A third of the industry is still not clear on how to comply with Government BIM mandate

NBS’ seventh annual BIM survey reveals that a year since the BIM level two mandate came into force, a third of the industry is still unclear with what they have to do to comply with it.

Repeated issues coming out of the survey, which had over 1,000 responses, were government failing to enforce the mandate and a lack of education for clients – 72 per cent of clients don’t understand the benefits of BIM.

“The introduction of the BIM mandate has broadly been a success – BIM adoption in the UK is growing in both extent (more people are using BIM) and in depth (people are moving up the BIM levels). However, there are areas in need of attention,” said NBS Chief Executive Richard Waterhouse.

“In the short term there needs to be greater education for clients and clearer enforcement of the mandate across the board, including clients commissioning smaller work as well as government departments too. Longer term, there is a need for BIM to fully move out of the design stages and into the maintenance of buildings.”

Some responding to the survey believe that central government is helping by outlining the cost savings BIM has brought, but more efficiencies need to become more apparent and need to be demonstrated to a wider range of clients to improve this issue.

There is increased confidence amongst the design community; 55 per cent are confident in BIM compared to 35 percent in 2012. Collaboration between colleagues and other organisations like NBS, BSI, RIBA and the BIM Task Group are cited as important factors in maintaining these confidence levels.

Awareness of BIM continues to increase to near universal levels (97 percent) and 62 percent of practices are now using BIM on their projects, up from 54 per cent last year.

For the first time, the survey asked those who have adopted BIM what percentage of projects they’d used it on in the last 12 months. Encouragingly, one in five uses BIM on every project and 29 percent use it on more than 75 per cent, telling us that once BIM is adopted, it is most often the design practice of choice.

Adopting BIM is not easy. Over 90 per cent of BIM users agree that it has required changes in their workflow, practices and procedures. Yet only 4 per cent wished that they hadn’t adopted BIM (compared to a quarter of non-users who would ‘rather not’).

“We can understand why so few regret adopting BIM when the majority can see that BIM brings cost efficiencies, and that clients and contractors will increasingly insist on it,” commented Adrian Malleson, Head of Research, Analysis and Forecasting at NBS.

“Lower costs, higher profitability and the ability to take on larger projects are just some of the benefits that UK companies of all scales are experiencing.”

The survey also asked people to think about the future of the construction industry, in relation to other new technologies and their perceived significance.

“We know BIM is only the start of this digital revolution,” commented Richard.

“Future cities, big data and the cloud – it’s likely that future technologies like these will work together in ways we don’t foresee yet, but it’s a safe bet that information rich companies will flourish best.”

To read the full report visit www.thenbs.com/bimreport2017.