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BIM Policy: Global Study Released



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In the first definitive study of it’s kind, the Scotland Global BIM Study has managed to rank, in what must have been a pretty daunting task, several of the world’s primary territories in relation to their effectiveness of implementing their current (or planned) BIM Policy.

Among other key metrics, the focus of the report concentrate on the Ease of Integration Index (EOI) fig 5 above - and ranks the 11 specimen countries in the order below:

  1. Singapore
  2. Norway
  3. Scotland
  4. United Kingdom (presumably, not including Scotland)
  5. Hong Kong
  6. Germany
  7. United States
  8. Qatar
  9. Australia
  10. France
  11. Brazil

So how exactly was this measured?

In the past, the comparison of successful BIM implementation initiatives from one country to the next has seldom taken into account the unique economic and governance characteristics that the two territories display. As such, in order to rank the countries in this manner then, the Ease of Integration Index (EOI) was devised. A mathematical variable that seeks to compare a countries economic and governance data with its BIM policy (so far) overall. As such, the EOI takes into account the following three factors:

1. Economic Factor

Widely referred to in the report as being vertical and horizontal assets (buildings being vertical and infrastructure being horizontal) these very items are enablers of almost all other revenues that a functioning country enjoys. In short, without the built environment there’s little to no overall productivity. As such, the greater the spend per person that a government pumps into infrastructure the more potential there is for savings, should BIM be implemented wholesale.

2. Policy Factor

The study recognised that “policy can only be as good as the governance environment that it exists within”. As such, it is generally recognised that the more a government overcomes corruption and the influence of vested interests, the more its policies will serve the country itself, its government and its key stakeholders. Several metrics were taken into account here, including the Rule of Law index among others.

3. Governance Factor

Where the above looks at the policy environment itself (almost a “trust test”) the governance factor looks at the effectiveness at which a government can actually create and implement standards, and roll them out to industry. This could be via dedicated bodies or channels, like the BIM Task Group in the UK, but bolstered by strong engagement with all industry sectors and unbiased professionals.

High Scores

To gain a high score the study notes that “there has to be evidence of strong engagement with the industry and wider community in both the development and the roll out of these policies”. Adding that “communication through the appointment of well respected leaders” is also essential, to add sufficient credibility to the policy.

Key Findings

Key findings of the study were the need to unify the objectives of policy, large businesses and SME’s overall. Noting that large firms have the most capacity to implement complex administrative activities while smaller companies offer an agility that sees rapid changes being implemented more swiftly. These findings are also bolstered by the duality of a “top down” approach from governmental policy and standards implementations and a “bottom up” approach from SME’s being able to develop new techniques that could have greater cost impacts for larger institutions above. Policy has to guide but not prescribe, of sorts, so that innovation is supported but in a controlled manner. No mean feat.

The study then goes on to clarify terminology as well as examine the Singapore government approach in a little greater detail (there being a £15,000 government grant being available for companies seeking to upgrade and/or up-skill). The German approach is also the focus of a separate case study too (see their seperate panel for Planen-Bauen).

A brief history of the implementation of the UK BIM level 2 drive is touched upon together with the importance of these Standards as well as their Mobilisation and Engagement too. The team also looked at the importance of BIM knowledge sharing too, a vital phenomenon overall - helped enormously of course by platforms such as this, dedicated to open learning and sharing in all territories of the world.

Digital Innovation

The study concludes with a focus on the importance and influence of Digital Innovation going forward (Internet of Things, Big Data etc) and calls for a drive in entrepreneurialism and a real grasp of the potential of the circular economy. Policy recommendations for BIM and for Digital Innovation are then made accordngly.

The substantial report is available above or by following the link here.


The report was authored on behalf of the Scottish Futures Trust by .be (dotBuiltEnvironment) - an eclectic and enterprising group of professionals formed from the CIC BIM2050 Group. To date, dotBuiltEnvironment comprises of the following individuals and organisations:

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