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Nov 05 2014

6 Challenges of BIM Adoption

At the recent round of recent industry conferences; ICE BIM, Fiatech Conference and Construction News Summit, there was a generally robust confidence amongst the AEC, infrastructure and real estate industries.  There was also a genuine appetite for innovation, amid increasing evidence that BIM and Soft Landings principles are seeping into the day-to-day business practices of the top tiers of the industry.  In one commentator’s view:

‘BIM is no longer niche, it’s business-as-usual.’

There was plenty of encouragement for the industry to continue to embrace BIM, supported by numerous live project examples where it is used at the design, construction, as well as operational stages.  And it does appear that positive momentum is gathering, which was reflected in the ICE BIM adoption measures.

Conject customers including ConnectPlus and Sainsbury’s are committed leaders in the use of BIM across their operations.  Many others including Mace, Wates and ISG report an increasing number of tenders mandating BIM, and where it is not requested by the client, these organisations are looking for ways to use BIM to improve outcomes.  This is all very positive.BIM Model

What issues must be overcome to get BIM working?

As an industry, we talk a lot about the benefits of adopting BIM principles, and these are many and varied, however there are practical issues organisations face in the pursuit of Level 2 compliance.  Following are some challenges discussed at the recent conferences.

BIM Challenge 1: Preventing industrial espionage

The growth of cybercrime is a modern fact of life, and as more applications reside in the cloud, companies must ensure the systems they use meet data security best practices, including the UK Government CESG cloud Security Principles.  Conject customers can be assured that the applications they use are certified to ISO 27001, a family of standards that helps organisations keep information secure.

Challenge 2: Software interoperability  

As software solutions that support BIM proliferate, companies will need to consider how they consolidate, interpret and utilise the increasingly mountainous volumes of data.  The use of the COBie open data format is critical in enabling the exchange of data from a range of sources; delivering the right information, to the right people, at the right time throughout the plan, build and operate stages of an asset’s lifecycle.

Conject customers already use the rich functionality of our platforms to integrate design and document workflows with contract, change and cost processes, to achieve a greater measure of control over their projects and programmes.

Challenge 3: Data ownership and management

The challenges presented by managing large volumes and very detailed data should be grasped as a responsibility, according to Hugh Boyes, Cyber Security Lead, at IET.  Added to this, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fines in place for those falling foul of its privacy and security rules, making the debate about where ownership of data resides an important decision point for the industry.

Associated with this is a requirement for managing changing data sets: how will redundant and end-of-life data be managed?  Are failsafe practices in place to permanently delete obsolete or proprietary data?  When should data be retained and archived as opposed to being destroyed?  If archived, where is this data held, by whom and for how long?

 Challenge 4: Choosing the right IT infrastructure

Regardless of where an organisation sits within the plan-build-operate lifecycle, the advent of BIM will force organisations to make adjustments concerning how they consolidate, store, manage and integrate large volumes of data. Increased bandwidth availability and higher performance hardware is one part of the equation.

Selecting the right collaborative software requires care.  Companies are advised to gauge the security credentials, scalability and responsiveness of the platform.

Challenge 5: Supply chain readiness

The top tiers of the industry are leading the charge with adopting BIM principles, but to many in the supply chain, BIM is considered an arcane concept, irrelevant to their daily jobs.  The challenge is how to bring the mass of the construction industry along, in order to truly realise the benefits of collaboration.

Challenge 6: Skills needed – Data Analysts, Engineers and others

The construction industry is increasingly a part of the digital economy, and as the need for data expertise grows, the industry will be seeking talent from the same pond as well-paid banking and pharma sector employers.  Another sobering note is that 40% of all Engineers registered with the ICE are aged 60 years or over, which brings the industry’s well known challenge of encouraging the next generation into the profession into sharp focus.

Discussed above are some of the challenges currently facing the adoption of BIM and Soft Landings across the industry and how Conject is addressing some of them.  What else can be done to take the next step in increasing adoption of BIM and Soft Landings to further speed innovation and all the benefits its brings?

To share your view on this topic, please add it in the comments section.

You might be interested in these related blogs:

Are you ready for Soft Landings?

The role of PAS1192-3 in optimising asset management

BIM demystified

About the author

Michelle Mason

Michelle Mason leads the UK and MEAP Marketing team, with far too many years in B2B marketing to mention. A CONJECT newbie, Michelle is eagerly climbing a steep learning curve.

View my LinkedIn profile:
http://uk.linkedin.com/in/michellemason04

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