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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

Why interoperability is so important when delivering BIM.

In this blog CDBB Change Consultant Fiona Moore introduces the BIM Interoperability Experts Group (BIEG) and the reasons behind its development. Interoperability that enables the easy exchange of information and data between proprietary technologies across the whole asset lifecycle is vital to ensure that BIM continues to thrive and deliver key benefits. CDBB, as a partner in the Construction Innovation Hub, are inviting industry stakeholders from a wide range of expertise and experience to input into a report to help us to continue to support UK BIM adoption.

As UK construction has incrementally adopted BIM, there has been a growing understanding of how BIM, when implemented correctly, is a process that can provide a ‘golden thread’ of trusted data to all parties involved in an asset’s lifecycle, from inception, to capital phase procurement, post-occupancy asset management, maintenance and refurbishment, through to the asset’s eventual disposal or demolition.

As the ‘information age’ gathers pace, it has become increasingly clear to our industry that the ability to author, exchange, assure and subsequently use and re-use data, brings very significant benefits to all; benefits that are being shared by both the supply chain and asset owners, including responsible asset ‘dutyholders’.

However, standards compliant and engaged client lead BIM implementation aside, one of the biggest challenges I believe we still face when trying to achieve these benefits, is that of BIM interoperability; with BIM interoperability providing the ability to exchange data across the contract line from projects into asset management, and between various technologies, so that it can subsequently be made use of, and without which current complex organisational IT systems, made up of a large number of different digital technologies, have a limited ability to maintain and manage currently procured data.

In order to explore the important subject of BIM interoperability, in line with UK standards PAS1192-3, BS1192-4 and emerging ISO 19650 BIM standards, with the aim of investigating how interoperable BIM data is currently being delivered and how this delivery might improve/evolve in the short term, the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) is consulting industry experts, including BIM/data specialists and also, most importantly, BIM information management practitioners, in order to better understand and document current construction industry knowledge of BIM interoperability; with the aim of ensuring that UK BIM adoption continues to thrive and deliver key benefits.

CDBB will be sharing the results of this consultation with industry in the spring of 2020.

Questions Related to the BIM Interoperability Expert Group

Q: Who is invited to give evidence?

A: A cross-section of technology providers, BIM experts and practitioners are being invited to give evidence. These people/organisations are known to, have previously approached or engaged with CDBB and the UK BIM Alliance on the subject of BIM interoperability.

Q How many people/organisations will be invited to given evidence?

A: It is anticipated that evidence will be provided by a total of twenty experts, who may bring a second person to help give evidence, and that the evidence gathering process will take place over four separate days.

Q: Who will take the evidence?

A: A six-strong committee/panel will take the evidence and two technical writers will support the panel. The committee members will be made up of people who have sufficient BIM knowledge to understand the evidence, but who themselves do not have a bias in terms of specific subject expertise.

Q: What will be the output of the consultation?

A: A report is intended to be produced that will contain recommendations.

Q: When will the report be published and can I access it?

A: Spring 2020. Please register here to ensure you receive CDBB’s publications.