Cultural shift required for adoption of BIM

A cultural change is required if Building Information Modelling (BIM) is to be properly implemented across the built environment ahead of the government’s 2016 deadline for its use on all centrally procured public sector projects, according to RICS.


This view is reflected in a survey of industry representatives undertaken at RICS’ annual BIM Conference where 53% of the 260 delegates, working in a variety of sectors, identified culture change as one of the biggest issues they are faced with when implementing BIM in the workplace. This was up by a significant 30% compared to the previous year.


In addition, 72% believed it imperative to invest in BIM technology within the next 12 months, with a further 22% seeing it as essential in the next 1-2 years, suggesting the vast majority are acutely aware of the looming 2016 deadline.


Alan Muse, Director of Built Environment at RICS said: “These results demonstrate the need for the biggest cultural shift in a generation if firms are to adopt BIM in time for the government’s 2016 deadline. The fact that culture has risen up the agenda by such a significant degree reinforces our aim to highlight the benefits of BIM and support its adoption across the industry.


“Continued collaboration will remain critical if this change is to be realised. At RICS, we are dedicated to developing our relationships with other bodies and the industry in working towards a BIM enabled future. Education and training are also key and we have been encouraged by the uptake of our BIM Certification launched in October of last year, with the first successful candidates being announced at the BIM Conference.”


The survey results showed a hunger for such education amongst delegates with 79% being interested in a certification to demonstrate their BIM skills.


Minimal client demand was also viewed as a major barrier to BIM by 31% of delegates. However, this was down from 46% the previous year, reflecting the growing number of clients demanding BIM on projects in 2013.


One of RICS’ recent BIM Certified Managers and speakers at the conference, Sarah Davidson, Head of R&D at Gleeds Corporate Services Ltd, added: “People are at the heart of BIM but the vast majority will not be persuaded by a ‘good idea’.  They need evidence – how will BIM help me to be more efficient? How will BIM help deliver energy and cost savings for a project? It is critical in any business that there is support at the highest levels for change.  Shifting the way we work takes time and a one size fits all approach is unlikely to be successful.


“Given evidence, clear leadership and direction plus industry support the cultural change needed for BIM can happen. It’s important that all organisations make a start now.  2016 is not that far away.”

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