Industry figures have set their sights on the next generation of technology – as use of an earlier format became mandatory on government projects.
From today, all central government departments require suppliers to demonstrate in bids for work that they can use building information modelling (BIM) level 2.
This means the various parties involved in the construction schemes will use digital models of the project on compatible file formats so they can view each other’s plans.
But the BIM Task Group – a public-private collaboration driving use of the technology – said BIM level 3 was needed to create an industry ready for future challenges.
BIM level 3 represents full collaboration between all disciplines by means of a single, shared project model that is held centrally.
Task Group panel member Mark Bew – also chairman of the government’s BIM Working Group – said: “To look at how far we have come in four short years is to understand how far we can and need to go in the next four and beyond.
“From a standing start, the UK is now leading the global race towards digitalisation of the construction industry and we will not let it slip. The hard work starts here.”
He added: “We have, at level 2, improved the industry. Level 3 BIM and the realisation of Digital Built Britain will create a new industry to service the challenges of the future.”
Fellow Task Group panel member David Philp – also global BIM consultancy director at Aecom – added: “Today’s announcement is an important milestone, marking the start of the next phase of digital innovation in the UK’s built environment sector.
“With all centrally procured public sector projects now requiring implementation of BIM level 2, the Government Construction Strategy has successfully achieved its first major BIM objective. The government’s reaffirmed commitment to BIM level 3 will help maintain the UK’s strong position in the global drive towards a digitally enabled construction sector.”
He added: “BIM level 3 offers a unique opportunity to reimagine the built environment sector as highly innovative, technology-driven and diverse. The challenge now is to redefine what careers in a BIM Level 3 environment might entail in order to attract the best talent from outside the industry.”