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10 STEPS TO BIM: How AEC firms can prepare for coming mandates

Over the last decade, Building Information Modelling (BIM) has transformed design and construction projects, helping to drive time and cost from the building process.


Governments around the world have noticed its advantages, and increasingly are mandating the use of BIM on public projects. For instance, by 2016 public projects in the UK will require fully collaborative 3D BIM. Other countries, including Brazil, China, South Korea, Singapore and the United States, have issued similar BIM mandates of varying scope, and the European Union recently issued a directive to its 28 member states recommending the use of BIM on public projects.


Here in the UAE, Dubai Municipality was the first to mandate the use of BIM for architectural and MEP works for all buildings 40 storeys or higher; facilities/buildings that are 27,871sqm or larger; all hospitals, universities and other similarly specialised buildings; and all buildings delivered by/through an international party.


The announcement also states that the decision to mandate BIM is based on the (proven) ability of BIM tools and workflows in improving construction quality, enabling collaboration between project participants across project phases, lowering cost and reducing time. It’s not just governments looking to BIM, however


. As the public sector mandates BIM, private industry has shown more interest in working with BIM-ready teams. Increasingly, lead contractors demand BIM on particular projects, even in countries where government mandates are not yet in the works. For example, Qatar Rail awarded the BIM services contract to Autodesk.


Under the terms of the agreement, Autodesk will provide BIM implementation, consultancy and advisory services to Qatar Rail, which is responsible for the design, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance of the entire rail network and systems within Qatar. Private industry wants to realise the benefits of BIM on projects, and it’s easy to understand why. BIM helps project teams explore designs before they’re built.


The intelligent 3D models and data that drive the BIM process make critical aspects of projects, such as coordination, communication and collaboration, easier. Better visualisation of projects speeds up approvals. The proactive sustainability analysis that BIM enables also reduces environmental impact. Making the move All over the world, design and construction firms that have yet to adopt BIM are planning their move.


Many of these firms worry that their ability to compete will suffer if they don’t make the transition soon. But some firms are also concerned that adopting BIM will prove difficult and disruptive. This could be holding them back, or leading them to over-plan their moves. At Autodesk, we’ve talked to many firms about how they successfully adopted BIM. While there’s no one right way, we’ve identified 10 common steps that help to both accelerate the process and reduce the disruption that can accompany change.