The history of BIM stretches back several decades because of ongoing concerns about efficiency and wastage in the construction industry. It took nine years between the original publishing of BS 1192 (the British Standard concerning collaborative construction data) and the 2016 UK Government mandate for BIM Level 2. However, the impetus behind BIM really began in the mid-2000s.
In 2002 the AVANTI Programme received funding to study how ICT could be used to aid collaboration in the construction industry. The aim of the study was to improve efficiency and the quality of information gathered on a construction project. It led to the identification of specific positive impacts of ICT, including:
The results of the AVANTI Programme were adopted into the formulation of BS 1192:2007 which would act as a code of practice for the construction industry when dealing with data. It set out common data practices, naming conventions and file classifications which were intended to be followed. Unfortunately, BS 1192 was not universally adopted by the construction industry and therefore its predicted advantages were limited.
The financial crisis and subsequent UK recession brought many sectors of Government and industry under close scrutiny. Achieving greater efficiency and cost saving on public sector construction projects was seen as both aspirational and necessary.
Sustainability became a high priority for the UK Government in the 2010s. The Climate Change Act (2008) included a commitment to an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050. All new builds were also required to be Zero Carbon by 2018 (public sector) and 2019 (private sector). In order to meet these targets the onus was on the construction industry to adapt.
In March 2011, the BIM Task Group published its BIM Strategy which outlined how the UK Government could help the construction industry in realising the benefits of BIM. In May 2011, the Government published their Construction Strategy which deemed that 3D BIM should be achieved by 2016. This would apply to all public sector projects.
Alongside a roadmap for achieving BIM, the Publically Available Standard 1192-2:2013 was created. This document outlined the specification for information management towards achieving BIM Level 2 by 2016. PAS 1192-2 referenced the documents and procedures required to ensure collaborative data methodology was implemented by 2016.
In 2013, RIBA made an amendment to the Plan of Works to overlay the BIM process. This utilised the A to L plan of works system before the CIC introduced their plan of works system from 0 to 7.