It has been shown that Contracting Authorities should be using the BIM Framework as set out in the Construction Playbook ‘straightaway’, as this was published in 2020. This means that Contracting Authorities should be publishing new contract works with the UK BIM Framework embedded within the requirements. For example, this means that new public sector housing, new schools, and any other public buildings should ideally be stating their BIM Requirements in full. In addition to this construction sector clients can also receive the benefits of the IMM and can use the government requirements as an example of best practice. The IMM highlights a clear strategic approach to Information Management which can be seen as a lead for other sectors looking to adopt digital process within the construction industry. This will also prepare clients for the introduction of the Building Safety Act Golden Thread requirements.
What is needed is greater support and communication of what is required for these projects. Below is a summary of the requirements in practice as stated within the IMM;
- All procurement and contracting processes need to be compliant with the UK BIM Framework standards.
- A sensitivity assessment is required to confirm if a security minded approach is required. This utilises Clause 4 of ISO 19650-5.
- Have in place the ability to deliver the Information Management function as confirmed in ISO 19650-1 by identifying people within their own organisation or appointing an external party, or both.
- Define the information requirements as set out in ISO 19650 2 and 3. This will include:
- Organisational Information Requirements OIR
- Project Information Requirements PIR
- Asset Information Requirements AIR
- Security Information Requirements SIR
- Exchange Information Requirements EIR
- A digital mechanism to define information requirements and then “procuring, receiving, assuring, and immutable in storing, via a system of record the information that it procures”.
- Fully and properly specify Information Requirements, the delivery, within contractual documentation.
- Apply a similar level of governance and rigour to maintaining information to make sure it provides value and benefits over its life cycle to the client organisation.
These requirements reveal that knowledge of BIM and ISO 19650 are needed, and the UK BIM Alliance has published a set of guides for them. The reluctance to implement these may reveal a possible skills gap within the construction industry generally and public sector to implement and meet these requirements. The above demonstrates that skilled and informed people are required to assist the public sector to develop their understanding, internal processes, and procurement requirements. For many clients that do not have this knowledge in-house, this may require training internally, appointing a new person to the role of Information Manager for the organisation, or the short-term use of external consultants or experts to support them with the process. They can then upskill and implement the benefits of BIM on their projects in the long term themselves subsequently.
These articles have identified that the UK government guidance policy has strengthened the use of Information Management on projects and now reflects the new international ISO 19650 requirements, the Information Management Mandate, and the UK BIM Framework. Alongside this, the Construction Playbook promotes that Contracting Authorities, should be specifying the UK BIM Framework for their projects ‘immediately’, recognising the benefits that BIM achieves. The results of BIM assessments have shown a multitude of benefits for cross sector clients that include; time savings, materials savings, cost savings, Health and Safety improvements, risk reduction, improved asset utilisation, improved asset quality, and an improved reputation. Construction clients can use this to drive their own digital adoption strategies and implementation.
There is a step change in the construction industry required from public sector clients to improve their ways of working. Fortunately, the last ten years of progress means that there is a host of BIM experts, leaders and champions available in the industry to support and drive change. If they are given the opportunity to work with all client types, but especially public sector bodies, the opportunity to see improved outcomes and deliver value for money is on offer within the construction industry.
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We are experts in digital transformation, BIM implementation, and Information Management. We can help you to transform digital workflows across your supply chain. We are experts in data management and can help you leverage BIM and Operations datasets.
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