Building Information Modelling (BIM) is becoming a global language for the infrastructure and construction sector, stimulating collaboration and knowledge - and increasing human capital across borders. International Standard ISO 19560 defines BIM as the "use of a shared digital representation of a built asset to facilitate design, construction and operation processes to form a reliable basis for decisions" (2019).
Governments are constantly challenged by the need to provide the best possible value from the spending of public money. Most countries face a growing demand of public services while experiencing budget pressures and stringent regulatory requirements. Issues such as ageing populations, enabling access to education and healthcare, rising social costs and the drive for sustainable economic growth are challenging the delivery of reliable and efficient public infrastructure.
In the past ten years, the number of national public sector BIM programmes has increased, spurred by the significant economic, environmental and social benefits of adopting a common standards approach. As public procurement is accountable for a major share of construction expenditure and policymakers can encourage the wider use of BIM through changes in law, their efforts would not only lead to efficiency, savings and growth in the construction industry, but also drive innovation and sustainability.
Governments can provide a leadership role as national policy, strategy and standards can transform and unify the fragmented construction industry, while encouraging the private sector to invest in digital technologies. A unified approach involving a common set of rules to facilitate collaboration and new digital ways of working, alongside capacity-building initiatives, will facilitate the digital switchover of construction and ensure change is adopted by businesses of all sizes.
The Global BIM Network aims to bring together stakeholders from governments around the world to encourage the wider adoption of BIM. The Network’s collaboration and sharing initiatives will foster a common digital language for the delivery of the world’s infrastructure, enabling BIM’s social, economic and environmental benefits. These extend beyond the building stage to facilitate operational effectiveness, maintenance and refurbishment of built assets, and comprise:
- Savings on time delivery, lower maintenance and operational costs
- Optimisation of operational energy use and resource efficiency
- Less site waste and reduced errors, leading to higher standard of health and safety
- Assessing whole lifecycle analysis
- Data security and data infrastructure resource efficiency
- Improved social outcomes, such as patient care
- Sector competitiveness and growth of export capability
- Attracting digital talent to construction.