Last edited 12 Nov 2020

NBS National BIM Report 2016

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a very broad term that describes the process of creating and managing digital information about built assets such as buildings, bridges, highways, tunnels and so on.

On 14 April 2016, the National BIM Report 2016 was published by NBS. NBS is owned by RIBA Enterprises Ltd, part of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and its products include the national standard specification system for the UK.

NBS describes the National BIM Report as '…the most comprehensive analysis of the state of BIM within the UK construction sector.' It provides a year-on-year comparison, drawing on the views of more than 1000 construction industry professionals. The 2016 report was the sixth UK BIM study, published just 10 days after the government mandate came into force requiring fully collaborative 3D BIM (with all project and asset information, documentation and data being electronic) as a minimum on centrally-procured public projects. This represents a minimum requirement for level 2 BIM.

More than 50% of the respondents cited in the report were architects or architectural technologists, and approximately a third were from London and the south east.

54% were aware of and using BIM (up from 48% the previous year) whilst 42% were just aware of BIM. In a years' time 86% expected to be using BIM, and in 5 years, 97% . 70% had produced 3D digital models in the last year, and 74% had worked collaboratively on design. However, 28% were not confident, or not at all confident in their knowledge of, and skills in BIM.

There was more use of BIM on public sector projects, but there was also significant BIM adoption in the private sector for housing, offices and leisure facilities.

Immediate colleagues were the most commonly used source of information about BIM, along with external professionals and the UK BIM Task Group. Standards used included the RIBA Plan of Work 2013, PAS 1192-2:2013, PAS 1192-3:2014 and BS 1192:2007. However, 65% believed BIM had not been sufficiently standardised.

80% did not generate COBie output, or did not know whether they did. This is concerning as COBie (Construction Operations Building Information Exchange) which is a data format for the publication of a subset of building information models focusing on delivering asset data rather that geometric information, is one of the key outputs required by level 2 BIM.

The most commonly used drawing software was:

  • Autodesk Revit (Architecture/Structures/MEP) 31%
  • Graphisoft ArchiCAD 19%
  • Nemetschek Vectorworks 15%
  • Autodesk AutoCAD LT 12%
  • Autodesk AutoCAD 12%
  • Other 5%
  • Bentley Microstation 3%
  • Trimble Sketchup 1%
  • Bentley Building Suite 1%
  • Nemetschek Allplan 0%

Richard Waterhouse, CEO of NBS and RIBA Enterprises said:

“In some ways we are well set. In the five years since the former Chief Construction Adviser, Paul Morrell, set the course for Level 2 BIM as part of the Government's Construction Strategy, BIM usage has moved from a niche practice to the norm.

“However, concerns remain. A significant number tell us that they are not clear on what they have to do to comply with the BIM mandate, and only one in ten believes that the construction industry is ready to deliver on it. Aligned to this is a broader skills gap in BIM, with a quarter feeling they lack the skills and knowledge that they need.”

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