Digital Transformation & ChangeValidation of BIM by PwC for the UK Government

Validation of BIM by PwC for the UK Government

Benefits of BIM in infrastructure and real estate projects for the UK Government are multifold, as per a Task Group involving PwC and CDBB

PwC has been commissioned by Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) to develop a methodology to measure the economic value derived from using Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Building Information Model (BIM) is a process involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places. BIM Benefits Measurement Methodology (BMM) evaluated the actual impact BIM deployment has on asset planning, delivery and operation.

BIM and Digital Construction is an important part of the Government Construction Strategy: 2016-2020.

Barriers for BIM implementation

The UK BIM Task Group picked up two public sector projects, referred to as assets, one each from real estate and infrastructure for the purpose of this commissioning exercise. The group estimated the benefits of BIM realised on the completed projects. The assets picked were:

  • The Department of Health (DoH) headquarters, an office building at 39 Victoria Street, London
  • The Environment Agency’s Foss Flood Barrier, York

The group recognised the following potential barriers to the implementation of BIM existed:

  • The costs of implementation
  • Misalignment of incentives that lead to underinvestment in BIM
  • Shortage of ‘hard’ evidence of the benefits of BIM
  • Lack of practical guidance that can be used to assess and measure the costs and benefits of BIM

The aim of the task group was to address the last two of these barriers by developing a methodology that can be used to assess the realised benefits of BIM.

BIM benefits measurement analysis

The report published by the group highlighted the benefits across eight categories:

  • Time savings
  • Material savings
  • Cost savings
  • Health and safety
  • Risk reduction
  • Asset utilization
  • Asset quality
  • Improved reputation

While most of the benefits of BIM were open, there were a few that were implied. A benefits model of measurement was tested with projects across the Environment Agency, Department of Health and Ministry of Justice.

The benefits have been elaborated in the Benefits Measurement Methodology with the help of case studies and were noted as follows:

  • BIM generated savings equivalent to up to 3% of the whole-life cost of the projects
  • Over 70% of the benefit occurred during the operation phase, though BIM often than not attracts attention only during the design and construction phases
  • Benefits of around £430m per year could be achieved if applied to the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline
  • Use of the models to co-ordinate design and reduce on site re-work
  • Increased co-ordination of operations supports reduces the impact on the public and locality and enhances Health and Safety Planning
  • The application of BIM can generate benefits at each stage of the project lifecycle

The group concludes that BIM carries the possibility of delivering more improvements in operations beyond current outcomes. Moreover, it can support standardisation through the delivery of standard libraries.

One of the key contributions by the group was that the study helped wider digitisation in construction and operations management and create a platform to take up future Digital Built Britain initiatives.

The next phase of research has commenced and is expected to come to the market in the mid-2020s.

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