Australian government must become a BIM advocate

Countries around the world are seeing the benefits of greater BIM adoption. It's time for the Australian government to begin similar measures here.

The time has come for the government to lead the way forward with building information modelling (BIM). Without the right measures in place, Australia will fall further behind more proactive countries - which are enjoying their head starts in the journey towards a more advanced design and construction industry.

A key strategy is implementing requirements for the use of BIM on future government projects. By doing so, the Australian government will not only see the benefits of BIM firsthand, it will also help advance the industry nationwide, ensuring it remains competitive on a global scale.

BIM around the world

Mandates for the use of BIM in certain projects have been transformational. Over in Singapore, many organisations are eagerly implementing BIM in post-construction stages of asset lifecycles - a significant sign of maturity with this system. This is a trend we're seeing in other nations in the Asia-Pacific region: More experience leads to greater capabilities and a wider range of benefits.

It's no secret how other countries have built up their BIM abilities; government leadership played a major role. In Singapore, for example, the government had a multistep plan for this development. Around 2010, they incentivised and provided the industry with funding for training, hardware and software necessary for higher levels of BIM adoption. As a result, the industry was ready for the government mandate that came out in 2015 - all new projects over 5,000 square metres must be submitted for approval as a BIM model.

Singapore is far from alone. The United Kingdom recently instituted its own BIM requirements, calling for 3D BIM models as part of the Government Construction Strategy, according to the UK BIM Task Group. Russia, as well, is now exploring its BIM options. Beginning in 2019, all projects commissioned by the Russian government must use BIM, according to a September 14 announcement by Mikhail Menn, minister of construction, housing and utilities.

As these countries join others with their own BIM requirements, it has become abundantly clear that the Australian government has a decision to make - encourage adoptions of the BIM methodology or continue to lag behind.

Industry demand in Australia

The government could not be facing a more receptive sector when it comes to any potential BIM mandate. At an October 6 forum in Sydney, Consult Australia found that 71 per cent of survey respondents feel that the government's current BIM procurement is below average. Even more significant, not a single respondent rated the government's BIM procurement capabilities as good or very good.

This shows there is room for improvement, but the government could play even more of a significant role in BIM adoption. In Redstack's Special Report: BIM in Australia, we found that 80 per cent of survey respondents believe the government should mandate the use of BIM on at least some projects.

The majority of respondents also noted that a BIM requirement on government building projects would have either a neutral or positive impact on their businesses, believing that such a move would lead to better standards, consistency, timelines and supply-chain integration.

The government's responsibility

The sector in Australia is primed for action; it just needs the guidance and support that will accompany requirements that have been seen in other countries.

At the moment, with hurdles tied to financial and skill-level concerns, the industry is a little reluctant to change their existing processes to do something they're not familiar with. However, if the Australian government were to take a proactive approach to BIM, it would help organisations around the country join their international contemporaries.

With leading experience in BIM, Redstack is an optimal partner for such a mandate. To learn more about our BIM services, contact us today.

More information on BIM

BIM is providing significant advantages for projects of all sizes and purposes, as well as for the organisations that implement it. Learn more about Building Information Modelling at our BIM website:

Contact us today for further assistance with implementing BIM in your organisation.


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