To BIM or Not To BIM - That Is The Question

BIM-questionOK, I admit that it is not quite a grammatically correct title, but for an increasing number of businesses in the construction sector tendering for private or upcoming government capital projects, to BIM or not to BIM is a very pertinent and sensible question.

This however is not restricted purely to the Architectural sector as BIM impacts across entire construction eco-system even down to the construction supply chain.

The construction market overall is still generally in a learning curve as far as BIM is concerned despite the fact that the term was first coined over 10 year ago, and the fact that there has been significant debate and research on BIM viability for well over 5 years.

BIM is now here to stay with some local authorities and companies already up to speed, and others in planning stages or mid deployment. That said for every company already moving along the curve to adoption there are many still sitting on the side-lines hoping that BIM will go away, which given the empirical evidence to the contrary is clearly not the case.

In the construction supply chain however it would be fair to say that whilst some (but not all) may have heard the term BIM bandied around, the realisation of what this actually means to them hasn't yet hit the spot, and the first time the impact really hits home is when they get an invitation to tender for a lucrative project, but they then discover it has a BIM format deliverable which they are not yet geared to supply.

Worse still a contracting company wins a tender and part way through the project are asked for the BIM data and models (which they had entirely overlooked or misunderstood as they traditionally still work in 2D format) and cannot supply the required 3D data!

Construction product manufacturers and contractors can of course walk away from BIM entirely and choose not to tender on BIM projects, but given that this is the natural evolution of the construction industry and BIM adoption is accelerating rapidly in both the private and public sector, that would be a very difficult business decision for any business owner to make.

If you need a high level overview of Building Information Modelling to help with business planning or simply want to get a clearer understanding of the BIM landscape and how it relates to the UK construction industry, please read our BIM white paper.

The white paper is as objective as possible and also contains links to key industry websites and also government BIM strategy documentation giving further useful insight.

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