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Construction moves towards greater digitisation

NBS, who has been monitoring Building Information Modelling (BIM) adoption in the UK for almost a decade has announced its 2019 BIM survey results which show that overall trends of BIM awareness and adoption have grown from little more than 10 per cent in 2011 to around 70 per cent in 2019.

Although the latest report, which received more than 1,000 responses, does show a one per cent decline in adoption, NBS remains confident that BIM will continue to embed itself in workflows as construction continues to move in a positive direction, embracing collaborative and digital ways of working.

Commenting on this Dr Stephen Hamil, Innovation Director for NBS said: “In the early days of BIM, some may have equated it to simply generating drawings from a model.

“There is now a wider understanding that BIM is about project teams following a common process based on standardised information and collaboration. We think we’re seeing a period of consolidation – where more people understand what BIM really represents and are embedding that into their workflows.”

The survey shows that there has been a trend of increasing BIM awareness and adoption across the UK industry, using standards and protocols as the platform for this. This national success will be bolstered with the new ISO 19650 series, creating a standardised digital process across the world based, in part, on the BS 1192 standards.

This BIM Report 2019 lists some of the main barriers to the adoption of BIM, such as lack of client demand, the need for training, the time required to get up to speed and a lack of standardised tools. 

NBS Chief Executive Richard Waterhouse commented: “We have seen some negative trends within the report that might suggest the emergence of a ‘two speed industry’ – the ‘BIM engaged’ and the ‘BIM laggards’.

“For the advocates, 60 per cent of those who have used BIM have seen improvements in efficiencies whilst 22 per cent of those yet to use BIM have indicated they would rather not adopt it.

“In addition, the demand from clients, on both private and government projects, is mixed. The survey suggests that not all clients across the industry are seeing the benefits of BIM. We would expect this to increase as BIM, defined by ISO 19650, becomes more commonplace.”

The 2019 NBS survey also indicates that there has been a drop-in awareness of UK Government activities in this area despite the fact that Government’s initiatives led to the ISO standards that were launched at the end of 2018.

Waterhouse continued: “Overall, there can be no doubt that digital processes and technologies are changing the industry.

“Use of the cloud is enabling collaboration, giving the industry the opportunity to break down the silos and form a new approach to information development and distribution.

“In addition, the latest International Standards are giving us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to standardise processes across the global industry. This is an exciting time, and we must now take advantage of it to help create a step-change in productivity, transparency and quality within our industry.”

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