Building Information Modelling (BIM) will raise productivity, provide better buildings, faster and cheaper and represents opportunities for the built environment to become a powerful international player. This is according to a major new report, Growth through BIM produced by Richard Saxon, the UK Government’s BIM Ambassador for Growth who concludes: “No wonder it has been mandated as government policy“. The Built Environment sector, for the purposes of his report, is defined as Property, Construction and Facilities Management, which accounts for about 15 per cent of GDP, and which he describes as: “an enabling sector, facilitating the performance of most other sectors”.
For those not familiar with the term, Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an innovative and collaborative way of working that is underpinned by digital technologies which support more efficient methods of designing, creating and maintaining the built environment. In essence BIM embeds key product and asset data within multi-dimensional computer models that can be used for effective management of information throughout the project lifecycle – from earliest inception through occupation. It has been described as a game-changing technological and cultural process for the construction sector.
Saxon was commissioned by the Department of Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) through the Construction Industry Council (CIC) to produce a report to help maximise the growth effect of the Government strategy for BIM at home and in export markets.
For this wide ranging and comprehensive report Saxon researched and observed key developments in BIM internationally, in the EU – in particular the current EU Procurement Directive revision which clears the way for UK policy and for the export of its methods within the EU – and at home. His research was carried out during the second half of 2012.
The report examines the scale and shape of the market in the UK and worldwide; the basis for BIM-driven growth; the outlook for BIM development to 2020; impacts on the members of the value chain; and the strategy for growth through BIM.
Saxon looks at the expanding markets (mostly in the developing world) and the countries where the demand growth will come from; the key players in terms of BIM enabled skills; and the anticipated monetary values of this growth to 2020. His findings include:
- BIM’s future is now significantly in the UK’s hands: – the USA dominates the vendor and user markets but the intellectual horsepower and momentum behind BIM is now British and the UK’s Level 2 BIM Policy, Soft Landings and Digital Built Britain concepts and Open Data approach are world leading.
- BIM provides an opportunity for the UK to lead current EU construction policy development.
- BIM will be a route to growth from projects in developing countries, which need to import design and construction services.
- BIM is seen as part of the conversion to a SMART economy where data is collected and used to optimise performance and economy.
- BIM adoption throughout project cycles from inception to occupancy represents a significant opportunity for economic growth, through the removal of risk and time, and therefore cost, and the enhancement of service provided.
- BIM will also enable returning demand after the recession to be met with less inflationary pressure.
The report can be downloaded from the CIC website.