UK professionals are seen as world leaders in BIM adoption but now we must let the Australians tackle BIM challenges their way
I’m looking back on a couple of weeks that have significantly raised the profile of UK BIM practitioners in the Far East.
The recent win of the BIM Academy consortium in Build Sydney Live, coupled with their appointment as the consultants for a couple of significant cultural buildings in Australia and Hong Kong, has raised the bar and the profile of the UK in BIM adoption – the UK is seen as a world leader.
Practising UK BIM migrants, of which there are a few, can look back and appreciate the work of their colleagues in the UK. Their skills are based on the bedrock of seizing the BIM opportunity and working through the early adoption issues to develop UK custom and practice which is becoming the envy of the world.
The secret is not to overplay this UK orientated governance card and to ensure when we stretch our wings and look for global opportunities in BIM we take with us a light version of BIM governance and don’t just sell the UK BIM way of working which has both good and bad examples of BIM guidance. BIM guidance should be drip fed at a rate where the industry can adopt it.
The nation that surfs the waves on a white board, braves the rip tides, four metre great whites, and swarms of stinging jellyfish and comes back for more, can easily overcome the initial steps in BIM
Australia, like every nation, will approach BIM with its own national version and, like a flag, will develop their own version of BIM governance and guidance.
Already, debates exist over differing versions of BIM execution plans and strategies. The politics of BIM is in danger of taking hold. This is potentially becoming a new Australian BIM pastime.
We benefitted from early AIA building information model protocols 2008 which were succinct and blindingly simple as guidance to early adopters. Australia is in danger of being paralysed by evolving legislation, governance and protocols before they manage to develop their version of BIM to a similar level of maturity that we currently enjoy and expect in the UK. Some of this is coming out of the UK. We need to let them find their own way and get a few runs on the board.
Australians must address the true challenges in BIM and take them on head on. Hopefully this nation of bright, enthusiastic people can engage and resolve issues we are currently struggling with:
- National BIM Object libraries- maintained annually.
- mapping changes of one model version to another
- linking specifications
- preparing the marketplace for BIM adoption through training.
- Structured information exchange though databases that recognise the workflow impact of each stakeholder and the benefits that are accrued by FM practioners.
Therefore the nation that surfs the waves on a white board, braves the rip tides, four metre great whites, and swarms of stinging jellyfish and comes back for more, can easily overcome the initial steps in BIM.
Australians love UK soccer, let’s ensure they love our UK BIM.
Bill Shankly the revered Liverpool FC manager once advised his players “rather than consider what you want to do with the ball let’s just stick it in the back of the net – we will discuss your options later”. BIM – Learn by doing, not theorising.
Peter Barker is managing director of BIM Academy