Who is governing BIM Level 2?

May 18

Who is governing BIM Level 2?

It’s been over 13 months since the original BIM Level 2 mandate came into effect. While there is no doubt in my mind, that the push from the government has had a positive influence on construction projects in the UK, I do wonder whether the majority of projects where a Level 2 requirement is mandated are actually achieving the deliverables and following the required processes.

I know from personal experience that this is not the case for all such projects. What is often described as a “Level 2 Project”, becomes a watered down version of an actual BIM Level 2 project.

There are a number of reasons why this may be the case; project budget, capability of suppliers and project teams or lack of management are but a few. However, this is not necessarily meant as a negative – working to the fundamentals of an open and collaborative design and construction process has greatly improved outcomes on many projects, but should Level 2 projects actually be fully fledged Level 2 projects?

The answer to this question must be a resounding – Yes!

So, are projects being certified, and has the government followed through on the mandate by ensuring that Level 2 requirements are being enforced?

The below is an extract from the NBS National BIM Report 2017:

“The government is not enforcing its BIM level 2 mandate just over a year after it came into force, according to over half of respondents to a BIM survey by technical information provider NBS.

The survey of over 1,000 industry professionals found 51% agreed the government had not lived up to the target. Only 9% believed it had.”

The official BIM Level 2 website suggests that the mandate is indeed in effect and that the majority of HM Government departments have already met the requirements:

“The majority of HM Government departments have already met the requirements for BIM Level 2 and the remaining departments are on target to meet the 2016 mandate. The task now is to consolidate and embed BIM Level 2 throughout departmental processes.

Whether or not certain projects have achieved a full Level 2 status, there is no way to prove this without being fully involved with the project, and even then – who is enforcing and certifying the requirements have been met? Do we need an accreditation system such as BREEAM where a certified assessor reviews and certifies projects?

This brings me back to my initial question; “Who is governing Level 2 BIM”. The simple answer is no one – although it is the responsibility of the team delivering the project to ensure that the requirements are met – there is no certification scheme to prove or verify Level 2 projects, as yet.

There is clearly a requirement for this and it opens up a number of questions such as; Who should be governing Level 2 projects? Who is liable if projects with a Level 2 requirement aren’t met? Should a certification and verification scheme be in place? Who is going to cover the costs for projects to be verified? And, do we really need to ensure projects are delivered to the exact requirements set out in the Level 2 mandate?

I shall be posting possible answers to these questions over the coming weeks and it would be great to hear the thoughts of my fellow industry professionals as to how we find solutions collectively to this challenge.

Ben Malone – Director, BIM. Technologies