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  • Foto del escritorJim Mills

Australia is in love with BIM and you should too

Countries all over the world are adopting Building Information Modeling (BIM) as a standard in their infrastructure projects. In our latest article, we talked about how different parts of the world are more and more adopting this methodology that has proven to increase productivity while reducing costs. Because of that, governments are directly promoting BIM through programs and legislation.

Globally, the United Kingdom is leading this transition simply because they have had a mandate in place since 2016 requiring BIM in every public project. Other governments in Europe and North America have followed this example and expect to fully implement BIM by the end of the decade.

The Australian Government is a strong promoter of BIM

Why BIM is so relevant to the authorities? Well, according to the RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia) , the construction industry accounts for 7,4% of the country’s GDP. So if you have a visual database that can be used for that specific activity that integrates every stage of the process, even operation, then everyone pays attention. The UK’s Government Construction Strategy Paper (2011) aimed to reduce build costs by 20% by implementing BIM, and it delivered.

Although there is no national BIM mandate in Australia, the government has major plans to promote it. The Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities released a report in 2016 that urged the government to become an advocate for BIM. Two out of 10 recommendations of the report directly related to this matter (6 and 7). That led to the publication of guidelines recommending the adoption made by local authorities. Examples of this are the Queensland “Digital Enablement for Queensland Infrastructure (Principles for BIM implementation)”, and the Victoria “Digital Asset Strategy”, both published with the purpose of standardising the use of BIM in local projects.

The largest and most important infrastructures being built in Australia are using BIM. Some of them are:

  • Royal Adelaide Hospital Project;

  • North West Rail Link;

  • Sydney CBD light rail early works;

  • Perth Children’s Hospital;

The private sector is also encouraging it

In that context, three organisations are playing a key role in promoting BIM: Australasian Procurement and Construction Council Inc (APCC), Australasian BIM Advisory Board (ABAB), and the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF). They came together to release technical documentation on how to carry out the implementation process successfully. It is available through the NATSPEC portal, an NGO founded by The Australian Institute of Architects dedicated to improving construction quality and productivity.

The challenges

Why has BIM implementation taken longer than in other countries? At larger scale companies, BIM is almost fully adopted. On the contrary, the implementation on smaller businesses is low. What has to be considered to keep moving forward?

Something to keep in mind is BIM literacy. There is a 0-3 scale that identifies levels of BIM. Most Australian companies are currently in Level 1, which means that partial collaboration is expected, but each professional involved in a project keeps working on their own model because there is not a single database for it. There is still a long way to go from there. Level 2 expects that all stakeholders share at least a central database. Maturity has yet to be reached.

The other crucial challenge is that small and medium companies do not have accurate systems to measure the increase in ROI (return on investment) after implementing BIM. If people are not aware of the direct impact of BIM to their finances, there is less commitment to support the implementation.

Even so, BIM transition is happening right now. The government and many influential organizations are advocating for it. Crucial infrastructure projects demand it. Implementing BIM in your company in Australia is just a matter of time. Not being able to calculate the accurate effect of BIM on the company’s ROI does not mean is not increasing. You can choose to take a step forward and lead the way. Biminglabs can be your guide in the process.

Specializing in precast concrete design, Biminglabs is an American-based BIM Services company with offices in Uruguay. Its team is composed of architects & engineers specialized in precast concrete and modelling. Their work is based around BIM modelling but goes even further by delivering drawings and every other data demanded by the client, adapting to their standards. The team’s experience adds up to more than 20 years of offering BIM solutions to precast concrete companies, modelling projects in Australia, the US, and Canada.

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