The first target date for building information modelling (BIM) being a mandatory requirement was back in 2016. 

Matt Samways

Matt Samways

BIM Level 2 was detailed in various published specifications over a five-year period until it was eventually superseded in 2018 by a new international standard, BS EN ISO 19650.

Maybe the driving force behind digital transformation will not be government targets or mandates but rather legislation such as the Building Safety Bill; this will in effect be a mandate as it will place a legal responsibility on building owners and those who build their assets.

ISO 19650 is commonly referred to as BIM. What is so frustrating is the misconception held across the industry by those who are not fully aware of what it means to be working ‘to BIM’. Probably due to the way in which the first iteration was written and after so many amendments, who can blame the industry for misunderstanding?

Much of this misconception has been brought about by what BIM stands for. When most people think about BIM, they think about models. To try and counter this, we like to promote that the ‘M’ in BIM should stand for management rather than modelling. BIM could – and should – stand for building information management, where the information is derived from data and documentation collected at every stage of the project lifecycle, not just models.

In today’s world, digital management of data allows repetitive tasks to be automated, increasing efficiency and ensuring accuracy. Introducing structure and search functionality allows for reliable data at handover, but it also ensures ease of access to data, which can be used and re-used for multiple purposes throughout the project lifecycle. Ultimately, working ‘to BIM’ means you are using digital technology effectively in your construction projects, for the many benefits it brings.

The future is dependent on us developing more buildings utilising a collaborative approach to information, streamlining existing processes and procedures with specific business requirements in mind. Those with the experience of true information management must help others navigate and embrace the changes needed to make the construction industry more efficient, more sustainable and safer.

Matt Samways is managing director at AIMIS Solutions