As Building Information Modeling (BIM) continues to build a presence in the construction industry, expectations are sky-high for the digital resource.
“So many benefits are derived from BIM—from the building owner, to the architect, to the general contractor, and it will become a way of life for the glass and glazing subcontractor on a regular basis in the not-too-distant future,” says Richard D. Voreis, chief executive officer of Consulting Collaborative.
In a recently-released McGraw Hill Construction-SmartMarket report titled “The Business Value of BIM for Owners,” building owner in both the U.S. and U.K. were surveyed regarding their future expectation of involvement in BIM.
According to the report, 40 percent of U.S. owners and 38 percent of U.K. owners expect more than 75 percent of their projects will involve BIM in just two years.
The study suggests an approaching national BIM mandate in the U.K. has driven a higher level of involvement with owners than in the U.S., as the report indicates U.K. owners are more aware of BIM use by architects and general contractors than their U.S. counterparts. Eighty-eight percent of U.K. owners are formally measuring the impact of BIM, compared to just 18 percent of U.S. owners.
“The government’s mandate is helping to drive change across the U.K. construction industry,” Mike Putnam, president and CEO of Skanska UK said in a statement. “Its 2016 deadline is accelerating the adoption of new tools and processes, which will ultimately deliver the collaboration and data needed to help achieve the industry’s long term objectives.
“When Skanska is an owner, we mandate BIM and have done so since 2008, as we believe it brings significant benefits. However, the report clearly shows that there is still much to be done before BIM is routinely used to develop more sustainable buildings and infrastructure.”
According to the survey, 54 percent of owners in the U.K. report they already have high capabilities to leverage BIM for building operations and facility management, compared with only 14 percent in the U.S.
Additionally, by 2019, 92 percent of U.K. owners expect to have high capability to use BIM for building operations, compared to just 49 percent of U.S. owners.
“Recent advances in standards and technology are now putting this within reach of owners everywhere,” says Steve Jones, senior director of McGraw Hill Construction and principal author of the report. “We are at the beginning of an exciting new era for BIM.”
Despite what appears to be a more deliberate effort toward BIM in the U.K., Voreis cautions that the technology is rapidly growing in the U.S. and that glass and glazing subcontractors who don’t embrace it sooner or later could get left behind.
“If you aren’t proficient in BIM, you need to be … especially on large projects,” he says.
“Glass and glazing subcontractors need to be proficient in BIM, because GSA government contracts are requiring it now, and other projects, as well … So if they don’t get on board soon, they’ll be playing catch-up and unable to bid some projects.”