A lot is happening of course. The suite of 3D and software technologies that define BIM keep getting more sophisticated as developers improve existing tools or add new ones in areas like graphics, laser scanning or reality capture using Virtual Reality.
In fact platform development is becoming the norm as BIM keeps developing tools and workflows with other technology providers and applications like the exciting integration of BIM with Geographical Information Systems.
It’s also shaping up as world best practice. The UK Government is rolling out an industry wide BIM implementation strategy by 2020-an approach Arcadis will also take on all projects by then-Spain has introduced a BIM mandate on public sector projects for 2018, while Germany is also implementing BIM on all infrastructure projects by 2020.
But its adoption across the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sector remains highly uneven, especially for medium to small companies. Unfortunately clients and contractors can also struggle to see its real impact.
BIM’s power is undeniable. Its capacity to engage all stakeholders in the virtual representation of the design and construction process of the whole life cycle of a built asset, spurs collaboration, identifies risks and boosts efficiencies.
But its limitless potential is also one of its biggest problems given how fluid the BIM data set remains, with agreement on just what information it should cover still widely debated.
That’s no more obvious than the way technology is adapting to dealing with the whole infrastructure life cycle, and specifically asset and facility management which have had less emphasis in the evolution of BIM so far.
BIM clearly has a lot to offer in what information is finally handed over at the end of construction, but that’s still a long way from standard practice. The reality is that many owners or managers don’t receive a comprehensive picture of their asset, creating real challenges in operations and maintenance long term.
We think that needs to change and at Arcadis we’re increasingly looking at the lessons learned in the operational and maintenance of assets and their potential input to BIM.
We’re doing this by encouraging asset owners and facility managers to take part in the design process as early as possible. We’re also getting our BIM specialists involved in understanding asset design, costing and operational issues.
A greater fusion of BIM and asset management processes, data and technological maturity is now critical if we really want to be building for the future.