European BIM for a world-class digital construction sector


The newly formed EU BIM Task Group outline how they aim to achieve a common and aligned European approach to develop a world-class digital construction sector…

Europe’s public procurers, policy makers, and public estate owners recognize the positive and transformative effect that digitalization brings to both public works and the construction sector. European nations are introducing programmes to encourage Building Information Modelling (BIM), as “digital construction”, with the common aim of improving value for public money, quality of the public estate and for the sustainable competitiveness of industry.

European BIM

Europe is now host to the greatest regional concentration of government-led BIM programmes in the world. Finland and Norway were the first to set standards, followed by procurement policies from the European Commission, the UK, Netherlands and Italy; and most recently joint government and industry initiatives from France, Germany and Spain. The newly formed “EU BIM Task Group” (co-funded by the European Commission) aims to bring together these national efforts into a common and aligned European approach to develop a world class digital construction sector.

The EU BIM Task Group includes a mix of public sector representatives, including public estate owners, infrastructure operators, policy advisers and procurers of currently fourteen EU member states including Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the UK. In addition, these public sector entities have nominated a number of industry advisers to contribute to the group. The steering committee includes (along with Adam Matthews as chair of the EU BIM Task Group):

  • Diderik Haug, form Norway’s Statsbygg state property agency;
  • Germany’s Ilka May, representing the BIM working group “planen-Bauen 4.0”;
  • Barry Blackwell, from the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS);
  • Benno Koehorst, Netherlands, Rijkswaterstaat (RWS);
  • Elena Puente, representing the Spanish Ministry of Transport;
  • Virgo Sulakatko, from Estonia’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.

The European Commission recently awarded the EU BIM Task Group funding for two years (2016-2017) to deliver a common European network aimed at aligning the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in public works. We will be communicating our ambition at conferences around Europe and holding a launch event in Brussels to grow our public sector membership and engage with industry. The lead coordinator for the project is the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) – however this is very much a pan-European team effort.

Adam Matthews said that: “As a group we believe that the public sector can show leadership across the union and ultimately help Europe develop a world-class digital construction sector – one that is open, digital and competitive.”

The group welcomes representatives of the public client and public sector, this can include industry representatives nominated by the public sector. If you would like to join, please contact

The focus of the Group

The focus of the group is to develop a handbook containing the common principles for public procurers and policy makers to consider when introducing BIM to their public works or national strategies. The handbook development will focus on procurement measures, technical considerations, cultural and skills development; and the benefits case for policy makers and public clients. Ultimately, we could set common targets and converge on how we think about BIM as a strategy for modernising the European sector. Mark Bew, BIM Task Group chair will act as technical lead for the handbook, while UK BIM Task Group member Richard Lane will be the project’s programme manager.

As the group’s main objective is to produce guidance in the form of a handbook, we will not be creating new or competing standards that could affect the work done by buildingSMART. The Group represents the public stakeholder interests relating to BIM and the public estate to national and international standards bodies, such as ISO, CEN and buildingSMART.

Why member states are collaborating

As public sector representatives, we don’t compete with each other. By sharing best practices we can go faster with our own transformation programmes and show united leadership to industry. Acting together will help to grow a more productive and competitive European construction sector that is digital, world-class, open and fair. Ultimately, this is what will enable us to take better care of our public buildings and infrastructure and generate greater value.

The Group is keen for people to connect with them, so please use the contact details below.

Adam Matthews


EU BIM Task Group

Tel: +44 7980 756 684


  1. We must ensure that the efforts of the BIM task groups don’t just concentrate on the easy wins such as getting BIM to be adopted by main contractors and consultants. BIM must engage the entire project team and supply chain so that sub-contractors and their supply chain partners can help deliver the benefits and efficiencies that can be gained through BIM processes. BIM models produced during the project must not just replicate the kinds of models produced by the consultants and must allow for fabrication and ordering information to be derived directly from the model. This information also needs to be freely exchanged between project stakeholders so that models can be coordinated and works sequenced between subcontractors under the direction of the main contractor.

  2. This is very good news indeed. Hopefully, the group will take the opportunity to review what’s happening across nations and focus on the changes required to allow innovation to flourish in the Construction industry i.e. 1. How to change the contractual roles, responsibilities and requirements to allow innovation to flourish
    2. But more importantly how to support those developing the information in the first place. Time to support the How movement!!!!!


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