Tuesday, 29 May 2012

UK Construction Strategy

Introduction

The UK Construction Strategy which was published in May 2011 is causing a bit of a stir in the UK at the moment. Many other countries and organizations are looking on to see how effective the strategy will be. BIM maybe perceived as the main component of the strategy but in fact cost reduction is the primary goal of the strategy. The Infrastructure Cost Review Implementation Plan identified a cost reduction of 15-20% on current costs for construction across the board for publicly funded projects by 2016. BIM is being put forward as a strategic tool to help achieve this goal. The UK Cabinet Office are charged with undertaking the transformation of the industry in order to achieve the necessary cost reductions. Six task groups have been setup to deliver the objectives for the reform of the construction industry. The BIM Task Group has it's own microsite.

The UK Cabinet Office noted that the UK government had limited funds for public projects and better value was required for public projects through an elimination of waste. The government wants to become a better client and expects the construction supply chain to innovate processes to minimise waste through the adoption of software and processes based on BIM.

It is certainly a tough time to be making dramatic changes, especially when the construction industry in many countries around the world is on it's knees due to a credit squeeze, austerity measures and an adversity to risk. There rarely seems to be a good time for change in a competitive industry, but many organizations are changing anyway in order to be more competitive, so now looks like as good a time as any.

What needs to be done

Organisations who want to have public bodies as clients need to understand their BIM offer and work closer together to achieve the ulimate 2016 deadline. 2014 should be seen as the deadline for many organizations to become fully BIM, only the tail end should be targeting 2016. Three Levels of BIM have been identified so as to allow for a phased implementation between 2011 and 2016.

  • Level 1 is the minimum up until June 2012. Only COBie is required. We are nearly at June, so if you are looking into the requirements now, Level 2 is where you should be aiming.
  • Level 2 is required from June 2012. In simple terms, BIM is required but only a separate model for each organization participating in the design process. Many publicly funded projects are now requiring a BIM model as an output.
  • Level 3 is required from 2016 onwards and will require a highly integrated BIM model being delivered from the design team. There are a lot of legal and contractual issues to be resolved for this to happen.
The attitude of the UK Cabinet Office is generally of 'survival of the fittest' and although there is plenty of warning, there will be casualties during the transformation. Our industry has so many small players and the up-skilling process will not suit all businesses or individuals. The larger organizations are being relied upon to lead the way although some small and medium size organizations are being very innovative and will likely benefit greatly from the changes that are happening. The landscape will certainly be notably different in a decade from now. The consequences for not implementing BIM in the UK is exclusion from publicly funded projects which represents approximately 40% of the construction economy. Can you afford to miss out?

Key People

Paul Morrell - Governments Chief Construction Adviser.
David Philp - Head of BIM Implementation at the UK Cabinet Office (formally Balfour Beatty)

Key Documents

UK Construction Strategy 
Infrastructure Cost Review Implementation Plan
Government Pan for Growth
Level 2 BIM

Websites

BIM Task Group



Necessary Disclaimer:
While I strive to make the content as accurate as possible, I make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the contents of the information in this post. Following any advice here is done entirely at your own risk, with no liability to this site, or the site owner.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michael Earley is a Computer Applications Developer and an Architectural Technologist. I currently maintain blogs on both of my professional interests, bim-manager.net and mvc-code.com.

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