BSRIA warns BIM readiness for 2016 is essential

BSRIA is concerned by the fact that three quarters of surveyors believe non-adoption of BIM could seriously hinder the UK construction sector over the next year, according to research published by the RICS.

The RICS survey also finds that although a large majority of surveying firms have considered the business case for BIM adoption (74 per cent), there is still a large proportion of firms (49 per cent) not using BIM in the day-to-day aspects of their work.

Of those not currently using BIM within their organisation, 68 per cent of respondents said that “they don’t think there is enough information available for small companies in order to aid them with adoption”.

In addition, 31 per cent of surveyors claim that there is not a need to use the technology in their organisation, while over a quarter (26 per cent) stated that they don’t feel their firm has the technical skills in place to implement the technology.

BSRIA’s Principal Consultant and BIM specialist, John Sands, said: “This research is very alarming news with only a few months to go before BIM must be adopted in January 2016. Businesses have had long enough to make the necessary arrangements. In August, BSRIA circulated a sector-wide survey about the adoption of ‘BIM Level 2’, noting the government requirement for BIM Level 2 engagement with centrally procured contracts during 2016. The building services industry should be in a position to make the most of the opportunities it will present.”

John added: “Non-adoption is likely to have a negative impact on the industry as a whole. It’s clear from the research that the industry needs to be doing more to help such surveying firms – as well as the wider industry – in getting up to speed with the technology, particularly when it comes to how they can implement the technology across their organisation.”

Government is committed to using BIM to improve its management and operation of buildings and infrastructure. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing services are all critical to the effective operation of buildings.

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BIM Levels Explained

Those who have, or are looking to embrace BIM as part of their processes, know that BIM is essentially value creating collaboration through the entire life-cycle of an asset, underpinned by the creation, collation and exchange of shared 3D models and intelligent, structured data attached to them.

But with all this talk about BIM levels, it can get pretty confusing for those not yet familiar with the environment. Some ask; is all BIM not the same? The short answer is: No. BIM has different levels (often described as ‘maturity levels’) of file based collaboration and library management, not to mention the CAD capabilities. In this blog we aim to explain the different levels of BIM without clogging it with jargon.

BIM levels explained

Level 0

The majority of the industry is already well ahead of this now. This, the simplest form of BIM, is an unmanaged CAD including 2D drawings, and text with paper-based or electronic exchange of information but without common standards and processes. Essentially this is a digital drawing board without the option to collaborate with other users.

Level 1

This version of BIM is a managed CAD, with the increasing introduction of spatial coordination, standardised structures and formats as it moves towards Level 2 BIM. Typically BIM Level 1 comprises a mixture of 3D CAD for concept work, and 2D for statutory approval documentation and production information. This may include 2D information and 3D information such as visualisations or concept development models. However, in Level 1, models are not shared between project team members.

Level 2

This is the level the Government is expecting the industry meet by 2016. This is distinguished by collaborative working – all parties use their own 3D CAD models, but are not necessarily working on a single, shared model. The collaboration comes in the form of how the information is exchanged between different parties. Design information is shared through a common file format, which enables any organisation to be able to combine the used data with their own in order to make a federated BIM model, and to carry out interrogative checks on it. Level 2 BIM is a managed 3D environment with data attached, but created in separate discipline-based models. Even though the separate models are assembled to form a federated model, but do not lose their identity or integrity. Data may include construction sequencing (4D) and cost (5D) information.

Level 3

The next level of BIM, not yet upon us, often described as the “Holy Grail” of BIM. Level 3 represents full collaboration between all disciplines by means of using a single, shared project model which is held in a centralized repository, and will be compliant with emerging Industry standards. BIM level 3 aims to be a single collaborative, online, project model with construction sequencing (4D), cost (5D) and project lifecycle information (6D).