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In my previous post (It’s funny where inspiration comes from sometimes), I introduced you to the London Revit User Group (LRUG). As promised, here’s more on the UK Government’s mandate to be level 2 BIM by 2016 and some thoughts about Paul Morrell’s presentation.
One of the key things to stand out is the Government’s view that the majority of the AEC industry companies will adopt BIM in time for the UK Government’s deadline. However there will be a small number that will not make the deadline and there will be a small number (The Trailblazers) that will be ready way ahead of time and be looking to embark on the next level of BIM.
The presentation started by highlighting the inefficiencies and failings of the AEC industry as it stands at present, even after Latham and Egan’s attempts to improve efficiency. Mr Morrell then goes on to explain that waste of time, money and materials is a huge problem in the industry and BIM is a way of dealing with this. That’s not to say that the industry doesn’t run the risk of creating a new form of waste – digital waste in the BIMs where people have added too much or unnecessary information. Mr Morrell also mentions that the industry will have to change to suit the revised method of working, revise the hierarchical project structure, etc. The UK Government recognises that this will be challenging and has set up task groups to review how to deal with these challenges, especially the legal aspects.
How do I describe the presentation overall (a la Stadler & Stadler)? Exciting, very interesting, positive, humorous, optimistic, evolutionary, realistic approach, measured approach, neutral, thought provoking, disconcerting, worrying, punitive, game/business changing, restrictive.
When reading the above, you may wonder why I have a variety of positive and negative adjectives. Let me explain my thoughts. For those already evolving into BIM, this statement of intent is a positive and exciting step to help drive adoption throughout the industry. With that comes the optimism that the AEC industry can start to become more holistic and the original partnering idea can evolve into what it should have been. The UK Government are looking at adoption and implementation realistically, which, has thrown up several challenges that require much thought. For the majority of companies these challenges will have an impact on our business plans and how we interact efficiently and economically with others.
Most of the AEC industry is expected to and should be able to cope with this change. However, there will be companies that will be concerned that the investment in BIM could be too much and that they will start to see opportunities disappear. In some respects companies may feel punished by not adopting BIM. Conversely, with the UK Government’s measured approach to the introduction of BIM, some companies that adopted BIM early will feel that they are held back from realising their full potential while the rest catch up. The best aspect of the presentation was that, although serious, Mr Morrell was still able to inject humour to make you realise it’s not as onerous as one may think. The UK Government doesn’t propose to dictate to industry and mete out any punitive measures to force adoption, aside from if you can’t participate in BIM you won’t win work, but expects industry to work together and resolve the best way to work in a BIM environment, with its guidance. Also they are remaining neutral by not backing any one technology or software as the industry implements BIM – no point putting their fingers in hot places again!
Depending on where you are situated as a company in the aforementioned horse racing image I think the presentation encompassed all the above and probably more. For the majority, if not all in the room, I would have expected the positive adjectives above would describe their thoughts.
Whichever way one feels about the UK Governments mandate, once you have heard the presentation then this statement of intent can only start to give you a warm feeling about “Government BIM”. This huge step can only be a good thing (provided the AEC industry doesn’t fight it and there is a small element of coaxing/pushing towards the ultimate goal!)
Suffice to say that the future of BIM in the UK, and most probably the rest of the world, is pretty secure and we can’t afford to shy away from it. Partnering/consortiums have evolved (mainly thanks to technological advances) and BIM is here to stay. There is no “closing one’s eyes” and hoping “this fad will pass”. How you deal with that is up to you. However, based on the recent LRUG it would be best to start planning for the evolution to BIM in 2016 (if not earlier – based on the recent Ministry of Justice decree)!!