Issue 38 – May 2012
Masterspec, the producers of New Zealand's national specification system – in conjunction with BRANZ and NBS (UK) – have released a report on their National Building Information Modelling (BIM) survey for 2012.
BIM has been on the construction industry radar for some years but is finally showing signs of becoming an important resource for all involved in design and construction. The government-sponsored Productivity Partnership has also recognised that BIM is a critical factor in the industry achieving the Partnership's inspirational goal of lifting sector productivity by 20% by 2020.
The survey responses reveal positive signs that a growing sector of the industry is beginning to see the potential of this technology shift. However; there are still some important challenges to meet, both by individual industry members and key industry organisations.
The term Building Information Modelling (BIM) has a wide spectrum of meanings, even among those who say they are already using the new technology. This requires a level of caution in interpreting the survey results. For example, some respondents think they are using BIM simply because they design in 3D CAD and have not yet taken that important step into a fully collaborative approach to design and construction.
The report also points towards some serious roadblocks for the industry to gain the full benefits from this technology, due to a current lack of agreed industry-wide protocols, frameworks, and tools. This would allow the industry to take what is effectively a cultural as well as a technological, shift.
The information from the survey and surrounding opinion pieces from key players is forming the basis for discussions with industry stakeholders to arrive at a coordinated and achievable outcome. Masterspec is itself committed to working with and for the industry; and in the BIM environment this will become even more important.