BIM solutions for strategic delivery
Digital Node’s BIM Knowhow switches on South Australia’s Power Network
Knowing how to make BIM work in practice is only useful with a sound understanding of the business case and the wider benefits and policy incentives. With many pioneering years’ experience from London, UK, in the crucible of BIM development, Digital Node’s expertise has it all. Their competencies are forged from practical knowhow and in-depth technical knowledge, all framed by deep strategic insights from working with high-profile clients.
One of those clients – South Australia Power Networks (SAPN) – commissioned Digital Node precisely for this rare combination of skills.
Majority-owned by the CK Group, SAPN operates an electricity distribution network across South Australia. In a highly regulated environment, they pride themselves on delivering extraordinary levels of service, reliability, safety, and efficiency.
Building and maintaining a high-voltage network comprising thousands of kilometres of powerline and hundreds of substations is clearly a complicated ongoing job. Investing in BIM and Digital Engineering will offer obvious beneficial potential.
When the call came for Digital Node to help, the invitation was no coincidence. Digital Node had already established a relationship to SAPN’s sister company, UKPN, also majority-owned by the CK Group. The UK company had had a BIM implementation programme in place since 2015, in effect piloting the initiative in advance of rolling it out to the whole of CK Group’s asset portfolio. Their programme is now maturing successfully.
Digital Node was employed by SAPN in 2017. They were to write a report reviewing and recording the lessons learnt in the UK regarding their BIM implementation. Although separate companies, SAPN clearly bears a strong family resemblance to UKPN. Sharing a parent and thus strategically aligned, any lessons from UK could, with appropriate translation, be applied profitably in the South Australian context.
The work involved interviews with key stakeholders across an advisory group drawn from within UKPN. The idea was to confirm the strategic alignment and winkle out lessons that could improve the effectiveness and efficiency of SAPN’s BIM Level 2 roll-out and begin to deliver a strategic framework for the implementation of digital engineering.
Digital Node’s Director Rebecca De Cicco was closely involved in the project:
Conducting one-to-one interviews with key players gives you the granularity you need to see the whole picture. Without it you can’t pick up on the marginal gains that are so important to adding value in a heavily regulated commercial environment. The real skill though is in applying those lessons in a different country.”
The report was useful, and SAPN retains a strong relationship with Digital Node to support their wider strategy for intelligent asset management. The immediate task is to audit SAPN’s current systems and processes in preparation for updating their workflows and processes based on the ‘lessons learnt’ report. Working in partnership with Mott MacDonald, this will allow for more efficient, smarter information management across their business-critical infrastructure, ultimately improving SAPN’s service to their customers.
The attraction of Digital Node for SAPN is the breadth and depth of their sector expertise. Not only are they well versed in BIM implementation methods and tuned in to its many strategic benefits, they are also well aware of its uptake internationally. Their credibility is founded on a close association with the UK BIM Task Group and involvement with BSI, publisher of the primary standards governing BIM adoption around the world. More than that, they understand the local context from working closely with the Government of South Australia to embed policies that encourage the wider adoption of BIM.