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Spain launches BIM strategy with pencilled-in 2018 mandate

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A meeting at Spain’s Ministry of Infrastructure [Ministerio de Fomento] this week launched the country’s new national BIM strategy, which is expected to result in mandatory BIM requirements on public sector projects.

No firm date for the onset of BIM as a legal requirement has yet been agreed, although discussions will centre on a phased mandate for different sectors with a possible starting point of 2018. 

The meeting, convened by Spain’s minister of public works Ana Pastor, has established a BIM steering committee, made up of representatives of public sector bodies, national ministries, infrastructure owners and private sector contractors and consultancies. 

A press release from the ministry said: "This commission was created to promote the implementation of BIM in the Spanish construction sector, promote its use throughout the lifecycle of infrastructure, awareness of public administrations in establishing BIM requirements in tenders for infrastructure, establish a timetable to adapt the rules to their widespread use, develop national standards that facilitate their use and make [a] homogeneous academic training map of this methodology in Spain."

The steering committee will in turn set up five task groups. The first is an international liaison task group, which will aim to align Spain’s work on BIM with other neighbouring countries in the EU, and also establish links with countries in South America that have close cultural ties with Spain. 

The other four groups will deal with strategies, technologies, people and processes.

Stakeholders at the meeting on Tuesday included Ineco, a consultant on major transport infrastructure projects, including airports, high speed rail, ports and roads.

On the key question of when a BIM mandate would take effect, Ineco’s Sergio Muñoz Gómez, who is also president of the Spanish chapter of BuildingSmart, said that Ineco had suggested an implementation date of 2018, but this was only a proposal.

“Now the different task groups have to define the road map. We have to discuss the most appropriate dates and possibly distinguish between different dates for residential construction, buildings and infrastructure, depending on the maturity in the different sectors,” said Gómez.

Jorge Torrico Liz, deputy design director in Ineco’s civil engineering department, added: “We also have to define the level of BIM, but it will probably be similar to the British Level 2. We also want to align definitions around Europe and know that everyone is asking the same things, I think this will be an interesting task for the EU BIM Task Group.”

“It’s true that the big companies in the construction industry have engaged in other [national] markets in BIM, but the small companies think they have to make an investment in new methodologies. But we have to convince many people, especially SMEs.”

The next meeting of the steering group is scheduled for September, when the five task groups will also begin their work.

We have to define the level of BIM, but it will probably be similar to the British Level 2. We also want to align definitions around Europe and know that everyone is asking the same things, I think this will be an interesting task for the EU BIM Task Group– Jorge Torrico Liz, Ineco