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NBS report: Confidence in BIM but no Confidence in its Enforcement


By Richard Waterhouse, CEO of NBS

Confidence in Building Information Modelling (BIM) but no confidence in its enforcement was one of the sentiments to come out of the eighth National BIM Report released by NBS earlier this month.

For the first time, less than a majority (47%) felt that the government is ‘on the right track’ when it comes to BIM. There’s no suggestion that the mandate was a mistake, or that the industry doesn’t agree with the ambitions to further embed BIM as ‘business as usual’, but it is the speed of this direction of travel that is increasingly the frustration.

BIM Level 2 is the foundation of digital transformation, providing data structures, responsibilities and process and whilst this report looks at the industry’s current attitude to BIM, the industry will not stand still. Digital transformation will continue.

Positives from the report show the biggest year-on-year growth on BIM usage and awareness since 2014, with a 12% increase on last year’s results, helping other stakeholders to trust the BIM process. There are signs that those with the influence to help drive this activity are listening, as the industry has seen the revision of the Construction Industry Council BIM Protocol based on industry feedback, the BIM Level 2 suite of standards and tools is being revised and the Centre for Digital Built Britain has now been created.

Although 70% of respondents call for more standardisation of BIM the report does indicate that an increasing number of respondents are using PAS 1192-2:2013 (44%) and Uniclass is gaining strong traction with just over a third now using the classification system. Adhering to standards is certainly one way to demonstrate good BIM practice.

BIM is more than the production of 3D models and collaboration is more than reducing coordination problems on-site through clash detection at design time. The next stage of the BIM journey must focus on both the information generated from the models and the information linked to the models. For this standardised information, structures must be followed in terms of the objects in the model and linked data sources such as project specifications.

Emerging technologies are continuing to provide new opportunities. The move from desktop to cloud computing will be a game changer in terms of collaboration, performance and transparency of decision making. Future transformative technology will build upon this foundation, helping the industry to create a step-change in productivity and quality within the industry, and NBS can and will play a part in this journey.

The 2018 report had 808 responses from a range of large to small practices and organisations carrying out a range of project types. The largest group to respond were architects (33%) with architectural technologists, BIM managers and technicians, clients, contractors, civil, structural and service engineers, surveyors and landscape architects all represented.

To read the full report visit www.theNBS.com/bim-report-2018

For more information on Constructing Excellence in the North East, please contact chief executive, Catriona Lingwood, on 0191 500 7880 or email catriona@cene.org.uk.

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