It’s becoming a global phenomenon. Implementation of building information modeling (BIM) worldwide is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.7 percent between 2016 and 2020, according to “Global BIM Software Market, 2016–2020,” a new study by market research firm Technavio. A June study by Research and Markets projected a CAGR of 21.6 percent between 2016 to 2022, catapulting the the technology’s market value from $2.76 billion in 2014 to $11.7 billion by 2022.
Among the reasons: “Governments such as the US, UK, and Singapore are promoting the use of BIM in construction, as it helps minimize errors and time taken for execution of project … by enabling creation of vector-like representations of building plans in 3-D formats or buildings, railways, and roads,” Technavio noted in a statement. “BIM not only represents a digital representation of physical characteristics but also captures necessary data during the construction phase.”
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Due to benefits BIM confers, cost reductions included, two countries—the UK and Russia—are mandating the use of the technology as the price for doing business on government-funded projects. The US has declined to issue a similar mandate, though agencies such as the General Services Administration have developed BIM requirements for certain projects. In the meantime, portions of Asia are eyeing implementation of BIM mandates.
The Russian mandate doesn’t take effect until 2019. Earlier this year, Mikhail Men, head of Russia’s Construction, Housing, and Utilities Ministry, indicated the government had been influenced by the UK’s “interesting” experience with BIM implementation.
The UK mandate is based on a certification—or Kitemark—program undertaken by the British Standards Institution and implemented in April.
The rules go something like this: if industry architects, engineers, contractors, specialty contractors, and suppliers want a crack at building and infrastructure projects undertaken by the UK, they must have achieved compliance with BIM Level 2, whose provisions involve developing building information in a collaborative 3-D environment with data attached, but created in different discipline models. Initially, compliance requires building data to be delivered in a “COBie” format in order to circumvent limited interoperability of BIM software suites on the market.
The verification program, announced in 2011, has been somewhat slow out of the gate. Two contractors, BAM Construct and Skanska UK, achieved compliance in late 2015. Earlier this month, BSI named four additional enterprises that received certification, including Gammon Construction, Balfour Beatty, BAM Ireland, and roll former voestalpine Metsec.
“In a competitive marketplace, companies delivering BIM projects need to find a way to differentiate themselves, regardless of whether they are tendering for public or private sector projects,” Andy Butterfield, BSI’s product certification director of built environment, told reporters. “The BSI Kitemark does just that, helping companies demonstrate their commitment to best practice.”
“Prior to receiving certification,” he added, “the six certified companies underwent an on-site audit that assessed processes and procedures relating to PAS 1192-2, a standard that establishes methods for sharing information on BIM projects and establishes requirements to achieve Level 2. The audits additionally evaluated staff proficiency.”
“BIM is a major driver for the digitization of the construction industry, influencing its direction both in the UK and abroad,” Mike Taylor, digital construction manager with BAM Construct UK, noted in a statement. “We were pleased to work with BSI and our peers to develop certification, providing a clear assessment pathway to achieve the Kitemark. This will reassure clients and partners that we are working efficiently to the highest possible standards and that BIM processors are embedded within our systems.”