Government’s construction advisor believes BIM will unlock new ways of working

Paul Morrell, the government’s chief construction adviser, has indicated that publically procured building projects will be required to adopt building information modelling.

The concept behind building information modelling or BIM is that everyone on the project shares the same 3D CAD model to design, build and, ultimately, run the building.

Speaking at the Autodesk BIM conference, Morrell said the move follows government research that concludes 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. 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”.

He added that the move 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.

The report will be released in March next year. Morrell says he “hopes and believes” it will mark the beginning of a commitment to a timed programme of transformation”.

Phil Bernstein, vice-president of Autodesk who produce a range of BIM based design tools, said the announcement was a positive step and could mark a game changer in the uptake of the technology in the UK.

“We believe that yesterday’s recommendation to UK government construction procurers will drive industry change, just as similar decisions by the government have in the US”.

However, he added that he doesn’t think the UK market is prepared for the wholesale uptake of BIM. “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, by 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”.

Bernstein predicts that the uptake of BIM on public projects will be mirrored in the private sector.