NBS 2017 survey: government not enforcing BIM

15 May 2017 | By Denise Chevin

A lack of take-up by clients and a failure of government to enforce it are holding back BIM from reaping its full rewards, the latest NBS annual BIM survey has found.

Echoing the results of the survey carried out by Construction Manager earlier this year, 51% of more than 1,000 industry professionals surveyed agreed the government had not lived up to its target of making BIM use a requirement when selecting firms. Only 9% believed it had.

Under the government’s BIM mandate, all public contracts procured by central government departments needed to be BIM level 2 compliant from April last year. But a third of respondents stated they were not clear on what they had to do to comply with the BIM mandate.

“The majority of government departments are still working out what BIM is and often have poor, uncoordinated documentation,” said one respondent

“A lot of government agencies and bodies have used loopholes in contract forms to get out of mandated BIM requirements.”

At local level, where BIM is not mandated – the respondents said that local authorities did not understand BIM. The picture was no better for clients in the private sector, where 72% said clients in general did not understand the benefits of BIM.

Belief in the industry’s own ability to deliver on the mandate was also low, with only 19% of those polled agreeing that construction had taken up the challenge, compared with half who said it had not.

But other parts of the survey pointed to increased awareness and take-up of BIM in the industry, indicating the government’s BIM policy had nonetheless helped drive increased adoption.

More than six in 10 (62%) respondents now use BIM, up from 54% in last year’s survey. The 8% jump in BIM usage was the biggest recorded by the survey since 2014.

Of those firms that do use BIM, most are convinced of the benefits, with 70% saying BIM will help bring cost reduction, while 60% believe BIM will help save time.

Mark Bew, chair of the government-backed Digital Built Britain programme and chairman of engineering consultancy PCSG, said the survey showed good progress: “The fact that the results [of BIM uptake] are so good means that everyone is making a fantastic effort and we should celebrate that.

The survey also found:

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