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This week’s post is a guest blog from David-John Gibbs, of Hill International. David-John discusses what BIM means, why the change is being implemented and more importantly who benefits. We hope you find this guest blog of interest. As always, you can let us know your thoughts by commenting below.

The UK Government has mandated a minimum of ‘Level 2’ Building Information Modelling (BIM) on all centrally procured projects, but what does this mean for the construction industry?

What is BIM?

BIM can be described as the collaborative process of sharing electronic information throughout the lifecycle of a built asset. This process of working ensures that the right information is delivered to the right people at the right time. As a concept this is nothing new, but where BIM differs from ‘traditional’ methods is the way in which information is generated and shared.

What is Level 2 BIM?

The UK Government has developed a BIM maturity model to benchmark BIM capabilities. Level 2 BIM requires information management and exchange processes to be specified and followed along with the creation of a 3D model using smart objects. Within Level 2, each project team member works in their own team to produce information and a 3D model. An information manager and BIM coordinator will then collate the outputs from each project team member to provide a single source of project information.

Why the change?

Despite the publication of numerous Government reports which highlight the inefficiency of the UK construction industry in the last 100 years, little has been achieved to overcome the problems. The UK Government is always keen to get the greatest value for their investment and has identified BIM as one of the strategic objectives to bring about positive change.

Who benefits?

The benefits of BIM should be realised throughout the supply chain but the overarching benefit is to the client. The sum of the benefits realised by each project team member will contribute to the successful delivery of a project and at handover the client should be delivered with reliable information in a suitable format to efficiently manage their asset.

How do you do it?

In order to facilitate Level 2 BIM adoption in the UK, seven key documents need to be considered. These are:

  1.  BIM Protocol
  2.  PAS1192-2 (Capex Information Management)
  3.  BS1192-2007 (Capex Model Management)
  4.  PAS1192-3 (Opex Model and Information Management)
  5.  BS1192-4 (COBie) – awaiting publication
  6.  dPOW (digital Plan of Work
  7. Classification system

What does this mean?

To put the BIM mandate into context, central procurement usually makes up 10-15% of a sector’s value, of which construction is worth around £100billion per annum. At first, BIM will be required on these projects; however, it will start to feature in other public and private projects if the benefits become apparent.

BIM will not involve more work but it does require a form of collaboration which will be new to a lot of the construction industry. Therefore, unless the goal posts move, in order to comply with the UK mandate it will not be enough to just create a 3D model and continue with traditional ways of working. To ensure the Level 2 requirements are met it is recommended that the seven documents identified are understood and employed.

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This blog is intended only as a synopsis of certain recent developments. If any matter referred to in this blog is sought to be relied upon, further advice should be obtained.