Sunday 3 March 2013

National BIM Report 2013

Results from 1,350 professionals
The NBS National BIM Report 2013 is now published. Again, this year, it is completely free. It is launched at ecobuild this week at the RIBA Village S1230/S1330 and also will be a free download from With 1,350 responses to our survey, this is the biggest ever UK investigation into BIM to date.

As an overview, I give some extracts from the expert articles and survey results below...

The report opens with an introduction from RIBA Enterprises Chief Executive Richard Waterhouse.
"As we delve deeper into the word of digital construction, we find that the fundamentals of delivering quality information have not changed – don’t expect quality output on poor quality input! The foundation of BIM must surely be the delivery of standardised and consistent information...

...BIM adopters can see that BIM is more than just ‘seductive graphics’ and ‘sexy 3D’.They can demonstrate that effective information management leads to business efficiency and profitability." 
 The Cabinet Office's Head of BIM Implementation David Philp then discussed the "how" of BIM. David makes the point that the "what" and the "why" of BIM have now been replaced by the "how".

"We need to support and demystify BIM throughout the entire supply chain, especially the SME and manufacturing community, who are vitally important in the UK’s whole sector approach to BIM.

...We should, as an industry, be especially proud of what has been achieved and indeed many industry commentators are now asserting that the UK has become the world leader in BIM through adoption and the central government policy and the requirements of the Government Construction Strategy."

A week before the report was released, some of the key findings were passed to a collection of "influencers" in the BIM community for their comment. It's interesting to read the short snippets from those pushing BIM methodologies at organisations such as Hilson Moran, BDP, Balfour Beatty, Arup Associates, EC Harris and PRP Associates.

Adrian Malleson, Research and Analysis Manager at NBS then takes us through the findings for 2013. I include two of the charts below. What is especially interesting this year is that the findings from the previous years can compared to look at the trending. As there is "BIM stamp" of certification, adoption or capabilities are largely self assessed. However, it is very interesting to look at.

The second chart below is particularly interesting. As the UK Gov defines it, what level of BIM have you worked to (for those aware of this)? I wonder if anyone is truly working to level-2 BIM as the classifications, information structures and software capabilities (in my humble opinion) are still being developed for the 2016 vision. If the 8% working to level-3 BIM could leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post I'd be interested in their thoughts.
Year on year BIM awareness in the UK

What level BIM are you?
Adrian concludes...
"A majority think the Government is on the ‘right track’ with BIM. Those who are looking to BIM see its advantages, but tend to understate them. Those who have adopted BIM tell us that there are real benefits to be had, and they’re greater than expectations. The anticipation of future adoption remains high. Delaying BIM implementation may reduce expenditure – but the risk is an even greater reduction in future income."

Adrian presents the report findings at ecobuild 10.30am on Thursday (RIBA Village S1230) - so if you are at ecobuild - don't miss out on his presentation!

Four more articles follow. The first from Dale Sinclair the Chair of the RIBA Large Practice Group and the brains behind the soon to be released RIBA Plan of Work 2013. 
"BIM as a term is being used as a wrapper for many subjects. The RIBA Plan of Work 2013 sows the seeds to encourage many subjects to be considered. It acts as a stepping stone as the construction industry harnesses BIM in order to be more efficient and effective."
The recent BIM Task Group Labs work all hangs off the plan of work and the tasks and information development. The new RIBA Plan of Work aligns itself to the new CIC work stage headings and should be a fantastic tool in the UK (and abroad) for those who work on BIM projects.

My article is next up. As I was writing an article for the third BIM Report in a row, I tried to look at a bit of a new angle. The digital revolution has had a big impact on the construction industry in the last seven or eight years - so, if we had a crystal ball - how will it look by 2020?

"Digital construction is here to stay. The ideas described in this article will become reality. Maybe this will be by 2020 – or maybe at a more leisurely pace. But it will happen. What the UK industry must do is to make sure that it is leading the world. We have to continue to invest in our digital capabilities so that we can build better buildings at home and also be a net-exporter of services abroad."
On the majority of large projects nowadays, both the design and the build are contractor led. In this year's report we asked one of the biggest tier-1 contractors Laing O'Rourke to tell us how they work with BIM. Christopher Northwood gives an insight how through "build-off-site" and modelling they are seeing great efficiencies.
"We work with our supply chain to develop the model in accordance with the methods described in the Laing O’Rourke digital engineering protocols. This enables us to produce a model export which is set up for use by our Explore Industrial Park (EIP) manufacturing facility in Nottinghamshire. The design model can be developed containing data sets and attributes for all manufacturing information accountabilities. The attribute data is used to populate the designers’ drawings and schedules"
The screenshot below shows an example object and associated guidance that models a built-off-site standard assembly. It's great to see that National BIM Library classification and naming principles have been adopted and also the references to the equivalent NBS Create clauses.
Modelling "built-off-site" assemblies
The final article if from Elrond Burrell from Architype. Elrond is well known in both the sustainability and BIM UK communities. Early in the year he presented at our Green BIM Conference and I asked him if he wouldn't mind putting the presentation in the form of an article for this year's report. This mix of digital technology and improved process to help reduce environmental impact is a powerful message.
"There are many definitions of BIM, but a key to differentiating it from 3D CAD is the information that the model contains. In a BIM process the right information can be made available at the right time and to the right parties. In this sense BIM provides quality assurance and plays an important role in the reduction of waste and repeat work at each stage of the building lifecycle."

I wonder if in 2020 or 2030, people will look back on these reports and reflect on this period of change. It certainly seems an exciting time.
NBS National BIM Report 2013:


  1. Sorry, but I don't seem to be able to find the NBS National BIM Report 2013 at the link given. Any reason why? Thanks for your reply!

  2. Our web team have been busy with ecobuild the last few days and haven't yet finished the pages around the report.

    But here's a direct link prior for you: