BIM News

BIM literacy


December 14, 2014 │ by Dr Martyn Kenny│

Construction projects should take half as much time to complete and cost one third less by 2025, according to the Government’s industrial strategy, Construction 2025. Realising this ambition will require the industry to embrace Building Information Modelling (BIM), a collaborative way of working, underpinned by the digital technologies which unlock more efficient and sustainable methods of designing, creating and maintaining assets.

It is no longer possible to continue with the status quo as international competitive pressures are increasingly felt by the industry. We must embrace digital innovations and integrate BIM with working practices not only at a contractor level but throughout the supply chain, encouraging everyone to become ‘BIM literate’.

This remains a significant challenge. The Construction Industry Council (CIC) 2050 Group recently surveyed over 700 people to gauge current attitudes to innovation across the sector. Although well over half of respondents identified BIM as a catalyst for innovation, the research highlighted the need for a better collective understanding of BIM to create a ‘holistic and intelligence-based industry’.


Understanding BIM
A key challenge in incorporating BIM into the everyday work of construction is the current lack of a common language when sharing BIM information and the absence of an agreed understanding of the information required at the various stages of a project. This is further complicated by the different terminologies used across the industry and the range of information requested from multiple construction disciplines.

“An important step in delivering a common language is the Digital Plan of Work”

A common language is essential to delivering the right data to the right person with the right level of detail. Currently, distilling the mass of information – including dimensions and tolerances, performance characteristics, installation detail and maintenance guidance – into relevant, structured data presented in an exchangeable format presents even the most experienced construction professional with a huge challenge.


Template for change
An important step in delivering a common language is the Digital Plan of Work (DPoW), a classification scheme and a free-to-use tool for managing the flow of design and construction information, which is being project managed by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) on behalf of the UK BIM Task Group. Once the project is completed – expected by March 2015 – the DPoW will provide greater clarity on the information needed at each stage of a project. Combined with work being led by the BIM for Manufacturers and Manufacturing (BIM4M2) working group on standardised data templates, this will help to develop a common language and set of data flows.

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