Uncertainty over new update to Government Construction Strategy 2011

Industry insiders have confirmed that the Cabinet Office is preparing an update to the 2011 Government Construction Strategy, the document which first established the 2016 BIM mandate.

However, the same industry sources have said they know very little about the plans, and one commented that he “wasn’t expecting it to be the biggest show in town”.

He added: “There’s been very little engagement with the industry.”

And a senior figure in industry BIM circles told BIM+ that he was unaware that the document was being prepared.

A report in Building magazine last week suggested that the updated document would address “improving client skills, tackling industry skills shortages and further adoption of BIM”.

Apparently, the document could be published as soon as this week – possibly following the Comprehensive Spending Review on Wednesday (25 November) – or shortly afterwards.

Building says that Cabinet Office minister Nick Hancock will take responsibility for delivering the updated strategy, as the government’s chief construction adviser Peter Hansford has already come to the end of his tenure.

The Government Construction Strategy 2011 was instigated by the former chief construction adviser, Paul Morrell. A “one year on” progress report was published in July 2012.

Meanwhile, the department of Business, Innovation and Skills remains responsible for delivering the Construction 2025  industrial strategy for construction, published in July 2013.

A spokesman for BIS, which funds the BIM Task Group, said that it was not involved in the Cabinet Office project.

Picture: Cabinet Office, Whitehall, London, UK – by Smuconlaw (Wikipedia)

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  1. As a Commercial Manager in the Brighton area, I have become very interested in BIM and I have been involved in Constructing Excellence Sussex Club, Sussex BIM Hub and Sussex Chamber of Commerce seminars that have recently featured case studies, to see how we are progressing.
    From these it was clear that, although BIM has the potential to improve design and construction processes, there are still many factors affecting its implementation and I would currently describe the use of BIM in our area as “patchy”, with it being seen mainly as a design tool, rather than something the Customer and whole Project Team can benefit from.
    I am disappointed that the 2011 Strategy is, apparently, being updated without any engagement with the Industry (isn’t collaboration at the heart of successful projects??).
    Hopefully, the updated document will provide more clarity on the BIM adoption timetable, “user-friendly” standards and protocols, more guidance to help Clients and Supply Chain understand the benefits of BIM so that resources can be made available, and select the most appropriate solutions and level of detail.
    Hopefully with the right help and support we can start to “sing of the same BIM sheet”…….

  2. I as a sole practitioner along with other small architectural Practices I embraced BIM in 2011 when the government’s strategy was announced thinking that Revit “other software packages are available” was the future and the governments deadline of 2016 focused the industry’s minds to adopt BIM before that date.
    Because of the current economic climate and four years down the line, the urgency to adopt BIM is waning and this announcement will further diminish that. Back in 2011 when I thought BIM was the future I did not realise it would be in 2020 or later

  3. As is common with UK Government targets and policies – they do not seem to have been thought through or researched properly before being announced. We’ve seen this in so many construction related fields where zero carbon targets are announced and then relinquished, Code for Sustainable Homes introduced and then set aside, incentive grants for low carbon solar and other programmes introduced and then drastically cut because they had underestimated cost and demand, Green Deal announced but not taken up by consumers etc etc. The list is endless. Were private companies to run their businesses in the same way most would by now be in liquidation! BIM is just the latest in a long line – Government needs to talk to and with industry in order to better understand the needs of industry and clients rather than introducing unacheivable measures and targets.

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