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Centre for Digital Built Britain

 

Local authorities across the UK are being encouraged to ‘go digital’ in their approach to the design, construction and operation of their buildings and estates.  A new video produced by the Construction Innovation Hub with the input of the local authority representatives on the Local Authorities Working Group seeks to challenge the perception amongst some local authorities that Building Information Modelling (BIM) is costly, burdensome and only suitable for capital projects. 

Local leaders and officials are instead being urged to look again at the substantial benefits offered by managing estates data digitally using Building Information Modelling (BIM). This includes the potential for efficiency savings and ensuring that councils have better access to information that helps them to respond to challenges ranging from responding to the Covid-19 pandemic to meeting carbon reduction targets. 

Analysis published by the Hub in November 2020 revealed a limited understanding amongst local authorities of BIM and how it could support budget efficiency, resilient service delivery and meeting climate change targets and other organisational objectives. There was also a general view that the cost of managing their estates’ data digitally is prohibitively high. 

The video is the first in a suite of Construction Innovation Hub tools to enable local authorities to transform and put innovation at the heart of how they plan, procure build and operate their buildings and estates. The next of these is an interactive digital roadmap to guide property teams within local authorities through the steps and demonstrate how tools can be adapted to suit their information needs and capabilities.  

Hub digital impact director Dave Philp said: 

“Councils in England collectively spent around £25bn on capital expenditure in 2017/2018 and approx. £4bn on building maintenance and operation. Managing data digitally offers the potential for efficiency savings and can also ensure that councils have better access to information that helps them to respond to challenges ranging from responding to the Covid-19 pandemic to meeting carbon reduction targets. By introducing the benefits of a digital approach to managing information this film will enable local authority leaders across the country to take the first step on their digital journey and will be followed by a suite of tools to support them including the digital Roadmap.” 

Charlotte Cordingley, Head of Estate and Asset Management at Stockport Council said, “Managing our data digitally in-house has brought a range of benefits including increased standardisation, greater collaboration between departments and better long-term planning and management of the authority’s estate and assets to help to achieve long-term objectives including cost savings and carbon reduction". 

ENDS 

Notes to editor: 

At Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council – which features as a case study in the new film - the adoption of digital information management at the authority was prompted by the threat of losing vital data due to the collapse of an external contractor. Stockport started the process by developing a proof of concept in SharePoint before appointing BIM specialists to support implementation. 

The Roadmap will help teams to take the first steps towards managing your estates and asset data digitally with a proof of concept trial using existing software such as Microsoft SharePoint. For councils looking to take the next step in their digital journey these introductory tools will be supplemented by a Government Soft Landings navigator for local authorities later in the spring which provides a framework to put building user needs at the heart of the design, build and handover of buildings.