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UK infrastructure owners ‘world’s best’ at demanding BIM

Crossrail bim

UK infrastructure asset owners are the “best in the world” at understanding the importance of BIM, according to Autodesk’s infrastructure director Theo Agelopoulos.

Agelopoulos told New Civil Engineer that asset owners around the world “have a lot of catching up to do”, to meet the BIM standards set by UK clients such as Network Rail and the Transport for London.

Agelopoulos also praised the UK government’s BIM mandate which requires BIM level two to be implemented on all government-backed projects.

“The UK is at the forefront of BIM implementation because the owners recognised early on what the benefits are to building a digital delivery process.

“The Nordics are now probably up there with the UK, while France and Germany are behind with Germany announcing its BIM mandate of 2020.”

He added: “We are also now seeing emerging markets copying what the UK has done, following the nationalised model. If you look at all the BIM mandates happening now around the world in places like Malaysia, Singapore and India that is all very similar to the UK.”

Agelopoulos added that procurement models in the UK and abroad need to change to account for cost savings accrued from a mature BIM model. He said that current procurement models around the world focus too heavily on lowest initial construction costs rather than the whole assets value.

“Around the world, we need to move to a whole life, value-based procurement model,” he said. “Lowest construction cost is no longer good enough.”

He added: “Communities are starting to understand the long term benefits of building something with lower environmental impacts and greater social impacts. It is all of our responsibilities to tell clients and the public that having a sophisticated digital strategy will benefit everyone in the long run.” 

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