We in the West Link: Niklas Lindberg, BIM specialist , talks about his role in the project.
What is your background, and how did you come to be involved in the West Link Project?
My educational background is that I am an engineer specialising in roads and water. I then worked as a consultant, mainly for railway projects, for a period of fifteen years. Following this, I began working for the Swedish Transport Administration as a technical specialist on 1 April 2010. In the initial stage, we spent a lot of time establishing the support systems required for the operations. I worked first with the Marieholm project, but when this project was put on hold I instead became involved with the West Link Project in spring 2011.
What does your role in the West Link Project involve?
I work with digital project management and provide support with regard to the demands we place on suppliers. I follow up on deliveries and handle various issues that may arise in relation to this. I am happy to discuss any requirements with the supplier, but I am not involved in dictating how these are to be achieved. I then review the results from the supplier's BIM process. BIM is a building information model used to compile different types of information to create a coherent model. It works a bit like a jigsaw puzzle, with various viewpoints from, for example, experts and suppliers being presented as a complete picture. BIM therefore demonstrates how and if the design and technology work together. No information is lost over time. Instead those who will maintain the construction in the future can access all necessary information using BIM.
What is the biggest challenge of the West link project from your perspective?
For people like us who assume a purely client role and impose demands, the greatest challenge is "getting it done" and getting the supplier to embrace a BIM process. We notice that we are at different stages of advancement in terms of IT maturity, both with regard to ourselves and our suppliers. We are dependent on moving forward together with the industry and we can therefore not get stuck in processes we have used in the past.
How will you meet that challenge?
We try to work on many different fronts and establish an active dialogue with the suppliers in terms of outlining the nature of the requirements currently being set. We also organise various courses, present good examples and make use of networks for digital project management where we support each other. I am also engaged in various administrations, such as ProjectWise, wherein I talk about our systems and their intended function.
What is the most interesting part of your work?
Seeing how it becomes a pivotal part of driving the project forward and the industry as a whole. There is a lot going on and there are continuous rapid developments. Within the industry, there is an expectation that BIM is becoming something big, which is fun!
What do you do to relax?
I enjoy a good podcast, on any subject at all really. Since I'm a bit of a technology geek, I have a number of different podcasts to choose from. I also like walking, renovating the house and cycling to and from work to clear the head. I have also become the family's IT support person in a way.
Do you talk a lot about the West Link in your time off?
There was more talk about the West Link a few years ago, but now it has quietened down a bit. But of course it happens, talking to the neighbours and such.