BIM People – Cillian Kelly, John Sisk & Son (Holdings) Ltd


Cillian Kelly is the BIM Leader for John Sisk & Son (Holdings) Ltd. in Ireland. He is responsible for coordinating all BIM projects in Ireland and supporting Sisk’s UK Team, He ensures Sisk meets clients’ expectations and remain construction industry leaders in the BIM revolution.

Here Cillian talks to about his experience with BIM and BIM at Sisk.

Please tell us why and when you became interested in BIM?

Construction has always been a part of my life. My family operated and managed a main contracting building firm which allowed me to gain a great appreciation for good quality construction information which leads to good quality projects.

I was first introduced to BIM while studying Architecture Technology in Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. I immediately recognised that this way of working had major benefits and I could see myself bringing this process and way of working back into the Irish Construction Industry.

I joined John Sisk & Son in 2011 as an engineer on the Monaghan Multiuser Education Campus Project. During my time on this project, I developed a BIM model of the project which was utilised during site meetings, induction method statements and logistical planning during construction. I had great feedback from the project team and tradesmen as it gave people a better understanding and appreciation of the project.

Can you tell us about your work as a BIM Leader Ireland with Sisk?

Since joining Sisk I have been lucky enough to work on a variety of projects, across many different sectors. I meet with our project teams to understand what each individual project team and client expectations are in relation to Building Information Management. Once we have agreed on the Project BIM Expectations, I look at resourcing, training/up-skilling, hardware, software requirements for the successful project delivery.

Companywide, I am responsible for the delivery of BIM Level 2 processes which are aligned with PAS 1192:2 2013 and BS 1192:2007. Sisk are leaders in the Irish Construction Industry in Health & Safety, Environmental and Quality Management. We want to ensure that Sisk are leaders in the industry for Building Information Management in which we will deliver projects with consistency and quality.

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Please tell us about your BIM training and BIM education courses?

We are up-skilling our current industry professionals through knowledge sharing and training. I have worked with our Human Relations Managers to ensure that during our PDP (Personnel Development Programme) reviews we have a BIM Training Matrix for all existing and new staff. This ranges from Introduction to BIM / BRE AP & TIM/PIM Training and Sisk BIM Project Management.

What are the main projects which Sisk has utilised BIM on in Ireland? Can you tell us about them?

Sisk have utilised BIM on a number of Pharmaceutical projects over many years in addition to projects such as the AVIVA Stadium, UCD Science Centre, and Allergan Biologics 2 in Westport, Co. Mayo, which is a complex 16,000 m² pharmaceutical plant.

More recently we are working on two new data centres for a multinational client in Grange Castle, Dublin which is the first phase of a campus build of a total of 24 number, 4.4 MW nominal critical power collocations and their associated support systems. I am currently carrying out the role of Corporate BIM Manager responsible for Project BIM Expectations, BIM resourcing, training/upskilling, hardware selection, software selection and the project delivery to comply with the client’s Project BIM Expectations.

In your opinion, what are the main advantages of using BIM on a construction project?

In my opinion, the main advantages of using BIM on a construction project include better communication and understanding of projects from design, during construction and providing our client with one central location of all project information for the operation and whole lifecycle of the project.

At Sisk, we ensure all staff members have access to the most up-to-date information in which all 2D construction information has been generated in a 3D BIM environment. The construction benefits then become increasingly clear as BIM becomes a central source of all project information from design to handover.

What are your observations when graduates join multidisciplinary BIM projects?

My observations have been positive so far and we have a good relationship with universities and institutes of technology across the country. We need to ensure that we don’t have unrealistic expectations of graduates and their skill sets and experience. There is a high demand in the Irish Construction Industry for BIM skills and we need to bridge that gap.

How do you see BIM and construction IT changing the Irish Construction Industry in the next decade?

It will mean less waste, better coordination, more economic projects, better Health & Safety due to better-managed projects, Lean Construction, and lower carbon footprint on projects. Clients will see the long term benefits in the whole lifecycle management of project due to better-managed information during construction.

As industry leaders, it is essential that we have the UK Government BIM Level 2 Standard down to a fine art. By doing this we will have a pyramid effect on the Irish Construction Industry. Since working with Sisk I have worked with industry experts such as Mervyn Richard, OBE (key author of BS 1192:2007 Appendix 2015 and PAS 1192:2 2013). From our experience, we have worked with my team to develop a Project Implementation Plan in accordance with PAS1192:2. This will be seen across the Irish Construction Industry on all projects where Sisk is implementing BIM.

What advice would you give to a contractor considering BIM adoption?

Not all projects are going to be BIM Level 2 so take a step by step approach towards BIM.

Start small and perfect your trade and don’t be afraid to ask for support or advice on areas you are unfamiliar with.

The key to successfully implementing BIM is to “begin with the end in mind”. What is your client asking for and how will you best deliver it.

What is your opinion on a BIM Mandate for Ireland?

It’s not a question of “If” rather than “When” we introduce the BIM Mandate for Ireland. It should have industry leaders from design, construction, civils, suppliers, trades and most importantly clients input in developing the standard and writing the Mandate. I think the UK Government BIM Level 2 Standard is something we should embrace as it is planned to become an ISO Standard in the near future: “BS ISO 19650 Specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using building information modelling.”

Cillian Kelly, ICIOB, BSc. Hons. Architectural Technology, PIM/TIM, PGDipBIMM,

LinkedIn page:

Cillian will be speaking at London’s Digital Construction Week, 25th – 27th. October 2016.

Cillian is a Steering Committee Member of the CitA Eastern BIM Region.

Follow @CITAEASTBIMHUB on Twitter.
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