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Centre for Digital Built Britain


The project aims to understand the extent to which the UK planning system is engaging with BIM at different spatial scales (e.g., individual building, development scheme, city, region). It explores how the planning system could better help deliver BIM, and inform local and national policy settings and actors about the role of urban planning vehicle for BIM.

[Full Report]

There is significant potential for the urban planning system to support the roll-out of DBB and BIM. Equally, the aims and objectives of urban planning in the UK can be supported through an engagement with BIM. 

There are three areas where this potential seems particularly strong. Specifically, how: 

  1. National planning policy can be better delivered through BIM (e.g. reducing waste and creating more sustainable development). 
  2. Planning can help deliver BIM and the roll out of DBB objectives particularly around wider stakeholder engagement (e.g. shaping demand and optimising supply as well as building and service users). 
  3. Planning can help the further roll out of BIM through requiring certain kinds of development are submitted using BIM approaches thereby accelerating its take up and use. 

Notwithstanding this potential general awareness of BIM within planning was low to non-existent despite national and local planning seeking to support the digital infrastructure and the concept of Smart Cities. 

Various recommendations for developing the relationship between urban planning and BIM are made throughout the report along with the need for further work in certain areas. 

The main recommendations include the need for Government to publish national policy on BIM and planning to help align the objectives of BIM and planning and ensure that local areas were aware of the needs and benefits of BIM. 

Further work is needed to explore how consultation at the plan making and decision-making stages of planning can use BIM to help widen involvement and speed up changes to schemes. 



Land Economy