A team led by buildingSMART Product Room member NBS has won the £1 million Technology Strategy Board contract to take forward development of the Digital Toolkit for Building Information Modelling (BIM). The BIM toolkit has the potential to transform the procurement of buildings and infrastructure by defining and testing the BIM data required at each stage of the project.
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 workshops and focus groups were held with leading manufacturers, clients, project managers, designers, constructors and operators to ensure that the design of the toolkit satisfied the cross-industry need.
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.
The project, which is being supported by the BIM Task Group and Department for Business, Innovation & Skills is seen as a vital part of the global race to develop an open standard and supporting tools for BIM adoption.
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.
The NBS is committed to offering distinctive, innovative specification and information solutions to construction industry professionals.
They have produced specification products for over 40 years, including the recognized national standard specification system for the UK. NBS specification products cover building construction, engineering services and landscape design.