BIM is still a new concept for the construction industry since it became a requirement for all public sector projects. To help your business with BIM adoption, we have answered your frequently asked questions regarding BIM.

1. What is BIM?

Building Information Modelling (BIM) aids the management of the life cycle of built assets. Through digital data collection and 3D Modelling, BIM enables the construction chain to monitor the design, construction and operation of a built asset through a single, collaborative source of data. Decisions can be made in real time and data can be used and re-used whilst still remaining accurate and reliable. The BIM acronym is also used to describe the Building Information Model.

2. What are the levels of BIM Maturity?

There are four levels of BIM maturity:

Level 0:A lack of BIM and unmanaged CAD with no collaboration regarding built assets. Data is mostly likely shared via paperwork and 2D drawings.

Level 1:Implies some basic standard data structures, with CAD managed in 2D or 3D format. There is still a lack of collaboration between parties regarding built assets.

Level 2:Required by the Government on all public sector construction projects. Demonstrates the introduction of collaboration between teams and data being shared about a built asset.

Level 3:Complete collaboration throughout the lifecycle of a built asset with information shared, collected and stored using a single source of data.

3. Who needs BIM Certification?

As of April 2016, BIM is a requirement of the Government for all public sector projects. Construction companies must operate in compliance with BIM Level 2 in order to gain funding from the Government for their project. As 50% of all construction projects are Government funded, BIM is crucial for all construction businesses; it is important for main contractors to consider BIM Certification and for individuals to consider BIM training. BIM compliance is crucial for all construction businesses.

Certified BIM companies will also no longer need to complete a BIM capability assessment for each job. BIM maturity can be proved against the requirements of PAS 91:2013 (Table 8) by providing a certification certificate from an organisation who is accredited to provide BIM Certification.

4. What are the benefits of BIM?

BIM can bring a number of benefits for building owners, contractors and the supply chain. It enables all those involved within a project to access a fully collaborative system to collect, share and store data for any built asset. This can increase efficiencies, reduce costs, improve accuracy and provide a streamlined method of communication throughout the entire construction chain.

5. What is Computer Aided Design (CAD)?

CAD is the use of computer technology to design and document all the information of a built asset. It replaces paper-based and manual drafting with an automated calculation process to create complex and accurate designs.

6. What is COBie?

COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange) is the scheme used to organise information about a built asset. BIM requires data to be submitted in a structured format, as can be achieved through COBie. Multiple parties can contribute to the COBie file, including contractors, main contractors, suppliers and the building owner. The COBie file structures the information to illustrate how a project should have developed at each stage during the planning, construction and operational lifecycle.

7. What is Government Soft Landings?

Government Soft Landings is based on the principles of Soft Landings (originally by BSRIA). It was mandated in 2016 alongside BIM Level 2 for public sector construction projects. The objectives of GSL are to optimise the operating performance of the built asset within budget and to align the operating performance with the project’s performance goals. All projects are advised to appoint a GSL Champion to steer the project towards meeting Government Soft Landings objectives.

8. What is Digital Built Britain?

Digital Built Britain is the next stage in the levels of BIM maturity, reached when the UK becomes BIM Level 3 compliant. There are three main objectives in the pursuit of BIM Level 3 for Digital Built Britain:

  • Continue the work done to achieve BIM Level 2
  • Address the development needs which can be achieved through current knowledge and understanding
  • Develop required areas beyond current knowledge

9. What is the RIBA Plan of Works?

The RIBA Plan of Works was first established in 1963 and now defines the building design and construction model in the UK. The current RIBA Plan of Work 2013 outlines the project stages from 0 to 7 as a guidance tool to prepare detailed professional services and building contracts.

10. What is PAS 1192-2:2013?

PAS 1192-2:2013 is the Publically Available Specification which details the requirements for achieving BIM Level 2 during the capital delivery phase of construction projects. It’s full name is the Specification for information management for the capital/delivery phase of construction projects using building information modelling. It is part of PAS 1192-2 alongside PAS 1192-3:2013 which deals with the operational phase of projects.

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