UK BIM Framework revamped with new guidance and AI search

Revamped UK BIM Framework

The UK BIM Framework, the overarching approach to implementing information management using BIM in the UK, has been revamped.

The latest update to the free online resource, developed and maintained by nima and the BSI, incorporates several improvements:

  • the content of the guidance, including external references, has been updated to ensure alignment with recently released standards in the ISO 19650 series;
  • enhanced presentation, navigation and search facilities – including an AI capability – improving the user experience; and
  • the site now offers better opportunities for user and community engagement.

The updated UK BIM Framework incorporates a third edition of Guidance 1: Concepts. Guidance editor and co-author David Churcher MBE said: "This has been rewritten so that it offers an effective bridge between Guidance 0: The case for information management and Guidance 2, 3 and 4 that explore the requirements and recommendations of ISO 19650-2, ISO 19650-3 and ISO 19650-4 respectively.

"Preparing the guidance for its new look has reminded me what an informative and comprehensive resource it is. Authored by industry for industry, it gets to the bottom of information management as set out in the ISO 19650 series.

"I hope users enjoy the new-look guidance and find the AI-enabled search an engaging feature.  It should help them to quickly and easily find out more about the nuances and the technical requirements for information management according to the ISO 19650 series.”

New platform

The core guidance elements of the UK BIM Framework have been moved to an online platform provided by technology provider Morta. The shift has provided the opportunity to refresh the look and feel of the online resources, and to review and update the content.

According to one of the guidance editors and co-authors, Sarah Davidson, the key improvement in presentation has been to create new navigation and search facilities: "We have incorporated a new navigation side bar coupled with the abilities to collapse and expand content and to apply the Morta search function. The navigation and collapse/expand functionality makes it easier for a user to see and move between different aspects of guidance; users can now search all of the guidance or one guidance resource at a time.

“In addition, we now have a feature called ‘ask Morta AI’. This enables a user to ask a question about the guidance – for example, ‘what is an EIR?’. This will trigger a search of the guidance and will return specific guidance relating to the question; in this case, it will define what an EIR is (it won’t just return a series of results where EIR is mentioned).

“It uses AI to deliver a logical response that is informed by the guidance. This is different from AI-enabled content generated through models such as ChatGPT, which are trained on many sources but are not necessarily context-specific.”

Increased engagement

The switch to Morta provides the foundation to increase user and community engagement and collaboration. The UK BIM Framework now contains an embedded form that users can complete to provide comments on the guidance alongside suggestions for development, with plans to extend this in the future.

Morta (also a nima bronze patron) provides connected information hubs that increase construction teams’ productivity and reduce risk by replacing manual spreadsheet- and document-based processes. Mo Shana’a, founder and CEO of Morta, said: "The UK BIM Framework guidance is one of the best examples we’ve seen of the power of community and collaboration across the industry, and we are excited to support in making the knowledge and information within it more accessible for the industry." 

The soon-to-be-revised information management mandate will likely further embed the UK BIM Framework in digital practices across the life cycle of built and managed assets.

Nima chair Dr Anne Kemp OBE leads the information management mandate review group. She said: “UK industry has made great progress in digitalising information management processes across the built environment in recent years. We want the new information management mandate approach to define the necessary next steps and to provide resources – such as the UK BIM Framework – that will help individuals and organisations support the necessary changes. Keeping such resources up to date will be a key government and industry requirement.”

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