To Bim Or Not To Bim

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is growing in popularity and is now mandatory for centrally funded public-sector projects. Experts and the curious are convening more and more frequently at specific conferences, fairs and workshops. Many people are now asking: Where does the UK stand on the topic of BIM and the digitalisation of the building industry?

In the UK, where many public construction projects get public funding, it’s difficult to picture a world without BIM.

Organisations that use BIM are increasingly realising the prospects for improvement that the method has to offer. This is supported by the fact that fresh user benefits are being identified on an almost weekly basis, offering stakeholders a clear demonstration of the concrete benefits on offer. Digitisation is being moved away from the perception of an almost-mystical phenomenon that is only of interest to ‘techies’.

BIM is a process, not just a technology. BIM Consultancy, ViCon highlighted five success elements for BIM implementations: technology, rules, processes, skills plus the efficacy of the BIM manager. All five factors are required for a good start with the BIM approach and should be considered carefully.

In order to use a method, it is necessary to have the necessary technology in place first. This comprises authoring tools for models such as Revit, ARCHICAD and Bentley, as well as a Common Data Environment (CDE) such as that provided by Aconex – which is crucial in terms of value creation.

Collaboration regulations (such as national or business standards like PAS1192, contracts, and organisations) are both beneficial and required in light of this new technology.

– The third factor contains solid and repeatable processes able to be codified and pushed out throughout supply chains, particularly focusing on ease of use.

– The ability of the individuals involved to adopt the methods and technologies used comes in at number four on the list and is of critical importance.

– The fifth component is the involvement of the BIM manager. The BIM manager should be able to champion offer all-round advise both prior to and throughout project execution.

In the UK, modelling software has been utilised for building geometric models for five to ten years already. In some circumstances, it was very informally referred to as BIM, though certain crucial features were absent.

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BIM’s actual advantages have been investigated in numerous studies, including those conducted in 2015 by Aconex and McGraw-Hill. While the typical construction mistake rate is 10%, the researchers showed that users can avoid errors and repetitive effort.

By using the CDE, you may take use of all the benefits that BIM has to offer. It serves as a hub for all information pertaining to the phases of the construction lifecycle: design, construction, and operation. Rather, it’s about recording and distributing data, rather than just drawings and paperwork. This is real data management.

Everyone involved receives access via distinct rights concept in accordance with their contractual duties. The CDE is cloud-based, highly available, and certified (neither installation nor hardware is necessary). It fulfils both national and international data security and data protection regulations, and is consequently different from typical data platforms in both its functional orientation and perspective.

Up to 90% of persons involved in building and planning have limited or no access to important information, as has been the case in the past. Open standards like as IFC (Industry Foundation Classes), BCF (BIM Collaboration Format), and LEXiCON (Product Data Templates) are supported by a CDE, making it possible for everyone involved to work together more effectively.

Why are open formats so significant? Due to the specialised nature of their work, specialists should, as a rule, use the best tools available to accomplish their particular task(s). To make matters worse, formats restricted to only one manufacturer would make it difficult to collaborate and severely restrict possibilities.

From the “Lonely” and “Social” to the selection of “closed” or “open” formats, you need to pick carefully when it comes to the scope of BIM activity in the project. ‘Lonely BIM’ defines use of the BIM approach that is constrained to a particular discipline and which can be defined as a solitary solution.

‘Social BIM’, on the other hand, signifies the end-to-end and interdisciplinary use of the BIM approach. In the previous two or three months, we’ve researched the BIM trends on worldwide marketplaces in an attempt to obtain a better grasp of any probable patterns in the development of BIM.

In more developed markets, there’s a definite propensity towards ‘Social-OpenBIM’ solutions. After Holland, the markets in Norway and Finland appear to be leading the pack. The UK happens to be the fastest growing BIM market in the world.

Those interested in the open approach must step up their efforts if they want it to gain traction in the market. Aconex has prepared a two-minute video with buildingSMART International to describe the issue or collision management procedure in simple words.

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If you’re still hesitant about OpenBIM, check out this video at

Article by Steve Cooper, general manager UK and the UK at Aconex.

Last Updated on December 29, 2021


Author: Indra Gupta

Indra is an in-house writer with a love of Newcastle United and all things sustainable.

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