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BIM gathers pace

Government efforts to put Building Information Modelling (BIM) at the heart of efforts to reform the construction industry are yielding results, the Cabinet Office has claimed.

Its report ,Government Construction Strategy: One Year On and Action Plan Update, published last month, claims that there has been excellent progress against major milestones in its strategy, and highlights the “commitment” of industry to embrace BIM in government projects over a five-year time frame. This, it claims, is positioning the UK to become a world leader in the take-up of BIM, and has encouraged investment in the industry to support this change.

The report also claims that cost reductions of £72M on planned expenditure of £476M have been achieved this year, proving that the industry’s efforts to reduce the cost of government construction projects by between 15% and 20% by 2015 are on track.

Last year’s Construction Strategy set out the government’s commitment to require fully collaborative 3D BIM on all centrally procured construction contracts by 2016.

Great strides

This year’s update says that “great strides” have been made over the past year to prepare for this. The Ministry of Justice is working on four pathfinder trial projects and other departments are developing their implementation plans.

The expectation is that all seven major departments that procure construction will be engaged by the end of 2013.

The legal, commercial and insurance protocols for BIM are also nearing completion, according to the update. The structured digital data exchange format, known as COBie UK 2012, has been prepared and several professional institutions including the Royal Institution of British Architects have been working with the Construction Industry Council (CIC) to develop BIM-enabled policies.

A Publicly Available Standard (PAS), 1192-2:2012, which documents the delivery of BIM-enabled design and construction information, is undergoing public consultation with an operational version covering asset management and operation due for the end of 2012. Work on a comprehensive training strategy is underway along with general supply chain guidance.

Links are also being forged with complementary programmes for developing private and public-private sector collaborations in the form of BIM for Retail, BIM for Rail and BIM for Developers. A reciprocal memorandum of agreement has been reached with buildingSMART US to develop a national BIM standard with the principles of interoperability. This will be key to future delivery of Level 3 “Open & Shared” BIM. A network of regional BIM hubs, co-ordinated by the Construction Industry Counsel, is being developed to act as the first point for BIM advice to industry, SMEs and clients, encouraging the sharing of BIM knowledge and best practice. A microsite, www.bimtaskgroup.org, has also been established.

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