Industry support for Government’s BIM approach grows

The Government’s mandate for the use of BIM on public sector contracts has received a seal of approval from the latest NBS National BIM Survey, which found that the majority of respondents believe the Government is ?on the right track’ with BIM.

Now in its fifth year, the survey is used to track attitudes to BIM as well as keep track of its adoption in the construction industry. The 2015 study has found that more than 80% of respondents believe that BIM in some form will be compulsory on public sector projects, with 70% believing this will be the proposed use of Level 2 BIM outlined in the Government’s construction strategy document.

NBS says this response is encouraging for the Government and its UK BIM Task Group, particularly as a majority of those surveyed believe that BIM will have the government’s desired effect of helping to reduce both costs and time. In addition, 41% see it as a tool to aid in the reduction of carbon emissions, which is another government aim for BIM adoption.

Of those that have already adopted BIM, these benefits are already taking hold, with 59% experiencing cost efficiencies, 56% an improvement in client outcomes, 51% an increase in the speed of delivery and 48% an increase in profitability.

However, barriers to adoption have been found by the survey, with over three quarters of respondents claiming that manufacturers need to provide BIM-ready objects. Potentially due to a lack of manufacturers’ BIM objects, the number of people creating objects in-house and re-using them stands at 69%, which marks a drop from 77% but remains a significant proportion.

Ian Chapman, director of the NBS National BIM Library, said: “Whilst it is encouraging to see more people using BIM objects supplied by manufacturers and from libraries (60%), there is still a significant number creating their own and simply using them over and over, which are running the risk of not having the most up to date information or high quality objects that work effectively in a common data environment.
 
“We really need manufacturers to be supplying the vast majority of the industry’s BIM objects.”

Despite awareness of BIM remaining at almost universal levels (95%), adoption has dropped from 54% to 48%. As well as a lack of manufacturers’ objects, cost and lack of expertise and training were also identified as barriers to BIM adoption. With an improving economy and increased workloads, half of those asked also cited lack of time as a reason stopping them from getting up to speed with BIM.

NBS suggests that the most interesting response to its survey was that almost two-thirds (63%) of participants said that lack of client demand is the main reason for not adopting BIM. This raises the question of how something that is mandated by central Government and is likely to spread quickly throughout the public sector can reach the consciousness of private sector clients.
 
Adrian Malleson, head of research, analysis & forecasting at NBS, said: “This has been one of the more interesting sets of findings of our National BIM survey. Previously we have seen year on year growth in adoption, but this year, shortly before the Government mandate comes into force, we see a pause in BIM adoption. There remains a significant number of practices that do not see the advantages of BIM and chose not to adopt and others that are currently unable to adopt BIM because of time, cost, or expertise.

“However, the direction of travel remains clear – BIM will increasingly become the norm for the design and maintenance of buildings, and its widespread use is cent