WSP Research Confirms BIM Revolution

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Research commissioned by the global engineering design consultancy, WSP Group, strongly suggests that Building Information Modelling, or BIM, has the power to revolutionise the construction industry, impacting all sectors, including buildings, infrastructure and industry.

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Throughout WSP we are embracing BIM, not just as a design tool, but as a completely new way of working which will change the way we do business in the construction industry.

Research commissioned by the global engineering design consultancy, WSP Group, strongly suggests that Building Information Modelling, or BIM, has the power to revolutionise the construction industry, impacting all sectors, including buildings, infrastructure and industry.

WSP’s report, ‘10 Truths about BIM’, is the result of in-depth research into how BIM is understood and being adopted by different sectors of the construction industry across the globe. “As a company at the forefront of introducing BIM into our work in the design and management of a wide range of construction projects, we wanted to take a step back to gain a complete picture of how others interpret BIM. We wanted to know how it is being adopted, where our clients see it going and what’s holding it back. Above all, we wanted to understand how we can help drive its development and acceptance across the industry,” said Paul Dollin, MD of WSP UK.

The overriding message from the research confirms WSP’s own view that BIM is a great deal more than a new technology. Paul explains: “Throughout our business we are embracing BIM not just as a design tool, but as a completely new way of working which will change the way we do business in the construction industry. However, change is not embraced by everyone and for the benefits of BIM to be realised fully, the industry will need the support of governments in addition to the private sector, and the broad cooperation of owners, designers, contractors and manufacturers.”

This message is expressed through the ’10 Truths’, as follows:
1) BIM takes design to the next level. Technological developments open up new avenues for design, and BIM is no exception. The 3D function enables complex shapes and the software’s ability to handle sophisticated calculations will allow structural engineers to push the boundaries with ever more daring designs.

2) The ‘I is more important than the ‘B’. Pretty pictures might impress, but it is as an information management tool that BIM software really shines. One reason for the slow take-up of BIM in the civil engineering sector is that the BIM community has so far focused on ‘building’ to the detriment of ‘information’.

3) The colour of BIM is green. Using it properly will cut project time and thereby energy use, as well as cost. BIM will reduce the waste of materials during construction and building management and eventually assist in sustainable demolition. Energy modelling can also minimize energy use over a building’s life cycle.

4) BIM will destabilise the construction industry. Unlike CAD, which computerized a single activity while leaving macro processes largely intact, BIM will change everything. There's no point attempting to implement BIM software throughout the industry with the expectation that things won’t change. They will.
5) Governments must actively participate. The benefits of working the BIM way only come with close collaboration. If one member of a project team is using BIM while the others continue doing things the old way, there will be limited benefit. To make the investment worthwhile, someone has to help break the stalemate. That someone is often the government.

6) Companies must work as one. Firms and disciplines working separately, interacting only through the exchange of construction documents just won’t do any more. BIM both enables and requires tighter integration.

7) Both the software and the professionals must work together. But simply working together isn’t enough – habits and routines have to be aligned in order to make cooperation natural. The software will need to be developed to allow seamless integration, and so will the attitudes of professionals.

8) New contracts will emerge. Both digitalisation and close collaboration challenge the prevailing system of intellectual ownership. There are two possible development routes. One is increased specialisation where ownership resides with modelling specialists. The other is consolidation into giant firms, as companies work increasingly closely, solving ownership issues.

9) The software platform is at a crossroads. The fight for supremacy in the software world rages on. Depending on the outcome of current power struggles, the digital environment in the new construction industry will conform to one of three types: open standard, closed and proprietary standard, or no/several standards.

10) BIM will become the DNA of future construction. When the system is sufficiently streamlined we can start to focus on using it. Once the basic information infrastructure is in place and we’ve learned to work with it, numerous technologies, in use or in the pipeline, can be brought in.

The report was produced by Kairos Future, who combined interviews and desk research with a statistical analysis of online media, including in-depth reading of 600,000 articles from around the world. ‘10 Truths about BIM’ is available from WSP by contacting Nicky Zapitis.

Further information from:
Nicky Zapitis, UK PR Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1256 318 812, Email: nicola.zapitis(at)wspgroup(dot)com

Notes to Editors:

WSP Group plc
WSP is one of the world’s leading engineering and design consultancies, with a global workforce of 9,000 people. The global design, engineering and management consultancy specialises in projects in the property, transport & infrastructure and environment sectors, and has permanent offices in 35 countries and project experience in more than 60.

http://www.wspgroup.com

Kairos Future
Kairos Future is an international research and consulting firm that helps companies understand and shape their futures. With a unique holistic approach to futures analysis, strategy, and change, we are a leading organisation in Europe in our niche. Our head office is located in Stockholm and we have local offices and close collaboration with partners in about 15 markets.

http://www.kairosfuture.com

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Nicky Zaptis
WSP Group Plc
+44 (0)1256 318 812
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