The British Government (HMG) is ahead of the curve when it comes to BIM implementation. In 2011 the HMG proposed a strategy to modernize and digitize the construction industry by mandating Level 2 BIM use for all public sector projects. Level 2 BIM is where all parties use their own 3D CAD models, but information is exchanged through a common file format so other parties can easily access/combine high quality digital information to their own model. This increases the collaborative effort between various parties executing a project.
The United Kingdom’s (UK) construction industry, “a sector bigger than aerospace, automotive, and energy put together,” (http://digital-built-britain.com) was highly fragmented and available technology was not being utilized. This fragmentation and lack of regulation was allowing for significant loss of capitol, delayed project completion and overall the sector’s productivity was behind the times.
In order to reach their two key target goals – reduce costs and carbon emissions – BIM use is now required for central government construction throughout the UK. According to the NBS 2015 report, by 2025 the government wants to achieve a 33% reduction of the cost of construction and whole-life costs, and a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the building environment.
As the April 2016 target date approaches, it’s important to evaluate what policies the UK have applied to reach this goal.
Establishing A Government Funded BIM Task Force
The creation of a task force was crucial for the UK’s move towards BIM implementation. It has become the educational platform that is easily accessible for firms to access. Not only does it set the same standards for BIM use across the country, but the task force also assures a consistent message is being announced, provides information for the best practices and allows continual feedback.
Investing in BIM
With this mandate in place, it has created an incentive for firms to invest in BIM technology.
It forces firms to embrace BIM so that they can be eligible for lucrative future government contracts. Really, it’s a win-win situation. BIM software increases workflow productivity so projects are done faster, decreases chances for costly mistakes and allows for better information retrieval, the “I” in BIM.
Taking BIM to the Next Level
Although the current requirement is Level 2 BIM, the HMG is already planning on requiring more advanced Level 3 BIM services in the near future. Looking to the future helps improve technology to better serve the construction industry.
Assemble Systems is taking steps to help streamline the architecture, engineering and construction industry with our powerful web-based BIM software, and involvement as a thought-leader at conferences across the nation. Not only do we work to make BIM data more accessible and useful, Assemble also works to educate the industry with frequent webinars and up-to-date industry news, provides advanced client services to enhance the usage of our software, and we continue to make product and service improvements to keep pace with this evolving industry’s demands. By following the UK’s lead and success in implementing BIM on a large scale, there is momentum here in the United States to digitalize the construction sector by embracing building information technology.