If, like us, you have lots going on and little time, then you need information quickly; distilled, curated and ready for review. When delving into the world of Building Information Modelling (BIM), finding a reading list that quickly jumped to the heart of the topic was a frustrating task. There were curated posts already out there, but they often formed long, exhausting lists, littered with dead links. To help readdress this, we decided to choose only six links for this piece, which we've sub-divided into background reading, where to go for the latest developments and finally the organisations that are doing overarching work around BIM uptake.
Before we begin, we should list some caveats up front. Firstly, this is predominantly for the UK construction market. BIM is, of course, already being adopted worldwide, but as we are UK-based, we felt it best to approach the article from this angle. Secondly, this is - of course - by no means an exhaustive list. Depending on what level of BIM understanding you already have, this post may be too top-level for you, or indeed include too much information for what you’re looking for. Third, and most importantly, a big aim for this post is to help aid BIM adoption. We’ve all heard how the UK lags behind on this front, so this is for those who also feel that more could be done to deepen our understanding of BIM as part of our jobs, or who need others in our businesses or wider circles to better understand BIM themselves. These are some of the sites that we constantly refer back to, whether that’s educating our team, researching latest developments from the key players or understanding who’s fighting the good fight. Happy reading and we hope you find this useful.
This website lives under the Chartered Institute of Building umbrella and serves as a perfect one-stop shop for news, information and thought-pieces related to BIM. We constantly refer to the now well-known 'Wedge' BIM maturity diagram developed by Mark Bew and Mervyn Richards featured in the 'Explaining the levels of BIM' feature from 2016, which provides an exceptional level of clarity as to the levels of BIM and how each corresponds to the to tools used on a construction project. The site also features a useful 'BIM Basics' section for those new to the subject, along with plenty of in-depth features for those already up to speed and keen to delve into the subject in greater depth.
'The Wedge' BIM maturity model, developed by Mark Bew and Mervyn Richards. Image permission kindly granted by BIM+
Produced by the NBS, the National BIM report is now recognised as 'one of the industry’s most comprehensive reviews into the use of BIM’. The report - now in its seventh year - is an insightful snapshot of BIM and current uptake, along with in-depth case studies and analysis. If there is a naysayer sitting high within any big construction firm about the uptake of BIM, these reports should go a long way to countering that view. Any business case for the trial and use of BIM can look to use this report as supporting data.
Table from the 2017 National BIM Report using statistics from their user survey
3. AEC Magazine
Chances are that if you work anywhere that has anything to do with BIM, this will already be a reference source - and with good reason. This magazine provides a great mix of industry information and technical advancements. Of particular note is the case studies section, which provides real-world examples of the application of BIM within the construction lifecycle. Essential reading.
4. The B1M
If you like your content visual, then the B1M should absolutely be a first port-of-call. As a video channel solely dedicated to the construction industry, you can find videos on a vast array of current topics - from case studies to advanced technical insights - and everything in between. For the complete beginner, their BIM for beginners section is a fantastic starting point, covering all the need-to-know subjects, such as terminology and levels of maturity, 4D, 5D and 6D BIM and videos dispelling the top myths relating to the subject.
Full transparency-mode on. We have successfully integrated our Lobster Vision platform with Synchro models and used their very helpful team to develop our API to deliver ‘as built’ comparison with the 4D model. As one of the main players in BIM, Synchro strive to push innovation within teams and projects using their platform. Their blog has some great material, and their recent Amsterdam Conference provided some great insight as to how companies such as BAM and Skanska are delivering projects on time using BIM.
6. The BIMstitute and BUILDINGSMART
We’ve heard The BIMstitute speak at a number of industry events and their talks always serve as a great barometer of where we are on the uptake of BIM in the UK. Their mandate is clear: they are a not-for-profit organisation that helps educate and support industry leaders with digital transformation. They are passionate about the update about BIM and whilst the website itself isn’t a knowledge resource, it does provide a good overview of what services they provide to help in the advice, implementation and support of BIM across the industry and multiple infrastructures.
BuildingSMART is an international alliance of businesses and organisations that aim to improve efficient delivery of built assets. Central to this is an open-data policy and a BIM community dedicated to the improvement of digital information flows through the lifecycle of a built asset. Borrowing from the open source school of thinking, this approach to countering silo-thinking and the update of digital and BIM using shared good practice honed by other businesses shares the same DNA as the BIMstitute (hence us including these two organisations under the same umbrella), with the same aim to drive digital adoption in the industry. It is also worth noting that they provide a very useful BIM maturity tool, which helps measure the maturity of different aspects of BIM adoption. It’s found here.
Would you like to know more?
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We’d also recommend checking out the following blogs and websites: