Back in April 2016, the UK Government mandate for BIM Level 2 landed, which meant that any government construction projects that were procured from that date on had to now be delivered in line with the Building Information Modelling standards.
Reactions to the mandate were a little mixed, as at the time, many companies felt they were not BIM-ready (and many still don’t feel they are). The main reason for this seemed to be that construction companies felt that it would cost too much, and as it wasn’t something they had asked for, why should they pay for it?
The problem lies with the fact that there seems to be a common misconception about what BIM really is. The belief that it is the name given to the 3D visualisation of construction projects just emphasizes the fact that people don’t understand BIM Level 2 at all.
It is not surprising that people are confused by BIM, after all, there does not seem to be one universal definition of it! What we need to make clear though, is that BIM is a process, not a tool. It is a way of working.
The common misconception
If you do a quick search for BIM Level 2 on the web, you will find lots of articles that talk about “we want to use BIM” or “we used BIM in this project”. This is fuelling the misconception that BIM is a tool. BIM cannot be ‘used’ as it is not a piece of software or a tool – it is not an object. Building Information Modelling is a collaborative way of working which is underpinned by the help of digital tools.
What this lack of understanding means is that people have started to believe that once they adopt BIM in their business, it will be able to work with little or no input from them. This is not the case. For BIM to work correctly it needs to have continuous input and a steady flow of information from both workers and technology. Which is another reason why some businesses are hesitant to adopt it – they are reluctant to change their existing ways of working.
How to approach the adoption process of BIM
When it comes to the adoption process for BIM, it tends to have a negative reputation as it is believed to be complicated, long, and therefore costly. However, surely this is outweighed by the fact that once you have adopted BIM within your organisation, you will be able to access the long-term benefits of reducing errors and increasing efficiency, which will save you both time and money.
So, how do you get started?
- Make sure everyone in your organisation is on the same page. It is critical that your whole organisation is on board with adopting the BIM process, including knowing the terminology that should be used, and the standards that have been set.
- Get familiar with BIM. Familiarise yourself with the tools that will help you with adopting BIM. Nominate someone as the BIM champion for the organisation who can help everyone adapt to the new way of working.
BIM and the Digital Generation
The construction industry has struggled to attract young people in recent years, which is a shame as they have such great digital skills and advanced expectations. It also goes against the Government Construction Strategy 2025 which aims to change “how the construction industry is perceived by the public. Industry and Government must work together to inspire young people.”
The Government Strategy goes on to talk about the need for a “capable workforce that can deliver transformational change in the next decade.”
Many construction companies are struggling with adapting to this change, but this will only cause issues at a later date. BIM is going to push many out of their comfort zone, but it is vital it is adopted so that it becomes an industry-wide change.
If you want to harness the power of BIM on your next project, and want an outsourcing partner who can help – please contact the team at The CAD Room today. You can call us on 0161 427 0348 or email us at office@thecadroom if you prefer.