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Urban Planning and BIM - Prof P Allmendinger

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 will explore 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.

The potential advantages of BIM are widely known and include unlocking 15–25% savings to the global infrastructure market by 2025. However, as the EUBIM (2017) Taskgroup point out, there are also environmental benefits, such as more accurate material ordering leading to less waste to landfill and optimised simulation of energy analysis leading to lower energy demands from the built environment. Social benefits can be delivered to the public infrastructure owner by utilising BIM effectively in public planning and consultation to build support for new or updated public infrastructure, such as highways, water resources or public building refurbishment. This public engagement can support public infrastructure that is well designed and aligned with the needs of the local community resulting in improved social outcomes such as better resource planning, greater use of public facilities or mapping and protection of architectural historic heritage. In the UK such social, environmental and economic aspects of development fall within the remit of urban planning yet there has been little discussion or engagement with how the planning system might help deliver BIM. This project will help address that gap.

Urban planning shapes the built environment through setting out policies and strategies for development across a wide geography and then regulating that development on a site-by-site basis in line with those plans and strategies. Planning policies and plans reflect analysis of societal trends including demographic change, technological change, transport options, climate change and economic growth. Development includes new buildings as well as changes to existing buildings (retrofit) and associated infrastructure such as roads, public transport, schools, hospitals, etc. Therefore, the planning system has a key role to play in the roll out of BIM in the public and private sector as well as ensuring that wider social and environmental benefits are realised. 

The project aims to:

  1. 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),
  2. Explore how the planning system could better help deliver BIM, and
  3. Inform local and national policy settings and actors about the role of urban planning vehicle for BIM.

Table 1 sets out the methodology to achieve these aims.

Table 1. Methodology.

Aim

Method

a – current engagement with BIM.

Survey and assessment of existing practices and policies in national guidance, regional and local strategies and plans and individual development proposals. Sample from a representative range of areas (e.g., metropolitan, urban, rural) and geographical spread. Review of existing literature and research on planning and BIM.

b – potential to further deliver BIM through planning.

Semi-structured interviews with key planning stakeholders in the public and private sectors to gauge current awareness, understandings of and engagement with BIM; exploration of possible future engagement and integration.

c – Inform policy and policy makers.

Report for the Centre for Digital Britain Website setting out findings and making recommendations; identifying areas for further research.

Reference:

EUBIM Taskgroup (2017) Handbook for the Introduction of Building Information Modelling by the European Public Sector, Available at http://www.eubim.eu/147-2/

Researchers:


SHSS

Dr Franziska Sielker
Land Economy

Filed under:

Welcome to the Centre for Digital Built Britain.  

The Centre for Digital Built Britain is a partnership between the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the University of Cambridge to deliver a smart digital economy for infrastructure and construction for the future and transform the UK construction industry’s approach to the way we plan, build, maintain and use our social and economic infrastructure.