Alex Small, BIM and Digital Platforms Manager at Tata Steel highlights the challenges of implementing BIM for an industry largely made up of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Within the construction industry 98% of building product manufacturers fall within the SME category, with over 17,000 employing less than 10 people. Facing an ever-changing climate affected by evolving legislation, Government initiatives, global finances and construction trends; SMEs therefore have limited flexibility and funds to invest in the latest practices and technologies.
This is particularly pertinent when considering BIM adoption. From the end-user viewpoint, the NBS National BIM Report for Manufacturers concluded more than 71% of the design community respondents need manufacturers to provide them with BIM models. Saving essential time and highlighting any technical issues within the design stage, BIM offers tangible supply chain benefits.
However, when surveying non-BIM users, the NBS report found 50% deem BIM too expensive to be considered ‘at the moment’ and are ‘very worried about being able to afford BIM’.
But for a sector built upon the contribution of thousands of SMEs should this be a surprise? Requiring vast quantities of time, effort and manpower, not to mention the additional training to fully understand their BIM responsibilities, creating BIM objects for even a small product portfolio can be a costly venture.
Lexicon should go some way to simplifying this process. However, the initial upfront investment is large and when considering the nature of SMEs, who make up a large base of the construction industry and have smaller budgets, less manpower and free time – will BIM ever be adopted by the whole sector?
Discussing the barriers that need to be overcome for BIM to be implemented throughout the supply chain and ensure BIM Level 2 is a reality by 2020, Tata Steel will be hosting a live webinar with panellists from the BIM4M2 and several industry leading construction representatives, on Tuesday 27 June 2017 at 12.30pm.
Entitled, ‘The construction supply chain cannot realistically deliver BIM Level 2: Discuss’, the webinar will ask:
- Is the current complexity of BIM compliance too much of a burden?
- Is BIM too expensive?
- What role should Government, trade associations, architects, developers and large manufacturers play in making BIM more accessible for SMEs?
To share your views, please visit to register for the webinar here.