Within the past 20 years, the term BIM (Building Information Modeling) has been used more and more in the construction sector. Since its infancy, BIM has evolved swiftly to the point that the systems of today are barely recognisable from BIM’s modest beginnings.
Speeding its adoption was 2016 legislation decreeing that all centrally procured public sector projects now require the implementation of Level 2 BIM. Level 2 BIM is distinguished by collaborative working where all parties may use their own 3D CAD models but share design information shared through a common file format. Worth an estimated £30bn per year by 2020, the UK has a number of home grown and European providers of quality BIM content.
This year’s model
So what’s next for BIM? The first report by The National Building Specification (NBS) in 2010 found that less than 15% of the construction industry was engaged with BIM; a figure that had risen to 48% by 2015 and the 2016 legislation can only add to the momentum of that growth.
As BIM continues to evolve, levels of skill within the industry will improve rapidly thereby reducing inefficiencies and encouraging clients to demand more. We will also start to see companies automatically introducing BIM libraries to their websites as companies such as Ideal Commercial Boilers already has; we produced our first BIM objects in 2014. Many within the construction industry believe that, as BIM continues to grow, one large software package will become the industry standard, making collaboration between consultant teams much easier and more user-friendly. Industry experts also believe that consultant ‘round table’ networks and teams will emerge in order to bid for projects as a group rather than individually with a view to the collective benefits being passed on to developers.
With the benefits of BIM being experienced more and more on new build projects, it is only a matter of time before its use becomes common on refurbishments and retrofits. By utilising BIM on more and more projects, our industry will increase its knowledge and skills whilst being able to run future activity more efficiently.
The overall, long term aims of using BIM are to ensure that construction companies and their clients save time and money as it eradicates many common planning and building errors. In turn, this improved economy will allow developers more choice of suppliers and shift the project risk back to the delivery of quality of design and documentation.
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