Last month at BIM Regions Oxford, we successfully delivered the last in a series of four events across 2016 covering topic areas including Process, People, Technology, and Policy. We had great pleasure in welcoming nearly one hundred and fifty delegates from local industry and academia, to hear from nine subject matter experts across all four events – a huge thank you to all who turned out and contributed to the success of each. Thanks must also be extended to Oxford Brookes University for allowing us to use their fantastic facilities, and our sponsors for covering the cost of refreshments – details of each can be viewed on our website.
All of these events were of course held during the year which saw the long awaited arrival of the mandate and stretch target set to transform the delivery of certain types of public sector construction projects – the requirement to utilise Level 2 BIM. The significance of these dates passing has arrived after the industry has been analysing and debating the topic with varying degrees of enthusiasm for nearly half a decade. Cast your mind back five years to the announcement of the Level 2 mandate, and you would have been forgiven then for conjuring up visions of a transformed, all-digital construction industry in 2016. The visionaries of 2011 would talk of pointing your mobile device at the light fitting of a new building to determine its key attributes and maintenance information, and although that technology is not quite commonplace in construction yet, there are parallels in the Pokemon GO phenomenon. Imagine fifty bonus points for virtually changing a light bulb via your iPhone, and you can start to visualise the synergies between geocaching and harnessing data generated through BIM to operate an asset.
Computer games aside, we have witnessed widespread adoption of BIM during this period though. A number of public sector construction projects are now being delivered in accordance with the “eight pillars of BIM” developed during this time, which has in turn had a knock-on effect for adoption in the private sector. Whilst the construction industry has made some enormous leaps in terms of digitalisation since the announcement, there is still significant progress to be made to align the strategy, procurement, design, delivery, and operation of the assets that are being built. This has been further emphasised in the “Digital Built Britain – Level 3 BIM” strategic document released last year which acknowledges that the first part of Level 3 BIM is to enable improvements in Level 2 BIM.
So as the industry continues to adjust to the Level 2/Soft Landing/Level 3 landscape over the next few months and years, we are looking forward to hosting another series of events to support these journeys in 2017. Keep an eye on the BIM Regions Oxford website for details as they are released, and BIM Regions UK site for further details of other fantastic events happening in your local region.
Brent Rees – Chair, BIM Regions Oxford