22/02/2013

Technology update - BIM

A set of standards designed to overcome problems faced by firms working on Building Information Modelling (BIM) projects is to be published at the end of this month. The standard – PAS 1192-2 - sets out how to share information on BIM projects and will be made available to public and private sector clients. It has been designed to eliminate potential clashes between companies using different BIM practices and software, which could lead to costly delays and conversion costs.

The Government’s Chief Construction Adviser, Peter Hansford, has described the standard as the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

By 2016, all centrally procured Government construction projects, no matter what their size, must be delivered using BIM. However there has also been debate around whether the industry is on target for this, and critically whether the success of BIM is simply to be measured in cost savings.

Aside from project economics and budgets, there is a strong body of opinion that BIM will also help to deliver sustainable benefits and that it is even ‘essential’ for Smart Buildings.

However one of the current challenges is still be seen as education and the need to train or retrain people to work with the software and systems. As a technology innovation BIM needs to keep pace with human resource.

To get an initial feel for the software, a number of free products enable users to view and mark up models. There is also useful information on the UK BIM Task Group website (www.bimtaskgroup.org) and an active social media community which uses the #ukbimcrew hashtag.