Friday 29 October 2010

Building Information Modelling for Public Procurement

NBS welcomes the announcements made by Paul Morrell on the adoption of BIM for public procurement. We believe that the government has a key role to play in accelerating the adoption of BIM, as has been the case in Scandinavia and the USA. The industry should not see BIM as a Holy Grail which one day will arrive, but as an evolutionary road which we need to start on sooner rather than later.

BIM promises to initiate a step-change in the design, procurement, construction and maintenance of the built environment and is an inevitability - the industry must ensure that it is prepared for this.

However, the industry must not fall into the trap of seeing 3D CAD as BIM – it is much more than 3D modelling. The key here is rich information. This is more than geometric information from a CAD model. It might include performance, regulatory compliance, specification, embodied carbon, cost and many other pieces of data to achieve the real benefits a BIM has to offer. Software is the interface to a building information model, rich content is what populates it.

Significant investment will be made by software developers, publishers and other data providers to get to the stage where we can really unlock the true potential of BIM. At NBS, we are investing heavily in turning our specification and product information into digital objects in anticipation of the widespread adoption of BIM. This information will be at the heart of the process and efficiency improvements for the industry.

Decisions to support the adoption of BIM from government and other major clients are a welcome step forward. However, if we are to avoid the UK design, manufacturing and construction industries needing to play catch up in years to come, it requires at least the levels of investment seen in many other countries where BIM is already maturing as an enabling technology.

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