UK: Despite being just months away from UK government deadlines, fewer than 1 in 6 building services firms are ready to use BIM on projects.
The government has declared the mandatory use of Level 2 Building Information Modelling (BIM) in all Whitehall-procured contracts in 2016, a new survey by the the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) has shown that only 16% of companies are ‘fully ready’. In addition, nearly 6 in 10 firms (57%) said they were not fully ready, while 27% admitted to being ‘not ready at all’.
The ECA’s online survey, supported by CIBSE and BSRIA, was designed to reveal how prepared the sector is to adopt BIM Level 2 practice. BIM Level 2 allows for the sharing of digital building information between those involved in building and maintaining the structure.
An earlier European survey, conducted by a Dutch market research consultancy, revealed that 64% of UK hvac contractors had never even heard of BIM but, while the UK was exhibiting better engagement with BIM than many of its European partners, only 6% were using it.
Commenting on the latest survey, ECA director of business services Paul Reeve commented: “The survey results show that ‘BIM awareness’ is generally high across building services, but many contractors, and others associated with our sector, still have a long way to go to be ready for the government’s 2016 BIM deadline.”
However, the survey revealed that 65% see BIM Level 2 as being ‘good for the sector’, while 57% said they thought it would be the ‘future for building services’.
“The results indicate that while some companies have already engaged successfully with BIM, many more have yet to engage with the aspects that allow effective information sharing with others in their supply chain,” said Paul Reeve.
“In addition to flagging up our findings to government and the industry, we will be working with our ‘BIM readiness’ partners to tackle the important gaps identified by the survey, as soon as possible,” he added.
CIBSE technical director Hywel Davies commented: “This survey confirms that whilst there is a growing awareness of Level 2 BIM in the MEP sector, there is still a real need for more information. There is also a requirement for specific tools and guidance for the MEP sector, which CIBSE is working closely with industry partners to develop.”
The amount of work still required was not lost on BSRIA’s Principal Consultant and BIM specialist John Sands. “The figures revealed by the ECA BIM survey show just how much work is still to be done within the building services industry to be ready for Level 2 BIM,” he said.
The survey has attracted sector-wide support, including from SELECT, the Building and Engineering Services Association (B&ES) and BEAMA.
The full results of the survey, which attracted hundreds of responses from contractors and others associated with the sector, will be released shortly.
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