The industry is due to be given an update from the government’s BIM Task Group on the details of the 2016 BIM mandate at the ICE BIM Conference on Wednesday 21 October.
BIM Task Group member Terry Stocks, formerly of the Ministry Justice but now head of public sector at Faithful & Gould, will be “announcing detail on what the 2016 mandate will look like and timescales” followed by a Q&A session.
Stocks’ inclusion on the conference programme for the event, at London’s Park Plaza Victoria Hotel, was apparently due to a last-minute intervention from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which contacted the ICE on 16 October.
While there are no more details on the content of Stocks’ announcement, it’s becoming clearer that there is unlikely to be any government-funded arrangement in place to help the industry implement the expectations of the Level 2 BIM mandate.
Goverment funding for the salaries and activities for the BIM Task Group itself, which is channelled through a grant to the Construction Industry Council, is due to come to an end in April 2016.
However, it is thought that members of the BIM Task Group are currently lobbying to secure funding for work to map out a path to Level 3 BIM.
Asked by BIM + to clarify what might happen next, a BIS spokesman provided a statement which said that: “The government is exploring with the industry how it might take forward any legacy work from the current programme once grant funding ceases. In the meantime, the government is also developing a suitable mechanism to take forward the Digital Built Britain strategy, which is the next phase of BIM roll-out.”
Before the 2015 election and under the coalition government, the BIM Task Group had discussed awarding funding to the BRE to implement a follow-on or “legacy” programme.
This was due to involve coordinating the BIM Regions and BIM4 Communities, and completing two pieces of work: aligning the various BIM documents, protocols and BIM Toolkit, and producing a “wrapper” document that would create an accessible, single-point definition of Level 2 BIM.
The bulk of this work was due to take place in the current financial year, but there was also due to be provision for the BRE to continue its work beyond April 2016.
However, the plan was abandoned, although subsequently the new government confirmed the final tranche of CIC funding to up to April 2016.
But over the summer, there was a change in funding climate, with chancellor George Osborne calling for a 40% reduction in BIS’s operating budget. Management consultancy McKinsey has been called in by business secretary Sajid Javid to advise on the cuts.
Mark Bew, chairman of the BIM Task Group, is also on the speaker list, along with speakers from the Environment Agency, Crossrail, HS2 and Network Rail.