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Centre for Digital Built Britain


Building Information Modelling (BIM) sits at the heart of digital transformation across the UK built environment. For the construction industry, a major part of the overall UK economy, it provides a critical opportunity to significantly improve performance and stimulate more innovative ways of delivery and operation.

BIM is a collaborative way of working that facilitates early supply chain involvement, underpinned by the digital technologies which unlock more efficient methods of designing, creating and maintaining our assets BIM provides a digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of an asset to support reliable decision making and management of information during its life-cycle. At its core BIM uses 3D models and a common data environment to access and share information efficiently across the supply chain and so boost the efficiency of activities around asset delivery and operation. By helping the entire supply chain to work from a single source of information, BIM reduces the risk of error and maximises the team ability to innovate.

CDBB is committed to supporting the adoption of BIM as business as usual and the evolution of the UK BIM Programme.

While the existing BIM process, which supports the digital asset life-cycle, will continue to develop to keep up with advances in Digital Construction and smart asset management and operation, the Centre recommends moving away from the terms ‘BIM Level 3 and BIM Level 4’ to ‘operate and integrate’. The Programme to date has shown that the shift beyond BIM is not linear in nature; it can be broadly defined as the change from the improved asset delivery and maintenance to the smart operation and performance of a portfolio of assets, which can be integrated to enable the optimisation of organisational business services and socio-economic outcomes.

The integrated and interoperable system of asset portfolios, service delivery processes, social systems and user information envisaged for BIM Level 3 and 4 cannot be delivered with BIM alone. It will rely on the integration and interfacing of BIM data to service-delivery processes, within secure information landscapes and across federated digital twins.

As such, the term ‘operate & integrate’ better captures the wider context and promise.

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