Is UK construction adopting BIM fast enough, asks Andy Boutle, chair of BIM Regions East.

Well… no it isn’t… or is it… or maybe it is happening too quickly!? The reasons why I say this require a little more thought and I will do my best to explain further throughout this article.

It is fairly widely accepted now that BIM and digital construction is the present and the future, and it is acknowledged that thanks to the government’s pull for modernisation of project delivery and asset management, the UK is now at the forefront of the global BIM programme.

We are continually reminded at the plethora of BIM/digital conferences by headline speakers about “how far the UK construction industry has come” since the 2011 government strategy paper calling for what we now know as BIM Level 2. Those reading this are no doubt already aware that the mandate for BIM Level 2 came into effect in April 2016 for the government clients across its central departments.

While industry has come a long way in the last six years and reminds those of us working in the BIM space to pat ourselves on the back and feel some pride that our industry is changing for the better, in reality the proportion who can actually play their part on a BIM Level 2 project to the required standard(s) is still relatively small.

This observation is not limited to the supply chain but to clients too. Therefore, the stark reality at present is that although projects may (or may not) have BIM Level 2 expressed contractually via Employer’s Information Requirements (EIRs), there are a number of reasons why the benefits of working in a BIM Level 2 environment are not fully realised by those involved.


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