The UK BIM Alliance supporting the communities by coordinating collateral and knowledge.

Martin Penney, Director at Technics Group, BIM Liaison for The Survey Association, Acting Chair for Survey4BIM Committee and Member of the UK BIM Alliance Transition Team, outlines how the organisations are working together for the development of BIM in the UK…


Under the Digital Built Britain initiative, the government’s BIM Task Group is moving on to Level 3 development. This means that from October 2016 the UK BIM Alliance will take up the mantle and stewardship of Level 2 leadership. This will provide the umbrella network and support for the BIM4 Communities, Regions and aligned industry organisations to achieve the widespread adoption and implementation of BIM Level 2 by 2020 – with “business as usual”.

As a result, the wider industry will realise the true benefits of BIM – with reduced costs and waste and increased productivity and competitiveness.¹

The UK BIM Alliance will support the communities by coordinating collateral and knowledge. At the same time, the communities will continue to support industry in the digital transformation of the built environment sector.

Survey4BIM – an Alliance BIM4 community group

Survey4BIM represents one of the Alliance’s BIM4 community groups. A cross-industry geospatial community group open to all, it aims to provide leadership, collaboration and guidance on our shared BIM into Practice journey.

By enabling the survey industry to leverage the BIM process and the various enabling software, it will allow it to fully engage in the whole life-cycle data stages of built environment assets and help reduce waste, rework and delays and allow efficient ongoing asset management.

The key challenges

In addition to the guideline paper “Survey and Digital Plan of Works” (published in 2015 to provide a roadmap of client- supplier interaction throughout an asset lifecycle), the Group has also identified the industry’s BIG5 Key Geospatial challenges in order to be able to appropriately Data Enable BIM.

These challenges are; Accuracy, Meta Data, Interoperability, Level of Detail and generalisation. If we are able to understand these issues and ensure their definition and application within the BIM process, it will help to realise the true industry value of digital collaboration and engineering.

In addition to the BIG5 Geospatial challenges, one of the bigger issues is how to communicate and engage with such a broad and dispersed community, to mobilise the skills and experience that already exist. At the same time, we want to develop ways to provide the education and skills in the community to understand and adopt the BIM process.

What the survey industry can offer

The service offering from the survey industry to the BIM process is clear. As geospatial experts, surveyors are critical for the planning, supply and due diligence underwriting of spatial data for the built environment sector, throughout the asset lifespan.

By using this expertise, clients can leverage the cost efficiencies of the BIM process by having the right quality data at the right time and place; balancing the differing needs of design, build, ongoing as-builts, along with operational asset maintenance updates.

Where we are today

The UKBIMA, TSA and Survey4Bim are looking at these core areas of knowledge transfer and aim to work with the survey community to address the BIG5 and other challenges. We know that it is not a quick fix, which is why we will keep those involved updated.

The TSA will be publishing details of the Survey4BIM AGM, due to be calendared for the end of October/beginning of November. We look forward to seeing you there. ■

¹ (Anne Kemp, Director of BIM Strategy and Development, Atkins. Quoted in CIOB BIM+ emagazine June 2016.)


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Martin Penney

Director at Technics Group

Acting Chair for Survey4BIM committee

BIM Liaison for The Survey Association

Member of the UK BIM Alliance Transition Team

Tel: 01483 511 061

Twitter @TechnicsGroup




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