Preparing for the 2016 BIM Level 2 mandate
by Jaap van Duijvenbode on July 06, 2015
Building Information Modeling has seen its popularity increase tremendously over the past few years, and for a very good reason. With BIM, design, architecture and construction firms can create not just a 3D model of a new project, but also incorporate project meta data, the materials required, logistical factors and much more. By including all of this data in a single, comprehensive file, BIM encourages more effective, efficient collaboration among all of the many professionals who play a role in any major building project.
Countless firms have already embraced BIM, or at least begun to explore the potential of this approach for their businesses. However, there are still many other companies that have been slower to move in this direction. This can be a major problem, especially for any firm hoping to do business in the U.K. As announced back in 2011, the United Kingdom government will require construction firms to use BIM Level 2 for all central government construction projects by 2016.
This may seem like a daunting prospect, and indeed, many companies will likely struggle to comply with this requirement. To ensure that public-sector U.K. building projects remain a possibility, such organizations should strongly consider leveraging a file collaboration solution such as Talon CloudFAST™.
A fast-approaching deadline
BIM Level 1 simply requires that projects utilize managed Computer Aided Design in either 2D or 3D. At Level 2, however, BIM projects must feature managed 3-D environments along with attached data, although this data may have been created via separate discipline models.
"Companies that cannot execute on BIM Level 2 will not be considered for new building projects."
This is the standard that firms must meet for U.K. government projects by next year. Companies that cannot demonstrate this capability will not be considered for new building projects. For U.K.-focused organizations, disqualification here can prove devastating.
Unfortunately, though, a lot of professionals in this field lack confidence in their ability to meet these requirements. In one survey of 70 U.K. construction experts, half of whom were design consultants, 64 percent of respondents said that the U.K.'s goal of achieving Level 2 BIM capability for all central government infrastructure projects was unachievable, according to SPAR Point Group.
Collaboration emerged as a key issue in this area. Ninety-four percent of respondents said that the use of BIM demands a more collaborative relationship between the construction team and the client, the source noted. At the same time, 27 percent of participants said the lack of collaboration within their organizations was the biggest obstacle to achieving BIM Level 2 themselves.
"The overriding message from our survey points to greater collaboration if BIM is to be a success," said Chris Hallam of Pinsent Masons, the source reported.
Collaboration is key for BIM.
Furthermore, the fifth annual NBS National BIM report, released earlier this year, found that, for the first time, BIM adoption did not increase year over year. In fact, there was a slight drop, as 48 percent of respondents claimed to have used BIM for at least one project in the previous 12 months, down from 54 percent the year before. The report's authors emphasized that this slight dip should be seen as a plateau, not a decline. However, the fact remains that with the BIM Level 2 mandate's deadline fast approaching, many companies in this sector have yet to embrace the technology, and time is running out.
Achieving BIM quickly
This does not mean that U.K.-focused firms in the construction, architecture and building design space need to resign themselves to missing out on public-sector contracts just because they are not yet utilizing BIM. However, it does mean that such organizations should take immediate steps to enable and encourage collaboration in order to eliminate the biggest obstacle standing in the way of BIM adoption.
"CloudFAST™ makes it incredibly easy for personnel to share, access and work on large files."
That's where Talon CloudFAST™ enters the picture. A leading file collaboration solution, CloudFAST™ makes it incredibly easy for personnel to share, access and work on large files - including BIM projects. This remains the case despite the disparate locations of the various personnel working on a given effort. Thanks to CloudFAST™'s Intelligent File Caching, there's no need to download and upload the entire file every time a minor change is made. Instead, only the relevant file differences are reflected on the centralized copy.
Critically, CloudFAST™'s file locking technology ensures that the data involved in a BIM project remains consistent even when multiple users are working on the project at the same time. This further reduces the complexity of these initiatives, making it easier for companies to take advantage of BIM Level 2.
When 2016 rolls around and the BIM Level 2 mandate takes effect, firms that have embraced this technology will enjoy a tremendous advantage when competing for construction contracts in the U.K. public sector, while those organizations that have fallen behind will simply not be considered. Talon CloudFAST™ can help ensure businesses fall into the former category, rather than the latter.