Construction Industry ‘not Ready’ For BIM

According to the 2016 NBS National BIM Survey, only 10% of the construction industry is prepared for the government’s Building Information Modelling (BIM) level 2 mandate.

The mandate, which went into effect today, mandates the use of BIM at Level 2 on all centrally procured public sector projects.

The survey, which was conducted between December 2015 and February 2016, included over 1,000 construction professionals.

Despite revealing an increase in BIM adoption, the survey revealed that there is still confusion about the mandate.

The NBS National BIM Survey, now in its sixth year, provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date picture of BIM (Building Information Modelling) implementation in the UK construction industry.

The good news is that in the five years since former chief construction adviser Paul Morrell set the course for Level 2 BIM as part of the Government’s construction strategy, awareness of BIM has increased to 96%, up from 43% in the first NBS National BIM Survey in 2011, when 43% said they didn’t know what BIM was.

According to this year’s survey, the construction industry’s current adoption of BIM is 54%, up from 48% last year, with 86% of those who are aware of BIM expecting to use it by this time next year and 97% within five years.

In a further boost to the Government’s BIM strategy, nearly three-quarters of those polled (73%) agreed that BIM is the future of project information in construction, and a similar percentage (75%) agreed that they were certain they needed to use BIM for public sector work.

However, when it comes to being ‘BIM ready,’ 41% of those polled said they were unsure what they needed to do to comply with the BIM mandate, with only 10% believing that the construction industry is now ready to meet the Government’s 2016 requirements. More than a quarter of respondents (28%) believe they lack skills and knowledge in BIM, describing themselves as “not very” or “not at all” confident.

However, the majority of construction professionals appear to understand the government’s motivations for pushing BIM and believe it will help deliver specific construction strategy targets, such as faster delivery and lower costs.

According to the findings, 57% believe BIM will help to halve the overall programme, from inception to completion, for new and refurbished assets. Furthermore, 63% agreed that BIM will contribute to the targeted reduction of one-third in the initial cost of construction and the total life cost of built assets.

More needs to be done, according to the survey, to foster greater collaboration and ensure BIM is not limited to the design stage.

A little more than a third (37%) of construction professionals said they had used BIM models from the beginning to the end of a project, and only 16% had passed a model on to those in charge of building management. There was also widespread agreement (65%) that BIM is not yet sufficiently standardised, with fewer people using the standards that have been developed than have adopted BIM.

In terms of client demand for BIM, the majority of BIM users (70%) believe that clients will ‘increasingly insist’ on it, and nearly two-thirds (64%) believe that adopting BIM has given them a competitive advantage.

The majority (55%) of those who have yet to convert to BIM are concerned that they will be “left behind” if they do not do so. Half of those polled thought BIM was too expensive to consider right now, a response consistent with previous years’ findings in which cost was identified as a barrier to increased BIM adoption.

Water Source Heat Pump

This year’s NBS National BIM Survey includes a geographical breakdown, revealing that the UK’s BIM adoption hotspots are London and the North East, as well as Northern the UK and Wales.

“We believe this survey provides the most comprehensive analysis of the state of BIM in UK construction at a critical juncture in its development,” said Adrian Malleson, NBS’s Head of Research, Analysis, and Forecasting.

“Overall, the findings indicate that the government’s strategy appears to be working, and that its BIM mandate for publicly-funded work will influence work in the private sector.”

“The extent to which this occurs, as well as the rate at which it occurs, will be dependent on companies and individuals acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge to open up new ways of working.”

“Reliable and easily accessible sources of information are available, so those construction professionals looking to gain confidence in BIM can do so.”

This is a summary of the findings from the NBS National BIM report 2016, which will be released later this month.

Last Updated on December 30, 2021


Author: Indra Gupta

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

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