By Steve Rizer
For officials in the United States who believe that mandating the use of building information modeling (BIM) technology for publicly funded projects is too onerous of a requirement, perhaps they would reconsider their position after examining the results of a survey recently conducted across the United Kingdom, where a mandate of this sort is in place. Most of the 1,000-plus construction professionals responding to the survey (58 percent) believe that the U.K. government “is on the right track with BIM.” Only about one in six survey respondents (16 percent) disagrees with that statement, while the remaining one-quarter of them neither agree nor disagree.
“There is no evidence that the majority of people resent or want to resist the [U.K.] government’s BIM strategy,” according to NBS’ report, entitled “National BIM Report 2014.”
In 2016, the U.K.’s mandate for “Level 2” BIM for publicly funded projects comes into force. Whereas Level 1 BIM use involves the sharing of files, Level 2 encompasses both data sharing and, as explained by The Clarkson Alliance Ltd., “the introduction of a central ‘middleware’ platform that allows all of the design, construction, operation, and maintenance information to be held in a single, federated BIM model that can be accessed 24/7 anywhere there’s a reasonable internet connection.”
Conversely, there is limited government-mandated use of BIM on public projects in the U.S. Earlier this year, Cathy Palmer, senior manager of BIM leadership programs at Autodesk, reported to ConstructionPro Week (CPW) that the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act encourages the use of innovative construction techniques, including the use of “digital 3-dimensional modeling technologies” (CPW, Feb. 7, 2014, “Will the U.S. Follow Europe’s Lead in Promoting BIM Use at the State Level?”). She additionally noted steps by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. General Services Administration to promote BIM implementation. State requirements for BIM on public projects are rare.
“Looking through the responses to the survey, a clear picture is drawn,” NBS stated in the report. “Overall, the industry is positive about BIM and the real benefits it can bring. The government mandate for BIM is welcomed. We are moving from a phase where early adopters led the way to one of BIM becoming the norm. There is a wide appreciation of the benefits that BIM will bring, and those who have adopted BIM are more positive about it than those who have yet to” embrace the technology.
The ConstructionPro Network member version of this article reports additional results from the survey.