Diploma in Engineering in Building Information Modelling in GMIT, Galway. I am also BIM Certified through the BRE Academy.

JJ Rhatigan & Company have made major investments in BIM, can you tell us about that?

Yes, it has been a very exciting few years at JJ Rhatigan & Company. We embarked on our BIM Journey in 2013. In 2015, we became the first Irish-owned contractor to invest in the Autodesk BIM 360 Enterprise Licence. This BIM 360 Enterprise Licence allows all project team members’ access to all of the BIM 360 Software applications anytime anywhere which improves collaboration with the project team, communication with the client and speeds up the decision-making process throughout the project. We also purchased 20 Topcon DS205i Robotic Total Stations for our surveying fleet, the DS205i enables the setting out of the 3D model in the field using the BIM 360 Point Layout app.

With the support of Jim O’Connor, Architectural Technology lecturer at GMIT we developed a Special Purpose Award course in BIM fundamentals. To date, we have trained over 100 of our staff. Bart Boone, Autodesk and Declan Byrne, Topcon provided onsite training days for the integration of the BIM 360 point layout App with the DS205i Robotic Total Station, allowing us push the boundaries of the software and equipment to great success.

From your experience, what is the level of interest in BIM among subcontractors?

It’s understandable that some subcontractors are naturally concerned about new methods and processes – it can be very costly for them to implement. However, with our Enterprise License we share our BIM 360 Software with our design teams and subcontractors on our current projects thereby reducing their implementation costs. We have offered our GMIT Special Purpose Award courses in BIM fundamentals to our design teams and subcontractors and there has been great uptake. We also provide in-house training and advice on a project by project basis. Because of this, we are not experiencing any resistance towards our BIM process. In fact, feedback to date has been very positive from subcontractors who have engaged with us on current BIM projects.

Will BIM affect the duties and responsibilities of the professions?

Yes, I think BIM will greatly improve and develop the traditional duties and responsibilities of all the construction professions. We are now dealing with a powerful 3D data-rich object-based model; professions need to develop their skills and construction processes in order to make the most of this valuable asset.

How do you see technology changing the construction site environment in the next decade?

Technology has actually developed a lot over the last decade but I think the next decade will bring the most dramatic of changes with the adoption of BIM and its processes. I think BIM will be the norm 10 years from now, it will have become the traditional building technology.

Tell us about your involvement with The CitA Western BIM Hub

The CitA Western BIM hub was formed to provide a community for BIM in the West. Mark Costello from RPS, Jim O’Connor from GMIT, Gerard Nicolson from GMIT and I together with the support of CitA have been organising regular informative events to promote BIM in the Western region. We have had expert keynote speakers at these free events. The events continue to prove a success drawing large numbers of attendees seeking to collaborate on their BIM journey.


Follow JJ Rhatigan & Company on Twitter: @JJRhatigan


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