After the Mandate | A Level 2 BIM Discussion

Construction Manager Magazine and Bluebeam host a BIM roundtable with AEC Industry thought leaders.

The adoption of BIM within construction projects remains a hot topic worldwide. The process has been inconsistent to say the least, leaving some companies wondering how to become compliant, if they should be compliant, and how to effectively incorporate BIM into their build plans. And BIM has become even more of a point of interest within the United Kingdom: On April 4, 2016, a BIM mandate was passed by the government stating “all centrally procured public sector projects will require the implementation of BIM at Level 2.” Recognizing the potential in this crossroad for the industry, Construction Manager Magazine and Bluebeam teamed up to host and present a roundtable discussion with some industry thought leaders and project champions to gain some unique perspectives surrounding the topic.

Mark Norton, Fred Mills and James Chambers

The discussion was moderated by Construction Manager Editor Denise Chevin and was curated by CIOB Key Account Manager Tom Peardon along with Bluebeam’s Sasha Reed, with the hope that the complex layers of BIM and BIM implementation could be peeled back by the group to create a progressive dialogue that would ultimately benefit the UK AEC community. Discussion topics included the integration and standardization of technology, the benefits of using PDF as a standard document format, the overall reaction to BIM adoption in the UK, contract requirements for BIM compliance, and the value of idea-sharing within the industry. Nigel Davies echoed the general sentiment of the group when he said, “We’re talking about the same issues, regardless of the size of the practice. We’re all dealing with the same issues.”

Despite the obvious concerns expressed among the group, a layer of optimism permeated the room with the reminder that BIM adoption is a process that just takes time. “Going forward, I think you might take a step back and look back at some of the foundational and fundamental things,” said Bluebeam’s James Chambers.

‘Knowing that the next mandate for BIM level 3 is going to be 2020, it gives people confidence and hope that there will be time to change or evolve, which will impact some lessons learned and what can be improved in the process. People are going to start seeing success stories behind [BIM adoption] and start to believe in it more.’

James Chambers, Bluebeam Inc.

However, Reed sees an urgency behind the BIM Level 2 framework. “It creates a very unique environment here, where you have the infrastructure pushing the industry towards digital collaboration.” And SpectrumAEC’s Nathan Wood stresses collaboration as the key for moving forward with BIM. “There’s so much technology and BIM enabling this to happen, but until we feel comfortable sharing the knowledge between our peers, I think we will be stuck in a roadblock. The final barrier to adopting BIM is not technology; it’s us.”

Invited guests included Mark Norton, Head of BIM for ISG; Nick Leach, Head of BIM for Multiplex Construction Europe; Gary Fannon, Project BIM Manager for Willmott Dixon; Fred Mills, Director for The B1M; Shaun Farrell, Associate Director for Turner & Townsend; James Chambers, Bluebeam Sr. Account Services Manager; Sasha Reed, Bluebeam VP of Strategic Development; Nathan Wood, Chief Enabling Officer for SpectrumAEC; and Nigel Davies, Director, Evolve Consultancy. Image courtesy of Construction Manager.

For an in-depth summary of this groundbreaking discussion, please click here.