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UK 'on cusp' of taking global lead in BIM

The UK is on the cusp of assuming a global leadership role in Building Information Modelling (BIM), according to Autodesk vice president Phil Bernstein.

Speaking in London this week, Bernstein said the UK government’s strategy of insisting that by 2016 all publicly procured projects over £1M have a BIM model has put real impetus behind adoption.

“Driven by a clear and coherent UK construction strategy, building information modelling (BIM) is transforming the country’s construction industry,” said Bernstein “As best practices are developed, they must be memoralised and socialised for the benefit of all industry stakeholders. In doing so, the UK can lead the world in BIM transformation.”

Although it remains behind the US in BIM adoption rates, the UK’s recent rapid progress in BIM is “remarkable”, according to Bernstein. “In three years, the UK has achieved what has taken the US ten years and Scandinavia twelve to achieve,” he said. “And today, no other country has a clearer BIM structure and governance strategy in place.”

Paul Morrell, outgoing UK Government Chief Construction Adviser, also highlighted the BIM journey the UK had been over recent years. He argued that change is never easy but, like Bernstein, emphasised the positive prospects for the BIM market.

“It is rough water,” he said. “Change is always rough but we now have a clear pathway ahead of us. The UK government is working with what it already knows and the market is ready and embracing BIM.”

Morrell emphasised the importance of communicating a clear message to businesses about the benefits of BIM to raise levels of awareness and understanding. “We are on the journey and we need to show everyone how they get there,” he said.  

Morrell also stressed the benefits of BIM training, citing a recent survey which showed just 10% of relevant UK businesses were prepared to invest in it. Training of graduates is absolutely essential,” he said before asserting, “gut-busting effort is usually worth it.”

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