Industry seeing potential in BIM

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Masterspec, the producers of New Zealand’s national specification system — in conjunction with BRANZ and NBS (UK) — has released a report on its National BIM survey for 2012.
BIM (Building Information Modelling) has been on the construction industry radar for some years, but is finally showing signs of becoming an important resource for all involved in design and construction.

The government-sponsored Productivity Partnership has also recognised that BIM is a critical factor in the industry, achieving the Partnership’s inspirational goal of lifting sector productivity by 20% by 2020.

The survey reveals positive signs that a growing sector of the industry is beginning to see the potential of this technology shift.
However, there are still some important challenges to meet, both by individual industry members and key industry organisations.
The term Building Information Modelling has a wide spectrum of meanings, even among those who say they are already using the new technology.

This requires a level of caution in interpreting the survey results. For example, some respondents think they are using BIM simply because they design in 3D CAD, and have not yet taken that important step into a fully collaborative approach to design and construction.

Significant road blocks
The report also indicates some significant roadblocks before the industry can gain the full benefit of this technology — specifically, a lack of agreed industry-wide protocols, frameworks and tools.

The information from the survey is now forming the basis for discussions with industry stakeholders, with the aim of arriving at a co-ordinated and achievable outcome.
The comprehensive BIM report, including industry leader opinions and a “Next Steps” section, can be accessed from www.masterspec.co.nz.