The Challenges / Future of the BIM Processes.

The Challenges of today’s BIM Processes.


Various discussions have been taking place, all building up to the upcoming government’s much-publicised 2016 deadline for all public projects to be delivered using BIM level two.  Here are just a few challenges the current construction industry needs to consider when using the BIM processes:


1. Pre-Construction Stage.


  • There appears to be a general a lack of information from the Client when it comes to what they required from the BIM process.  The Client should be informed that they need to publish / complete an “employer’s information requirements” (EIR) document, ideally with appointment or tender documents, clearly setting out their BIM requirements and expectations.
  • The Client should also confirm their operations budget as well as a capital budget / i.e. in order to help them obtain an intelligent design, they should inform us how much money they actually want to spend on maintaining the building.
  • Contractors should be brought in much earlier in order to aid the building design as they can provide essential practical knowledge to the BIM model design.  In review, this could be facilitated by a design-and-build contract, and Contractors could help this process further by leading the project team.
  • There also appears to be a general lack of collaborative forms of contracts, which has resulted in many firms not seeing a return on investment from BIM.  This has also come from BIM training and data interoperability.
  • Finally, the Facilities Management Contractor should also have a much earlier input in the earlier design stages, especially as they will be responsible for managing the building efficiently in operation.


2. Construction Stage.


  • There needs to be a more open, collaborative approach and ensuring that BIM skills were evident across the supply chain.
  • We need to preparing staff for the “psychology” of the BIM process, as it is often mistaken that the BIM is just software.  It is worth reviewing “the psychology of a project team” within projects that use BIM processes and procedures in order to gain a more unified understanding within the industry.
  • When using BIM, we need to collect good consistent data sets from suppliers.  This will require work as many different suppliers have a wide range of attitudes towards the BIM processes, varying from complete denial to full acceptance.


3. Asset Management Stage.


  • Towards the end of the BIM processes, we need to ensure that BIM Project Information actually aids the facilities managers in operating buildings efficiently.  It needs to be easily usable with flexibility built in, in order for building staff to easily use.
  • Making the Construction Operations Building Information Exchange (COBie) much more easier for everyone to understand, especially as it is currently regarded by many as being overly complicated.
  • Finally, the information recorded from a building’s performance in operation should ideally be fed back into the industry to help us all learn more in order to help advance future construction projects.


Finally, what do we want from BIM in the Future...?


How do we see BIM developing over the next three to five years...? Some ideas for further consideration:


  • We need to have a more refined set of processes that could easily be widely accepted throughout the entire BIM project, as well as a common understanding of how to use them and what to do with them.
  • Priority should also be given to bring together all “data standards” with a useful and easy to use “data dictionary”.
  • It must also be agreed that the UK’s BIM industry should align with the emerging BIM technologies and standards in other countries around the world..
  • We should seek to resolved many of the standards and emerging data standards issues within the next five years.
  • The industry should seek to learn lessons from the big major projects coming through that are embracing BIM – i.e. High Speed 2” as well as observing and learning from firms who understand the BIM technology better.
  • Many more collaborative contracts should be put in place.
  • The industry should invite current firms to bring in the next generation, the young people involved with BIM, especially as they will be using these systems to help develop the industry in the future.
  • Finally, whilst the current reality is that the BIM process is complicated, we should aim to change the process to become less complicated and easier to use for all,


The points illustrated above have come from one of many recent assemblies of BIM and construction industry specialists.  These points have specifically been highlighted in order to help the industry grow and become more aware of the current challenges we are currently facing.  For further information on 4Projects by Viewpoint,contact or 0845 330 9007, or visit

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