UK, September 29, 2014: A team led by NBS, owned by RIBA Enterprises, has won the £1 million Technology Strategy Board contract to develop an online BIM toolkit.
The award follows a two stage competition to examine the feasibility of the project, which will deliver the final two elements of the standards and guidance being provided by the UK Government. This free-to-use BIM toolkit will make available a digital plan of work and a classification system which incorporates definitions for over 5,000 construction objects at each of the delivery stages throughout the life of a built environment asset.
The NBS team, that includes BIM Academy, BDP, Laing O’Rourke, Microsoft and Newcastle University, conducted an in-depth research programme with the industry to test its proposals for a free-to-use digital BIM tool that will capture, validate and store information based on the publicly available level 2 BIM standards.
A series of working prototypes have been produced which include a cloud computing demonstration harness and an IFC verification tool. The bid includes a commitment to complete Uniclass 2 which will be developed as the UK’s unified classification system based on international frameworks.
Level 2 BIM, which the government is mandating by 2016, is made up of a number of components, as defined by the BIM Task Group. Many of the standards and guidance documents have already been developed; now this project will deliver the final two pieces of the jigsaw. With the UK market for BIM-related services estimated to be an annual £30bn by 2020 and UK-based firms already exporting £7bn of architectural and engineering services, taking a leadership position in developing BIM will provide strong potential for further export growth.