This month we hosted a webinar discussing the importance of a National BIM Library in Australia. Find below my commentary and please do help us to identify the gaps and what is required when it comes to Manufacturers in Australia. To watch the webinar, click here.

In a region with little to no guidance and very little in the way of Standards, the Australian Construction industry has been confronted with confusion when it came to BIM. Industry here has seen quite a fast uptake of BIM or Digital Engineering across government but no consolidated national effort. There have been standards which have supported industry in some capacity but generally they’ve been a mismatch of international language, all brought together to confuse industry even further.

The use of BIM and its associated technologies is very much ad hoc here in Oz, and those companies who claim to be pushing ahead in BIM are generally those simply using 3D tools to develop their projects. There is rarely a push toward realising a maturity, or even better, an integration with the way assets are managed into their life cycles rather than how they are simply designed and constructed.

As we have seen in the UK, the BIM mandate has certainly driven productivity through a national mandate as it has not only supported government’s realisation of being more effective with the information they share and receive, but also the private sectors approach to BIM which enforces this ideology.

NBS have always been quite progressive when it came to offering solutions to integrate both BIM data into our models but also specification data as its historic role as a national specification body. Gone are the days where a word document is created and generally disjointed from the drawings, or models, and shared. This type of workflow we still see all over world causing large amounts of errors and issues with cross referencing data in models and then into the specification.

This is why it’s especially important here in Australia to address the way in which a National BIM Library or a library of components all put together with similar parameters to enforce a consistent methodology toward capturing project and component data. The NBS National BIM Library (NBL) in the UK has seen success in developing this platform not only as a resource to industry to support BIM related documentation, but also to provide a place for Manufacturers to be able to host and subsequently promote and market their products as BIM compliant.

The NBS BIM Object Standard acts to support this in a way that allows industry to add and remove the same or similar properties to components, classify them in a way where they are consistently managed and grouped, and then use their graphical and non-graphical data to document a project more intelligently. This process has been a great success in the UK, allowing those companies not using BIM tools or who lack the understanding the BIM process, the ability to up skill and learn the benefits of BIM and the benefits of hosting on the NBL.

In an environment where digital process is becoming now more and more relevant in Australia, now is the time to support the way in which a library resource can be used across both the private and public sector, all in line with the international standard ISO 19650 which was only released in December to support the consistent methods and processes. We encourage manufacturers to understand the impacts of ISO 19650 both for buildings and infrastructure projects and hope to see an uptake in the use or promotion of this platform in Australia.

We are gathering data on the importance of Manufacturer information in Australia as part of our work with the NBS, so please complete this survey to help us identify where to target our efforts and how to grow industry knowledge in BIM.

TAKE THE SURVEY The survey is now closed.