Manufacturers have become the latest group to highlight their disappointment with progress of BIM uptake following the government’s 2016 mandate of the process in public projects.
More than half of those who responded in a survey carried out by NBS in conjunction with the Construction Products Association believe that the BIM mandate has not been successful due to a lack of rigorous enforcement. However, just under half of respondents still believe that the government is “on the right track”.
The annual survey revealed that the majority of UK manufacturers are already taking steps to provide product information in a format that can be placed into the designers’ own model, and manufacturers agree that BIM information will be increasingly required by specifiers.
However, work to support this community is still needed as only a minority – 21% – believe they are confident when it comes to BIM knowledge and skills.
Peter Caplehorn, CPA deputy chief Executive and policy director, said: “Whilst still far from the norm, there is no doubt the UK construction industry is on the cusp of a technological advancement.
“Currently we are in a situation where the supply chain is not as well coordinated as it could be, but through digitalisation our industry will find more efficient, cost-effective and smarter ways to do things.
“It is not surprising the majority of construction product manufacturers are already taking steps to adopt the use of BIM, but what is needed now is to ensure that they feel confident to do so.”
The survey revealed:
- 64% say the government is not enforcing the BIM mandate (a view echoed by 51% of designers). 48% think the government is “on the right track” and 34% believe the mandate has been very successful or quite successful – though half reckon it’s been “not that successful” and 16% “not at all successful”. Rigorous enforcement has clearly not been evident among respondents.
- When it comes to meeting the UK government’s construction strategy goals, 73% of manufacturers agree that BIM will help reduce costs in the design/build/maintain lifecycle and 70% believe time efficiencies are also likely.
- 95% of all design practices said that they expect to be using BIM within three years and in that timescale, it looks likely that all manufacturers will be able to provide at least some BIM-ready information for their products. Within five years a majority (57%) expect to be able to provide BIM objects for all their product ranges and 5% will have no BIM objects.
- A minority of manufacturers believe they are “confident” when it comes to BIM knowledge and skills. 21% said they were not confident with 36% identifying somewhere in between. This contrasts with the design community where 55% describe themselves as confident – though that has grown steadily over a number of years.
- Manufacturers are playing an active role in the design process through provision of product information (specifications (62%), and BIM objects (54%) and helping designers come up with innovative solutions to design problems (64%) or carrying out elements of design (45%).
- Manufacturers believe technologies such as the Internet of Things, 3D printing, big data, the cloud, future cities, robotics and machine learning will all have a significant influence on construction in the years ahead.
It is not surprising the majority of construction product manufacturers are already taking steps to adopt the use of BIM, but what is needed now is to ensure that they feel confident to do so.– Peter Caplehorn, CPA