BIM Level 2 is the current mandate for BIM compliance on construction projects funded by the public sector. However, it should not be considered as the end point of the journey. The Government Construction Strategy allowed for further evolution and the next rung on the ladder is BIM Level 3.
BIM Level 3 is a transition from BIM Level 2 which is encapsulated in the Government's Digital Built Britain Strategy. Digital Built Britain states its vision to be 'an environment where technology and working with technology is second nature in construction.'
If Level 2 is designed to introduce and embed a common digital data environment within the construction industry then Level 3 anticipates a scenario where it is fully integrated in the lifecycle of an asset. The 2016 Budget included a firm statement as to the future direction for BIM:
"The government will develop the next digital standard for the construction sector – Building Information Modelling 3 – to save owners of built assets billions of pounds a year in unnecessary costs, and maintain the UK's global leadership in digital construction."
BIM Level 3 is about whole lifecycle management through a concept called Open BIM. At Level 3, the concept of Open BIM is introduced. Open BIM assumes that there is total collaboration between all parties involved in the planning, construction or operation of the asset throughout its lifecycle. This means that there is a single model in use with all data kept in a central repository which can be accessed and modified by all parties. The intention with Open BIM is that there is no danger of any inaccuracy within the data or duplication of effort.
There is genuine cause for optimism in achieving BIM Level 3. Digital Built Britain provides the broad goals to be achieved at Level 3 and we know that there is provision within the Budget to drive the plan forward. BIM Level 2 is beginning to take effect and the construction industry is talking more and more about Building Information Modelling. It is the specifics of the strategy which now need to be documented and communicated. The more that BIM is embraced by the industry, the smoother this process will be.
Let's get BIM Level 2 right first. Compliance with Level 2 will make the transition to Level 3 much easier. Open BIM is an aspiration, but an achievable one. By working together the rewards of sustainability, financial savings, smart cities and efficiency are available to all.
Stroma Certification provides BIM Certification to the construction industry. Find out more information on our website or call our friendly BIM Certification team on 01977 665 420 (ext.603)