Focus now shifting to implementation government’s head of BIM says

The UK government is at a turning point in its policy of driving Building Information Modelling (BIM) adoption in the construction industry, with its focus now shifting to implementation.

The UK government’s head of BIM implementation David Philp told the BIM Show Live conference in London this week that the government has shifted its focus from setting up processes and protocols to enable BIM adoption across the industry to now driving its implementation.

The change in emphasis has come after the publication of the BIM protocol suite of contractual and technical standards for BIM projects, which was published by the government and the Construction Industry Council (CIC) in February, Philp said.

Philp also encouraged firms to “broaden their thinking”, “learn to share” and to “have fun” to speed up BIM adoption.

Philps’ comments came after the UK government’s BIM ambassador for growth Richard Saxon published his report last week on how to boost economic growth through BIM adoption and export.

He said the UK was rapidly catching up with the USA, widely recognised as the international leader in BIM, in terms of BIM thinking and adoption.

Saxon also found that BIM provides the UK with an opportunity to lead in EU construction policy development and a route to growth from exporting BIM expertise to developing countries.

The report also found BIM will boost economic growth by reducing risk and time spent on construction projects and through linking with the broader smart economy movement to better measure and manage city and building performance.

The report was commissioned by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) through the CIC.

Also speaking at the BIM Show Live conference, Rob Charlton, chief executive of BIM consultancy BIM Technologies, said some professions were lagging behind others in terms of BIM adoption.

He accused quantity surveyors of being in “denial” about BIM, while he said facilities managers, mechanical and engineering consultants and manufacturers were also resistant to change. Charlton said contractors and architects were exploring use of BIM, while clients and structural engineers were so far the most committed adopters.

Charlton also said the private sector was moving ahead of the public sector in terms of BIM adoption and was “six steps ahead”.

Dave Monswhite, associate director at consultant Turner & Townsend, defended quantity surveyors in a later panel discussion. He said: “[QSs] are not generators of the data, we receive it and analyse it.” He urged other professions to collaborate better with QSs on data.