Last edited 21 Jul 2016

Level 3 BIM

Tucked away at the end of a government announcement by Vince Cable about pre-assembly techniques in house building, came the launch of BIM level 3. Ref BIS Government backs manufacturing with action plan and cash boost 26 February 2015.

In the notes to editors, the announcement said: “The Business Secretary also announced the next phase of the Building Information Modelling programme (BIM) today. BIM digitises the construction process – harnessing the same techniques used by the advanced aerospace industry in pre-production to design, build and test construction projects. Firms including Laing O'Rourke are recognised as key early-adopters of BIM technology.

“In 2011 the government announced that BIM would be a requirement of all central government construction procurement from 2016, providing a powerful incentive to firms to invest in BIM capability to remain eligible to compete for future government contracts. This has already resulted in 20% savings in government construction costs and the UK is now a world leader in BIM technology. To maintain this position and to export BIM technology to global markets the next phase will drive further uptake, address technological challenges and develop new approaches.”

Simultaneuosly, The BIM Task Group announced the “Launch of Digital Built Britain”:

“Today 26/2/2015 Rt Hon Dr Vince Cable at a site visit in London announced the launch of Digital Built Britain, the UK Level 3 Building Information Modelling program. The works will build a digital economy for the construction industry in support of dramatically improving delivery, operations and services provided to citizens. The programme will build on the standards and savings delivered by the BIM level 2 initiative which has been central to the £840M savings achieved on central public spend in 2013/14.”

The announcements refer to the launch of Digital Built Britain, Level 3 Building Information Modelling - Strategic Plan. and a Digital Built Britain website.

The website says:

“The Digital Built Britain strategy describes how we intend taking the next steps in defining advanced standards, creating new commercial models and identifying technologies to transform our approach to social infrastructure development and construction.

“We seek to create a mature digital economy for the built environment which delivers high performing assets and exceptional client value as well as a knowledge base to enable the Smart City and community members to thrive in our urban environments. This approach will attract the most talented individuals from diverse backgrounds into an industry seen to add demonstrable value to society.

"Level 3 will enable the interconnected digital design of different elements in a built environment and will extend BIM into the operation of assets over their lifetimes – where the lion's share of cost arises. It will support the accelerated delivery of smart cities, services and grids. Owners and operators will be able to better manage assets and services as they track their real-time efficiency, maximising utilisation and minimising energy use.”

NB In an interview with BIM+, Mark Bew, Chair of the BIM Task Group suggested that Level 3 BIM was a “10-year plan”, with five years of preparation followed by five of implementation and early adopter projects beginning in 2017/18. Ref BIM+ Level 3 BIM culture change is our 'Facebook' revolution, says Bew 5 March 2015.

See Digital Built Britain for more information.

In the 2016 budget, the government confirmed it '...will develop the next digital standard for the construction sector – Building Information Modelling 3 – to save owners of built assets billions of pounds a year in unnecessary costs, and maintain the UK's global leadership in digital construction.' BIS later announced that £15m funding would be allocated over 3 years.

Level 3 has been described by the BIM Task Group as including:

  • Whole life management (£ and CO2).
  • Measurement (internet of things).
  • New Commercial models: transparent, data provenance; paperless, whole life service.
  • Enable new services and markets: smart cities / grids; social media.
  • Scale and capacity.
  • Ease of use and interoperable.

This has been broken down into an number of key development stages:

  • Level 3A: Enabling improvements in the Level 2 model.
  • Level 3B: Enabling new technologies and systems.
  • Level 3C: Enabling the development of new business models.
  • Level 3D: Capitalising on world leadership.

Ref TheB1M David Philp: BIM Level 2-3 Update June 2015.

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