BIM maturity tends to be much lower than claimed


The recent NBS survey of BIM awareness and uptake has raised a lot more questions than it answers. How much credence can you give to the self-reported levels of BIM maturity when much of the talk in the industry suggests that maturity is much lower than claimed?

Take the claim that 7% of BIM users are working at beyond Level 2, indeed at Level 3. As Level 3 is not yet formally defined, nor in many ways even technically possible, for people to claim this suggests that they do not understand the concept of BIM levels.

At a recent seminar on the introduction of NRM3, the method of measurement of repair and maintenance costs, there was an assumption by one speaker that as NRM2 sits alongside PAS 1192-2, the guide to Level 2 BIM, that NRM3 must refer to Level 3; after all, PAS1192-3, just out and also about operating buildings, uses number 3 so 3 must mean Level 3.

The labelling of codes and guides needs some re-assessment to make it clearer to people how they all relate to BIM levels. Nomenclature for Levels of Development/Detail must also be clearer than the American model when the Digital Plan of Work is ready for publication.

As to whether 51% of respondents are working at Level 2 when only 27% claim to use PAS 1192-2: I think that it would be fairer to say that they are on their way to Level 2. Clients that I advise are generally not yet ready to play the full client role in Level 2 BIM, preferring to ask the consultants and contractors to use BIM among themselves, for better coordination, site sequencing and even costing, but to stay with traditional brief-making, stage approval and handover processes for now. I call these projects Level 1.7. It is clients who will determine when the full rigour of Level 2 comes in.

Richard Saxon CBE is a client adviser and is champion for innovation on the Construction Industry Council Executive Board