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Centre for Digital Built Britain

Blog from the CDBB team

The Centre’s BIM programme for 2018/19 brings focus to supporting current best practice and guiding growth towards a digitally built and operated Britain. Ahead of publication of new international standards, Terry Stocks, Head of the UK BIM programme and Dave Philp, BIM Communications Manager, report on progress and future plans.

“The Home Nations Working Group brings together the four UK national BIM programmes with the purpose of developing consistency of messaging and promoting a shared understanding of the value proposition afforded by a co-ordinated approach to a digitised UK built environment.” 

The Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) works to promote the UK BIM programme with the aim of providing strategic leadership to embed the process of BIM as ‘business as usual’ within government departments and their supply chains. Establishing public sector leadership is key to creating the catalyst for wider industry change that will unlock the benefits of digital construction for all stakeholders. 

CDBB has supported the formation of a Home Nations Working Group (HNWG) to deliver support and training across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The HNWG brings together the four UK national BIM programmes with the purpose of developing consistency of messaging and promoting a shared understanding of the value proposition afforded by a co-ordinated approach to a digitised UK built environment. Growing capacity and embedding BIM still remains a central plank of the Digital Built Britain programme and the HNWG is pivotal to this consolidation phase and the successful transition to international standards.

The group has representation from all of the United Kingdom’s home nation BIM programmes plus the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)  and CDBB’s International team. The HNWG provides a platform to:

  • share experiences in the implementation of BIM
  • coordinate the sharing of BIM knowledge and collateral across programmes
  • manage the interface between CDBB, and the various devolved UK government BIM and digital built environment programmes.

The group has met several times in 2018 to share experiences, programme tools/portals and agree a consistent definition of BIM along with supporting principles.

Creating a coherent and harmonised strategy also requires consistency of approach to the underpinning standards. At present the HNWG is focussed on the transition towards ISO19650-1 and 2 ‘Information management using building information modelling’, which is currently scheduled for publication in November this year.

David Philp, BIM Level 2 Communications ManagerThese new international standards will be accompanied by a UK National Annex and UK Transition Guidance. The National Annex will be particularly important to the UK; it is informative in principle and contains additional information that enables application of the adopted standard (but does not modify or supplement the text of the base standard). The information is aimed at the user, offering advice and guidance on applying the standard in the UK context, including information summarising differences between the new and previous standard and UK industry-specific information or context that might be relevant in the application of a standard. 

The HNWG is particularly conscious of the need to ensure a smooth changeover and is working with the British Standards Institution (BSI) and the UK’s ISO Convenor, Dr Anne Kemp, to feed in their coordinated thinking to help inform the developing UK National Annex and the related transition guidance.  The group will also be working on a coordinated transition communications plan, working alongside other stakeholders to help their programmes prepare for the changes that the ISO will bring.

CDBB is also working closely with the Infrastructure Projects Authority (IPA), to establish BIM across the public sector and accompanying supply chains. To support this work there is a series of 'e-learning' modules currently under development.  BIM practitioners already have access to a wide range of BIM training and information and the new CDBB 'e-learning' resource brings focus to the strategic deployment of BIM and the potential full asset lifecycle benefits that the process enables. The modules will provide a stepped engagement approach for selected subject areas including: high-level elevator-style pitches to engage senior decision makers; mid-level need-to-know-to-deploy information for those tasked with creating a corporate BIM environment; and guidance for those tasked with implementing BIM processes at project level.

The new modules are under development and will be available from the CDBB website over the next few months.