And one thing was clear: 71 per cent agreed that BIM is the future of project information, with nearly 40 per cent now using BIM. Worryingly, however, many of these professionals were unaware of the different levels of BIM, even though Level 2 will be mandatory for all government projects by the end of 2016. And only a third were confident in their BIM ability.
Often seen as a barrier to BIM, companies need to get over the ‘cost of software’. It’s one of the biggest misconceptions about BIM. The largest investment made will not be in software or technology, but rather a change in management and work culture. This may seem daunting, but necessary for companies that want thrive in the future. It’s a make or break moment. BIM is a holistic process, and that’s where costs come into play. To maximise BIM, it is imperative to adopt a culture of integration, both internal and external.
It’s also important for companies to work out their starting point. How is your company working right now? BIM is about taking the tools and workflows of a business, and turning them into something more transparent and synergistic. Business leaders and construction professionals need to understand as much as possible about their end goal, the technology and processes that are being worked towards. But that cannot happen without understanding the current situation of their business and practices.
Looking at yearly trends, such as the BIM Survey, it’s clear that digital construction is here to stay. But the real advantages of BIM won’t be realised until there is a shift in focus to the requirements regarding structured information – which has been the government’s key message.
On a surface level, the benefits of BIM are immediately appealing. It offers forward-thinking businesses the chance to recognise mid and long term efficiency, as well as productivity and quality, whilst driving for higher profit margins. But the reality of BIM compliancy is only properly realised when businesses begin to assess their current practices. It’s the scale of change that is generally hindering BIM adoption.
The key to integrating BIM, then, is being open to it. Being open to replacing often-outdated legacy practices with new workflow habits, and being open to an industry that is changing for the better.