Building Information Modelling: the way forward

The UK construction industry is currently experiencing a strong recovery and to help maintain the trend, businesses in the sector are being encouraged to make more use of Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry and its wider adoption is seen as a priority if the UK wishes maintain its world-class reputation in architecture, design and engineering and its position as a leader in sustainable construction solutions.

That priority has been reinforced by a requirement in the Government Construction Strategy for fully collaborative 3D BIM – with all-electronic project and asset information, documentation and data – as a minimum on central government projects by 2016.

Essentially, BIM embeds key product and asset data about a project within a 3D computer models that can be used for effective information management throughout the lifecycle of a construction project.

Benefits include being able to identify and address potential problems, which can save significant amounts of money for contractors in the long term by improving their ability to keep projects on budget and on time.

Last year, the Construction Industry Council – which represents professional bodies, research organisations and specialist business associations within the construction sector – published a standard BIM protocol for use in projects involving BIM, to help support this way of working.

While making only minimum changes necessary to most major standard forms of contract, the protocol is designed to be incorporated within contracts to enable building information models to be produced at defined stages of a project.

The CIC said: “All parties involved in the use, production or delivery of models on the project…are required to have a BIM protocol appended to their contracts. This will ensure that all parties producing and delivering models adopt any common standards or ways of working described in the protocol and that all parties using the models have a clear right to do so.”

As BIM continues to evolve, and more construction sector businesses adopt the approach, Palmers Solicitors can advice and assist with related issues, including commercial agreements. For more information, please contact us.