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Centre for Digital Built Britain completed its five-year mission and closed its doors at the end of September 2022

This website remains as a legacy of the achievements of our five-year foundational journey towards a digital built Britain
International Blog: Achievements of the European Programme

In this month’s blog Richard Lane, Programme Manager for the EU BIM Task Group and Delivery Manager for the CDBB International Programme, reflects on the achievements of the European programme to date and looks forward to the next phase.

"The next phase of our European programme will focus on communications, media coverage, events and training workshops designed to engage a wider stakeholder audience (working at the state and municipal government level) to take advantage of BIM."

We have reached a significant landmark in the European BIM journey that is driving the transition to digital construction. In just two years the EU BIM Task Group has grown from a handful of public sector stakeholders informally exchanging information about BIM, to the formalised collaboration of 24 European counties that makes the group today.

The group received European Commission funding for two years (2016-17) to align the use of BIM in public works. Our members mainly comprise national policy makers, procurers and estate owners reflecting the important role of public sector leadership in the wider transition to digital construction; the public sector is the construction sector’s largest client and is best placed to lead by example.

In March of this year we completed the initial phase of the European BIM programme and all of our members are committed to working together for the next stages that will drive the expansion of the programme to reach a wider group of stakeholders.

Our current Task Group includes members from European counties, including those outside of the EU, such as Norway and Switzerland. We have worked together to overcome potential barriers of language, culture and geography to establish a shared and consistent approach to the implementation of BIM across Europe that will deliver benefits to all – both domestically and across the wider group of collaborating countries.

This accord resulted in the publication of the EU BIM Handbook for the introduction of Building Information Modelling by the European Public Sector last July. The handbook contains a set of recommendations to public sector clients and policy makers when adopting BIM into their public estates.  It presents the drivers to, and benefits of, taking a consistent approach across Europe and offers a strategic framework to deliver BIM at national and organisational level.

The handbook has attracted much interest from the start; in the first four weeks of being published, it was viewed and downloaded in more than 114 counties, including Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. There are now 18 European language translations available and this number continues to rise. Forthcoming editions will include Russian and Vietnamese.

Formalising a vision for digital construction between such a large number of member counties is testament to the combined commitment to a shared goal – enabling an open, competitive market that will drive best possible value for the public purse in all member countries and increased opportunities for international trade.

In March this year we held the final General Assembly meeting for the EU Task Group that marked the close of Phase 1 activities. A short video was created from that meeting and captures the challenges and opportunities of the transition to digital from a range of member countries.

The next phase of our European programme will focus on communications, media coverage, events and training workshops designed to engage a wider stakeholder audience (working at the state and municipal government level) to take advantage of BIM. The workshops and events will be held in a number of countries across Europe and the details will appear on the CDBB website over the next few weeks.

The DNA of UK BIM is visible within the European BIM methodology, as is the input of the 24 different member counties. It is a programme that adapts to meet the needs of different member countries and cultures.  The success of the European programme means that, as we engage with countries in Latin America and Asia, our methodology and ideas and technical support are predicated not just on a single country but on the consensus of 24 counties across Europe.

The main objective of the EU Task Group over the next year is to secure BIM’s common approach across Europe and for that to create an innovative, effective and efficient construction industry and a market that is open, competitive and delivering best possible value for the public purse. We want to see the benefits of BIM being unlocked by the widest possible audience.