Industry ‘falling short of mandatory BIM target’

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Three quarters of construction professionals do not believe the industry is ready to meet mandatory BIM Level 2 requirements by 2016, according to research conducted by UK Construction Week in partnership with BRE.

Just over 74 per cent of respondents think the industry will fall short of this target, which is due to come into effect for all procurement projects from central government and its agencies next year. A further 62 per cent of respondents replied that they do not understand what is needed in order to meet the requirements of BIM Level 2.

The research, which questioned more than 1,200 architects, contractors, developers, engineers and product manufacturers about their experiences of BIM, revealed a number of uncertainties throughout the industry.  In particular, the results uncovered a tension between the expectations of the specification community and the perceived demand for BIM-compliant products by manufacturers and suppliers.

Nearly 71 per cent of the non-manufacturing respondents believe that suppliers are not moving quickly enough to provide BIM ready information. This figure appears to be borne out by the survey results, with two thirds of the building product manufacturers contacted by UK Construction Week stating their products are not yet available as BIM objects.  Conversely though, when questioned about the main obstacle to creating BIM-ready components, 41 per cent of manufacturers said there is simply not enough demand for this from their customers.

Looking at the barriers to more widespread adoption of BIM and the most-cited challenges are a lack of in-house expertise (25 per cent), inadequate understanding within the supply chain (15 per cent) and limited time to commit to training (14 per cent.)  Overwhelmingly, 96 per cent of respondents replied that there is a need for greater support and training in BIM.  Interestingly though, only 23 per cent of respondents admitted to actively seeking out employees with existing BIM skills, while the remainder either do not have the requirement for this yet or are prepared to provide training to new recruits.

Overall however, acceptance and adoption of BIM does appear to be on the increase, with the majority (85 per cent) of respondents claiming its introduction is a positive development for the industry.  

Paul Oakley Associate Director at BRE said, “The creation of accurate, complete and unambiguous information delivered from a single source is a fundamental principle of BIM. It is therefore somewhat ironic that the industry has to struggle with multiple sources and levelled information in order to ascertain the requirements for BIM Level 2.”