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2050 working group to set out BIM opportunities

10 May 2013

A group of young BIM professionals has been given three months to set out how the government can promote the use of the technology between now and 2025.

The BIM 2050 working group, brought together in January by the Construction Industry Council and comprising 18 professionals from engineers to surveyors and lawyers to architects, met last month with Chloe Smith, minister for political and constitutional reform, to discuss how BIM could create new jobs in the construction industry.

"The report's main function is to tell government what we think should be happening between now and 2025 and the systems and support that will be needed to achieve it."

Neil Thompson, deputy chair of the BIM 2050 working group and principal BIM integrator at Balfour Beatty

Smith has now given the group until late Summer to detail the key BIM milestones the industry needs to achieve by 2025 and how they can be met in collaboration with government. Their report will cover the themes education and skills, culture of integration, and technology and process. The group will meet this Monday to flesh out its initial ideas.

“The report’s main function is to tell government what we think should be happening between now and 2025 and the systems and support that will be needed to achieve it,” said Neil Thompson, deputy chair of the BIM 2050 working group and principal BIM integrator at Balfour Beatty.

“A major focus will be on improving digital education for young people, particularly during A-levels, and helping make construction the industry of choice for graduates and young people entering work. Construction and educational institutions are also poorly integrated and we will develop some suggestions on how they can work better together,” he added.

Another focus will be on creating an exportable market for BIM skills and promoting home-grown professionals to the rest of the world.

The news coincides with the publication of a RICS BIM survey, which revealed that limited client demand is preventing the industry-wide adoption of BIM.

Although 100% of survey respondents, from a broad spectrum of built environment disciplines, said they are now using or considering adopting BIM, 46% of those surveyed said minimal client demand is impeding actual usage of BIM.

Further barriers to uptake included the current lack of standards, referenced by 17% of those surveyed, and insufficient IT and technology systems (15%).

Alan Muse, director of built environment professional groups at the RICS, commented: “As an industry, we should be encouraged by the growing traction that BIM is gaining as the route forward for the built environment, but also be prepared to embrace our responsibilities in overcoming identified barriers and issues. It is particularly important that we look to address the cultural shift identified by almost a quarter of respondents as being fundamental to creating a BIM future.”

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