Ireland increases use and take-up of BIM

A new survey on Ireland’s take-up of BIM and the digital transition of the construction industry reveals the country has increased its awareness and use since 2015.

The survey, which was conducted by Enterprise Ireland alongside the Construction IT Alliance, found that 76% of respondents possessed confidence in their organisation’s BIM skills and knowledge, up from 67% in the 2015 survey, and 79% of the sample also reported an increase in demand for BIM.

The survey questioned 97 of the most influential leaders in architecture, engineering and contracting sectors within the country and was commissioned in light of the introduction of the UK BIM Level 2 mandate and to understand how much impact it was having on Irish construction businesses.

57% of the sample reported that their awareness of BIM had improved significantly and were now using BIM on a number of projects. A further 33% reported that their awareness had slightly improved and were using BIM on some of their projects. Only 4% of the sample from last year claimed that their awareness had not changed.

It also found that 66% of the sample believe that Ireland should follow the UK footsteps and mandate BIM. This is in comparison to the 50/50 breakdown in 2015.

When questioned further for reasons for this recommendation, answers included: a large majority of Irish business is in the UK so they have had to adopt BIM since last year to get ready for 2016; the mandate has directly contributed to the development of certain specification documents and procedures that have proved useful in standardising internal workflows and protocols; and Irish public bodies have already been requesting BIM as they see their counterparts in the UK using it.

The survey found that despite overall increase in use, there are still a number of challenges to achieving large-scale adoption of BIM in Ireland. These included clients unaware of the value proposition of BIM, a lack of standardised tools and protocols, uncertain legal environment for BIM to work and also a strong requirement for training programmes.

The report concludes that the impending Irish road map to be released in the first quarter of 2017 will be a key milestone in Ireland’s BIM journey.

This road map will outline recommendations on contract and procurement routes, existing international standards and their suitability for the Irish AEC. The road map will call on the meaningful engagement between government and industry.

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