BIM guidance for housing associations launched in the UK

A joint project has been launched that aims to assist housing associations to implement digital asset management. The move is fronted by UK BIM Alliance and members of the National Housing Federation (NHF). An introductory brochure titled ‘BIM 4 Housing Associations: Asset Management in the 21st Century’ has been produced.

The head of quality and design at Southern Housing Group, Jack Ostrofsky, is leading the team as well as being backed financially by several firms: A2 Dominion, Notting Hill Genesis, Peabody, Optivo and Southern Housing Group – who are all part of the largest housing association in London, G15, managing over 600,000 homes.

Housing associations are well equipped to benefit from the integration of BIM processes into their development and asset management strategies according to the two organisations. Not many associations have sufficient information about their own projects and even less so in the digital format.

A series of exemplar documents are being developed in line with the UK BIM Framework. These will provide a start guide to implementing such digital processes. They are said to cover:

  • the business case for BIM for Housing Associations, including examples of projects in action
  • the benefits of applying BIM processes to existing buildings
  • exemplar asset information requirements for asset management
  • exemplar exchange information requirements for development projects
  • advice on the procurement process and appointment of relevant professionals

Sarah Davidson, who co-leads implementation at the UK BIM Alliance stated that these requirements for digital information management must be client-led and are essential for implementing BIM across the sector. The aim is to support and influence all those working towards digitising the industry.

Chair of the project, Jack Ostrofsky, explained the difficulty of getting the right information out of the development process as construction professionals only have an outside view of what the housing associations need. The end goal is to produce a toolbox that enables BIM for residential.

NHF’s head of policy, Amy Simmons, believes that the guidance offers a genuine attempt to help members meet the expected requirements for building safety as well as becoming more efficient in asset management processes, she also explains that the documents will be free to use.

Expect to see the guidance published towards the latter part of 2020.

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