Has making BIM Level 2 mandatory worked?

The most interesting section of the UK’s Construction Strategy 2016-2020 was no doubt the fact that construction firms had to be BIM Level 2 certified to work on any projects of a government nature.

Now that this period has come to an end, BIM Level 2 should be rife within the industry, has this drive towards raising BIM levels been a success?

What is BIM Level 2?

The phrase relates to smart projects where 3D BIM models detail each characteristic of a building or engineering project. It also places emphasis on an improved collaboration where all of the key stakeholders can have an input based on their specialism. The government wanted the industry to implement BIM Level 2 as part of its Digital Built Britain drive that seeks to improve processes and make the industry more efficient.

The next stage of the strategy means that firms will have to work towards BIM Level 3 by 2025. This would require every worker on a project to have access to BIM apps so they can see the whole project as well as tasks that they personally need to complete.

Where has BIM Level 2 been a success?

When BIM Level 2 became mandatory it was received very positively in the industry. Many more firms began using BIM software and many more are getting on board with it today. Studies have shown that this has saved companies time and money on thousands of building projects.

Cost savings

BIM Level 2 uses 3D modelling in order to detect clashes, meaning thousands of projects have saved significant sums of money.

Time savings

The use of BIM models can save vast amounts of time. PwC suggests that having access to centralised models reduces the time spent searching for and sharing asset information by 70%.

Material savings

BIM models can reduce waste from construction sites. They can accurately calculate how much material is required so companies can avoid purchasing surplus.

The adoption of BIM Level 2 has gradually increased over the last four years and is still increasing today, despite there being so much further to go. A recent survey involving industry professionals showed that 47% felt the government was on the ‘right track’ with BIM, however, 44% also said that the implementation of BIM Level 2 on government projects had not been successful. Only 4% of respondents believed it had been a positive experience, even though two-thirds of them reported that they did not know how to comply with the rules. This shows that a lack of in-depth knowledge or training has held BIM Level 2 back, something that must change as we head towards a mandated BIM Level 3.

BIM Level 3

Considering that BIM Level 2 is the baseline requirement for anyone wanting to collaborate on a government project, it is extremely important that these standards carry on being met. As we approach BIM Level 3 compliance in 2025, companies must plan how they will introduce and implement the technology. Being compliant in this area will surely open up the prospect of new work in the future.

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