BIM myths: six common misconceptions surrounding building information modelling


Andy Butterfield, Product Certification Director of Built Environment, BSI debunks six BIM myths and notes its importance in the construction industry

Recently, we’ve seen an increased awareness of BIM (Building Information Modelling) within the construction industry. Organisations are starting to recognise the need for faster, more efficient delivery of infrastructure or building projects. There has been more take-up from smaller businesses and SMEs who wish to demonstrate their capability, however, some construction companies are still failing to understand how BIM fits into their organisations. Here I dispel some of the myths surrounding BIM to help those organisations starting out on their BIM journey.

1.       BIM is just for main contractors or Tier 1 organisations

This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s vital that all organisations are prepared for BIM – not just the larger companies. All organisations must be able to demonstrate their BIM capability to be considered for publically procured projects. In addition, main contractors that wish to better manage their supply chain will require sub-contractors to demonstrate their capability to deliver projects using BIM.

2.       BIM is just for government projects

While the government framework in the UK has definitely encouraged the need for BIM, it doesn’t have to be for government projects alone. Achieving certification for BIM Level 2 for construction and design can give organisations a competitive advantage when it comes to private projects. The benefits go beyond public sector projects – BIM is a collaborative way of working that uses digital technologies to enable more efficient methods of design and construction, ultimately driving out waste and inefficiency for organisations.

3.       BIM is far too complex for my organisation

BSI has developed a number of training courses to help raise awareness and ensure that BIM is embedded within each organisation – and to help break down the complexities surrounding the topic to make it as simple as possible for organisations to get on board. These courses are fully aligned with government and industry requirements, as well as the relevant BIM standards.

4.       BIM is just 3D modelling


While the 3D model associated with BIM is an interesting part – it’s not the only one. BIM is all about collaboration between engineers, owners, architects and contractors in a three-dimensional virtual construction environment. It allows design and construction teams to communicate about design and coordinate information across different levels, enabled through technology. While process and technology are an important part of BIM, the right culture and behaviour are also essential for ensuring organisations are BIM-ready.

5.       BIM won’t be around forever

BIM has been high on the agenda for the global construction industry for some time now. In fact, the influence of digital technology on the built environment is only going to increase, and BIM is an important aspect of this new world. The UK government previously mandated that by April 2016, all government building and infrastructure projects should be PAS 1192-2 compliant which demonstrates how important this is to the industry. For those companies looking to gain competitive advantage, reduce outgoings and work more efficiently, it’s vital to get on board to ensure that it becomes ‘business as usual’ for the construction industry.

6.       ‘BIM Level 2 compliance’ is achieved by adopting one standard

BIM Level 2 does not mean the adoption of one standard. Clear evidence of this is the comprehensive suite of seven documents developed to help the construction industry adopt BIM Level 2. Free to download via they address different requirements from the design and construction phase to the management of the asset. Embedding and adopting standards achieves far greater weight externally through third-party certification. BSI assessors who understand the standards can confirm these have been interpreted correctly and companies are adopting them as intended. BIM is no exception, and BSI has been working in collaboration with industry to shape certification solutions that support one of the BIM suite of standards, PAS 1192-2, looking at the capital delivery stage (or design and construction phase).

BSI’s solutions currently include BSI Verification for Design and Construction, designed to validate a companies’ ability to deliver BIM projects, and the BSI Kitemark™ for Design and Construction which builds on verification and also evidences a companies’ BIM maturity and project delivery.  The BSI Kitemark also looks for measurement and monitoring of client satisfaction and effective supply chain management, wherever a company may be in the supply chain.

Uptake of both solutions has been significant, even though they have only recently been launched to the market, indicating a clear need for reassurance and validating competency of companies working in collaboration to deliver effective digital solutions for their clients.

Andy Butterfield

Product Certification Director of Built Environment

BSI Group



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