Adoption of BIM in UK gathers pace
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NBS national BIM survey
ABC+D magazine reviews the latest NBS national BIM survey, showing that in the UK the question is no longer will Building Information Modelling (BIM) be adopted but how quickly.
Results from an annual, industry-wide survey undertaken by NBS have provided the most comprehensive and accurate picture of UK BIM (Building Information Modelling) and its growing influence within the built environment industry.
Unquestionably one of the hottest topics in construction, the adoption of BIM has recently been described as unstoppable by Paul Morrell, the Government’s chief construction adviser, who has reiterated over the last 12 months, the intention to make BIM compulsory for public projects.
The NBS National BIM Survey was completed in late 2011 by nearly 1,000 construction professionals representing a range of business sizes and disciplines from across the industry including architecture, engineering and surveying.
The key findings of the NBS National BIM Survey
- Almost a third (31%) of construction professionals are now using BIM - up from 13% in 2010
- The number of those unaware of BIM and its benefits has halved with just over a fifth (21%) saying they were unaware of the technology and not using it compared to 43% in 2010
- Three quarters of those construction professionals currently aware of BIM predict they will be using it on some projects by the end of 2012, and almost 19 out of 20 people expect to be using it in five years’ time.
- 74% of those using BIM believe clients will increasingly insist on BIM adoption
- More than 80% agreed BIM increases the coordination of construction documents, with 65% of those using the technology saying BIM delivered cost efficiencies
The survey revealed that the perceived expense and time commitments involved in adopting BIM technology remain the main barriers to greater industry-wide adoption in the current economic climate, particularly for smaller businesses.
Almost two thirds (63%) agreed that BIM is too expensive to consider at the moment, with nearly half (48%) saying they needed to get through the downturn before looking at BIM.
Despite 78% saying that BIM is the future of project information, the survey also revealed that, in terms of understanding how BIM works, there is still much progress to be made with four out of five agreeing that the industry is not yet clear on what BIM actually is.
On a positive note, a high percentage (74%) sees BIM as not just a synonym for 3D CAD drawings and the majority (46%) agreed that unless specifications are linked to the CAD model, it’s not BIM.
Commenting on the survey, Dr Stephen Hamil, director of design and innovation and head of BIM at RIBA Enterprises, said: ’The survey clearly shows that in the UK the question is no longer will BIM be adopted, but how quickly?.
The fact that three quarters of those aware of BIM predict they will be using it on projects by the end of the year shows the speed with which things are moving.
It is the job of the construction industry data providers and software companies, such as NBS, to provide the tools necessary to make the adoption of BIM an easy process.
Whether it’s specification information, technical guidance, manufacturer product information or geometric objects, the digital information that is produced must be structured to work in the BIM environment’.
The 2011 National BIM Survey represents the latest stage in NBS’ campaign to promote debate on BIM, and guide the industry in its understanding and adoption of the process.
An expert provider of technical information for construction industry professionals, NBS is focused on providing the information needed to improve decision making at each stage of the construction and operation process, as well as developing libraries of data that will support this information revolution.
Its new specification tool, NBS Create, has been designed to make life much easier for design and construction teams enabling an entire project team to work on a single, integrated specification that develops from outline stage through to an ’as built’ record of the building.
NBS and RIBA Enterprises are members of the BIM Technologies Alliance supporting the UK Government’s Construction Strategy BIM Working Group.
’The full National BIM Survey is available at www.thenbs.com
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