Moving from PAS 1192 to ISO 19650

The impact will (over time) start to remove the issues we are having in industry with confusing language, acronyms and terms. There will still always be regional variations, but hopefully, the ISO standards will start to alleviate some of this in the years ahead.– Rebecca de Cicco, Digital Node

BIM+ spoke to Rebecca De Cicco, director of tech consultant Digital Node about the transition and progress from the PAS 1192 suite of standards to the new ISO 19650 1 + 2, and how organisations and business should prepare for this, both in the UK and globally.

How well has the PAS 1192 suite of standards been adopted throughout Europe?

It’s difficult to ascertain the progress made in Europe to adopt the PAS 1192 suite of standards, even though the delivery of the EU BIM Handbook last year has seen it translated into 11 different languages. And although most countries in Europe now have programmes to support implementation, they are slightly different in their approach.

The challenges of creating a unified approach to BIM implementation is hugely important, and the EU BIM Task Group has been reasonably successful in tackling some of the ambiguities regarding terminology and standards across various regions which is vital if we are ever to see commonality in BIM.

They have also been approached to support other governments across the world, and the next step for the EU Task Group is education and training on the handbook meaning, therefore, that wider adoption will continue.

It is important to remember that within the EU BIM Task Group, the UK has been exemplary and is certainly leading the race as there has been more of an aggressive approach toward the government mandate.

What are the barriers to adoption of the 1192 suite?

In many cases (not just Europe) PAS 1192-2 and 3 are sometimes not utilised as well as they can be as there is a perception that they are too “UK centric”. There are a variety of opinions in this regard, and many other regions across the world are creating their own set of standards to address this.

This is why the ISO will have individual regional annexes to address the language and cultural barriers that may exist when it is released.

It is also important to mention the progression of delivery of the standards to industry. With PAS 1192-2 being delivered in 2013, followed by PAS 1192-3 delivered in 2014, there was a strong focus on capital and delivery rather than ascertaining the needs of government and private clients when it comes to BIM.

What impact do you think the new ISO 19650 will have?

I believe we will see uptake of the ISO in regions that have little or no guidance in the way of standards for BIM, and I also think that these regions will begin to adopt the standard as best practice (or the terminologies within the standard as a basis). This is something I encourage across the world when delivering BIM courses for companies like BSI, Redstack, the CIOB or even my own courses.

The impact will (over time) start to remove the issues we are having in industry with confusing language, acronyms and terms. There will still always be regional variations, but hopefully, the ISO standards will start to alleviate some of this in the years ahead.

It is important to note that in the UK alone, the ISO will supersede the previously used documents and there will be a period of transition when this occurs sometime later this year.

Regarding business benefits, the standard should improve the ability to trade for small companies, particularly as they are agile and can quickly learn to offer services in regions of the world they were not previously able to. This is all in the name of global trade, something which many forward-thinking companies outside of the construction industry focus on to excel and compete. 

Do you think it’ll be adopted at an international level?

Broadly there will be global adoption, but there will be variations as noted above concerning the regional annexes and how these can be understood and adopted. I would say it is unrealistic to assume that the ISO will solve all of our problems in BIM. There are many other regional differences, which are based on both historical and cultural implication and values in a particular region. 

BIM surveys often state that adoption is still low and requires improvement, but will the new standard create more confusion for industry?

Not necessarily. Those who have a good knowledge of PAS 1192-2 and 3, as well as the entire 1192 suite, will transition well as they already have an understanding of the critical processes and principles within these standards. This suggests that the UK will continue to strive ahead as we already have through the BIM mandate and the push from government.

It is possible, however, that other regions may struggle, but as previously explained, they will need to transition if referencing any of the PAS documents supporting BIM. This is crucial to the future adoption of the standard as the ISO will continue to develop.  

What should a business do to prepare?

Businesses will simply need to ensure they have a good and basic understanding of the PAS suite and then invest in training for the ISO. Even a simple understanding of the concepts and principles of the ISO will support the wider adoption and understanding of the standard.

It is imperative that businesses keep up to speed as the ISO will continue to develop with parts evolving over the course of the next few years to support areas such as operational BIM and security.

Being able to trade with companies all over the world will become commonplace in the future, and it is critical that the construction industry adapts to these changes to enable a more productive workforce in the built environment.

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