March 20, 2013
Nearly three quarters (71 per cent) of building design and construction experts agree that BIM (Building Information Modelling) represents “the future of project information” and 39 per cent confirmed that they are already using it. But the annual industry-wide BIM survey, undertaken by NBS, reveals a lack of clarity around the subject which could prove an obstacle to its more rapid adoption. 74 per cent of those polled agreed that the industry is “not clear enough on what BIM is yet” and only around one-third claim to be “very” or “quite” confident in their BIM knowledge and skills.
Almost two years after the publication of the UK Construction Strategy, in which BIM plays a central role, fewer than half of respondents are aware of the different levels of BIM, despite Level 2 being mandatory on all Government projects by the end of 2016.
But despite the uncertainty around the subject, the survey once again supported the view that the greater use of BIM is unstoppable with 73 per cent agreeing that clients will increasingly insist on its use, 66 per cent saying the same about contractors and 51 per cent confirming that the Government “is on the right track with BIM”‘.
Of those who have adopted BIM, more than half believe that the introduction of BIM has resulted in greater cost efficiencies whilst three-quarters report increased coordination of construction documents. Improved productivity due to easy retrieval of information and better quality visualisations were other gains. Just six per cent would turn back the clock and regret the introduction of BIM to their organisations.
Commenting on the survey, Dr Stephen Hamil, Director of Design and Innovation at RIBA Enterprises, said:
“Digital construction is here to stay. The annual trends we are observing in the NBS BIM surveys clearly show this. However, the true benefits of BIM will not be realised until the industry focuses on clear requirements around structured information. This has been the Government’s clear and consistent message. This must now spread to all those involved in the UK construction industry.”
Now in its third year, the NBS National BIM Survey was conducted between December 2012 and February 2013 amongst more than 1,350 professionals, representing a range of business sizes and disciplines from across the industry including architecture, engineering and surveying.