For a system that has rightfully been labelled as a ‘game-changer’, the fact that smaller construction firms, in an industry that is forecasted to grow by over 70% by 2025, are not adopting BIM, should come as a concern.
Dr Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and President of the Board of Trade, two years ago confirmed the Government’s faith in BIM, committing to Level 2 BIM on all public sector projects. As a result, BIM usage, in the words of Richard Waterhouse, CEO of NBS and RIBA Enterprises, moved from a “niche practice to the norm” – reflected by the fact that BIM adoption raised from 48% (RICS report) two years ago, to 54% in 2016.
However, not everyone is convinced. Only one in 10 believe that the construction industry is ready to deliver on and a quarter feel that they lack the skills and knowledge that they need. There must be more done to ensure that smaller construction firms are engaged with the benefits of BIM and here's why:
It enables increased and central communication between architects and designers to create design intent, enabling them to better understand performance, appearance and cost early in the building design process. As with VR, BIM creates visual demonstrations of the work in real-time – allowing you to visualise the construction from start to finish.
BIM collects and stores all information on performance and usage in one place – this allows for better understanding of an asset and is easily transferred – who doesn’t want that?
The construction industry is a fast-moving and dynamic sector. I have no doubt that technological advancements such as BIM, combined with the IoT (Internet of Things) will enable the construction industry to develop, permitting us to plan new infrastructure more effectively. Contrary to beliefs, BIM doesn’t need to be expensive and is about adapting to change – both technologically and culturally.
With the Government’s pledge to Level 2 on all public sector projects and the advantages of BIM being numerous, now is the time to employ BIM at your firm.