The UK government first introduced its Building Information Modelling (BIM) strategy in 2011, mandating that all centrally funded government construction projects of £5 million or over require BIM to be used in its projects by 2016.
As the name suggests, it involves creating a 3D digital model of an asset, enabling everyone who interacts with a building to optimise their actions and increase their understanding of a project as a whole.
In addition to helping planners, designers, construction firms and businesses to visualise every physical and functional characteristic of a building, and allowing anyone to access information about it to integrate different design elements together, it can also illustrate the entire life-cycle of a building.
So, with less than 12 months to go, here are four questions to ask yourself:
- Have you established your BIM maturity?
This is a metric, from level 0 to 3, of the ability of the construction supply chain to operate and exchange information. By 2016, the government calls for the industry to have reached level 2: a managed 3D environment held in separate discipline BIM tools with all data managed by enterprise resource planning software. This level may utilise 4D construction sequencing and/or 5D cost information.
- Are your BIM objects up to standard?
To be compliant, manufacturers must develop products that conform to object standards. This is a format standardisation that ensures quality and consistency to enable greater collaboration and efficient information exchange across the industry.
- Does your staff have the skill set to implement BIM practices?
In addition to knowledge of the software, you may need to develop 3D CAD expertise, IT and networking skills, data transfer and file security, as well as familiarity with standards and data management.
- Will your clients need to comply with the government mandates?
If your workload is primarily healthcare or education projects, a need for level 2 BIM maturity is almost certain. Moving forwards, are these the types of projects you are hoping to secure in the future? BIM is likely to be applied globally so having all the relevant skills will no doubt be a valuable asset to your business.
At Midland Lead, we’re already well underway to hitting these goals. In addition to key staff receiving the appropriate training, we’re working alongside a BIM consultant to ensure our core lead-lined products are BIM object compliant, and that all our BIM objects will be available for our customers to download via our website.
Midland Lead is getting BIM ready. Are you?
Boudewijn Tuinenbury, MD, Midland Lead