Acceptance of BIM in the UK and European Countries (Part I)

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An Introduction to BIM

Building Information Modelling aka BIM is defined as “an intelligent three-dimensional model-based technology that provides a single platform for collaboration of information related to design, fabrication, erection, project management, logistics, etc. of a project throughout its design, construction, as well as the maintenance phase.” It enables AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) professionals to gain an accurate and deep understanding; and tools to plan, design, construct, and manage infrastructure and buildings in a more efficient manner.

Global Scenario

BIM advocates claim that Virtual Design and Construction is the only way forward as it provides an exceptional opportunity for enhancing productivity and cost-savings through all the phases of a building. The construction industry in the UK is undergoing a massive transformation through the BIM-way of working. Though it is believed to be originated in the US, the UK is widely recognized as the global BIM leader. The Scandinavian countries of Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Sweden have been amongst the early adopters of BIM Modelling practices. Denmark has mandated its state clients, including Palaces and Properties Agency, the Danish University Property Agency, as well as the Defence Construction Service, to adopt BIM practices. Other European countries such as France, Germany, and Italy are seeing a gradual transformation. While France had mandated in 2014 that it would construct 500,000 houses using BIM by 2018, Italy has issued a decree to make BIM mandatory in 2019 for projects above 100 million.

Why are these countries observing digital revolution in terms of acceptance of BIM Modelling Services in the construction industry? While the government mandate is one of the reasons of its widespread acceptance, the benefits that BIM Modelling Services has to offer to the builders, taxpayers, owners, and other stakeholders has led to its increased popularity. We will have a look at 3 different real-time project from the UK, Scandinavia (Denmark), and France to understand why BIM is widely accepted across UK and Europe.

BIM in the UK

Building Information Modelling was embraced by the government of the UK in the year 2011 and BIM Level II was mandated by April 2016 for all centrally produced and Government projects. Many industry stalwarts had already started adopting BIM Modelling technologies early on and had found them to be effective in bringing down the costs and executing the project within the given timeframe. Slowly and gradually, many companies shifted to BIM in order to better prepare themselves for April 2016.

One such construction company had to build a commercial complex in the heart of London. This building consisted of studios, offices, engineering areas, and the News Centre. There were 8 floors, a mezzanine floor and 2 basements with a constructed area of approx. 800,000 sq. ft. A team of architects, structural & MEP engineers, and BIM modelers developed the 3D BIM models based on the CAD design drawings. Clash Detection Services and BIM Coordination Services is an important tool in detecting the interferences and creating coordinated models. Clash Detection and BIM Coordination was performed between MEP and other disciplines. Post completion, Architectural Construction Drawings, and MEP Installation Drawings were created from the coordination models.

A considerable amount of time was saved and the building was constructed in record timings within the assigned budget.

To be continued….


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