Our Information Collection: Focus on Latin America

In a previous article we covered the Global BIM Network’s first General Assembly, which was attended by over 300 public sector and multilateral representatives from 71 countries.

The General Assembly Report introduced the activities and achievements of the Network, whose Steering Committee comprises representatives from Europe, Latin America, Asia, North America and Australia.

Latin American countries have been developing BIM programmes at pace in the past five years, leading to the creation of national strategies to support its adoption. In 2020, Colombia signed a memorandum of understanding with the UK Government, which enabled knowledge exchange involving UK consultants, academics and industry, and developed its own Roadmap. In Chile, the state and private sector came together in 2016 to define a vision of a public policy: PlanBIM was devised using the state’s purchasing power to digitalise the entire construction industry with the aim to increase productivity and sustainability.

According to Claudia Suaznabar, Lead Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank, cost efficiency is the main driving force for the growing interest in BIM by governments in Latin America, as well its benefit of ensuring transparency in public works’ projects.

At the General Assembly, representatives from individual countries within Latin America - Daniel Gómez, Deputy Director, National Planning Department, Colombia; Sebastián Manriquez, Subdirector, PlanBIM of CORFO, Chile; Valentina Sarmiento Buitrago, Head of the Productivity Team, Ministry of Housing, City and Territory, Colombia and Jonathan Bernal, Director of Infrastructure and Sustainable Energy, Colombia – presented their BIM journey, including national strategies and how being part of the Global BIM Network helped them to share their experiences with other countries.

Latin America is fairly represented in our Information Collection, which gathers and disseminate resources shared by members of the Network through an open-source knowledge base. The resources, organised geographically, are structured under four pillars: Public leadership (BIM policy, legislation, programmes and strategy); Collaborative framework (legal, procurement, technical references, guidance and templates); Communication and communities (communities of practice, media publications and websites) and Capability and capacity building (training and case studies).

We have currently 31 items for Latin America, with more to be published, following an ongoing Call for Knowledge launched in August 2021. These include, for instance, documents and standards for public projects, developed by PlanBIM in Chile, such as the National BIM Strategy, the National BIM Goals 2020 and 2025, and an Open E-learning Course: Introduction to BIM Methodology, funded by Corfo, the Chilean Economic Development Agency and the Inter-American Development Bank.

Red BIM de Gobiernos Latinoamericanos (Red BIM Gob Latam), a network of representatives from the public sector in Latin American countries, is also represented. Its members include Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.

Aside national policies and technical standards for public sector projects, resources for Latin America include training courses, reports on BIM maturity, publications and websites of trade and professional organisations (such as construction chambers), legislation, digital transformation plans, implementation guides, templates and information repositories.

Latin American countries currently represented in the Information Collection are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica and Peru; more resources will be published in the coming months.