Interactive detail of a building’s construction

Buildupp discussion — Building Information Modelling

Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been around for at least 20 years, however it is only since 2004 that it has begun to be formalised in the UK.

The original programme, AVANTI, was launched in 2004 to identify how technology could be used in construction to reduce the time taken to find information, the time taken to publish and then assess tenders and to save time by removing the need to reformat information. This then led to the British Standard (BS1192) being published in 2007. Things then went relatively quiet until 2011, when the BIM Task Group published its BIM Strategy. This outlined how the UK Government could help the construction industry to realise the benefits of BIM. In May 2011, the Government published their Construction Strategy which deemed that 3D BIM (Level 2) should be achieved by 2016. This would apply to all public sector projects.

So, how is the take-up of BIM looking so far? According to the NBS National BIM Report 2017, “Sixty-two percent of practices now use BIM on some of their projects, up from 54% last year: an 8% year-on-year increase”. One of the common assumptions about BIM is that it is only suitable for large practices and large projects, however the NBS Report found that of small practices (<15 staff), 48% had adopted BIM. In medium size practices (16–50 staff) that rose to 75%.

The NBS Report shows that the industry believes that the future of the design process is BIM. 78% see it as the future for project information and it being the norm for design practice.

So what is holding it back? BIM has the capacity to bring real benefit beyond the design stages; within the industry, 65% see that using BIM results in operational and maintenance savings, but 72% of clients don’t understand the benefits of BIM. Until that percentage shifts, the takeup in the private sector will be limited. The Government is undertaking client eductation, such as outlining the cost savings that BIM has brought.

At AutoDesk University, held in London in June, the roundtable discussion highlighted some good ideas to improve on the implementation of BIM. These included using end-to-end exemplar projects that others can learn from and then use to communicate the benefits more widely. This will also help with exploding the myth that BIM is just for the big projects that run into millions of pounds. While projects like the refurbishment of the Old Post Office, home to NBS in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, often get most attention, smaller projects can also reap rewards and the efficiencies are scalable.

If you would like to discover more and you’re not already on our mailing list, join today for insights and development on how Buildupp wants to change the construction industry. What is the view on BIM for your organisation, your clients and your partners? Are you actively using it? Do you think it has the potential to make a real impact on how we construct and refurbish buildings, together with whole life-cycle costing and management for clients? Join the conversation at Buildupp.