The government’s chief construction adviser has indicated that building information modelling will become obligatory on publicly-procured projects, according to reports in Building and Building Design, the weekly for architects.
Both carry news from Autodesk’s BIM Conference last week, when Paul Morrell indicated that bidders and contractors on future public building projects would be asked to use BIM.
He said that the move follows yet-to-be-published government-commissioned research that shows conclusively that BIM offers tangible benefits to the construction industry supply chain, and value for money to the taxpayer.
He said: “We have commissioned a team drawn from BIM users across the industry, both clients and suppliers, and software developers, to prepare a route map that shows how we can make a progressive move to the routine use of BIM.
He said: ‘I am convinced that this is the way to unlock new ways of working that will reduce cost and add long-term value to the development and management of built assets in the public sector.’
The BIM concept involves everyone on a project sharing the same 3D CAD model to design, build and, after handover, run the building.
A report on a number of pilot projects using BIM and testing its performance will be submitted to the Construction Clients Board in March. The CCB is run by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
Morrell said he hoped that the report would ‘mark the beginning of a commitment to a timed programme of transformation’, adding that the industry’s move towards BIM needs to be made ‘on a basis that is secure, that works for government clients and those who deliver services to them, and which draws on proven means of integrating the supply chain.’
Phil Bernstein, vice-president of Autodesk, which produces a range of BIM-compatible design tools said: ‘We believe the recommendation to UK government construction procurers will drive industry change, just as similar decisions by the government have in the US.’
However, wholesale uptake of the system may be some time away, he added: ‘If this was to be adopted in the next six months then there wouldn’t be enough BIM capable practitioners to do what is being talked about. However, creating a set of requirements that will allow the UK market to adjust itself accordingly, will help greatly. A lot of practitioners can spend the next year getting ready for the change”.