PROFILE: BIM3 Initiatives launched by government – but what about BIM2?


    David Wigglesworth, Managing Director of UK Specification, a division of ASSA ABLOY UK, looks at BIM3 in terms of its objectives and likely levels of adoption…

    The government has launched its building information modelling (BIM) level 3 initiatives with a view to implement in 2025 and aim of improving data security and accessibility, scrapping paper contracts and driving infrastructure-spending efficiencies.

    Here, David Wigglesworth, Managing Director of UK Specification, a division of ASSA ABLOY UK, looks at the new level in terms of its objectives and likely levels of adoption, and how the global leader in door opening solutions is already on its way to achieving its aims.

    Government BIM task force chief – and BIM working group chair – Mark Bew said “BIM3” would bring every aspect of an infrastructure project into one central plan that each construction team member had access.

    Its predecessor, BIM2 must be used on a mandatory basis on all government projects from 2016. That means client, contractor and designer will be working from data-rich models – but in the current state, not necessarily the same one.

    What makes BIM3 different, and the 10 year journey the Government is taking, is it believes it will improve the design process further and make it even more efficient, so that the whole specification process, right from manufacturers will be able to feed straight into models and all parts of the supply chain will have better access to resources such as manufacturing data.

    According to Bew, BIM3 will allow a significant shift from traditional agreement forms to “much more transparent and paperless contracts.”

    Mobile is Key

    BIM as a concept has undoubtedly been bubbling under the surface for many years and the government acknowledges the challenges ahead to achieve BIM3, as an intense step up from BIM level 2 in terms of further moving away from the traditional contract forms.

    In addition, any future proof BIM activity must be accessible from any device, as more business is conducted by tablet and mobile technology.

    “You get people using quite complicated software in big machines which limits [accessibility] to a community of designers and engineers,” Bew said. “It needs to be accessed by anyone onsite or in the building via iPhone or iPad.”

    Bringing all the information together into one project file also improves data security. In effect in accordance with BIM3, data will be secure by design, and not an afterthought and additional resource.

    BIM3 will also improve the understanding of existing assets, which will “aid planning and forecasting around need”, said Bew.

    Building Physics, People and Traffic Flows

    Bew added that this would allow for improvements in the design and planning process through the better modelling of building physics, people and traffic flows.

    To translate this to ASSA ABLOY’s world, this is something UK Specification has adopted right from the start of its BIM journey, based on the amount of doorsets that can be used in a building and the impact on its daily use.

    Taking specification from this perspective, for example, can influence the door width of a building’s overall dimensions, flow of people through a building and ultimate safety and security of those people.

    Smart Future

    Looking to the future with the emergence of smart homes and intelligent buildings, Bew believes the data gathered from BIM3 will feed into the smart cities and services, already being developed in concept with Bristol being primed as the first smart city in the UK.

    “The aim is for construction to become much more focused on customer and community need rather than asset oriented,” he says.

    “So the asset is created for the provision of a service not the other way around. Once this matures it will enable us to control social wellbeing and the cost base of the nation.”

    BIM Adoption

    Whilst all this sounds enlightening and the potential of BIM3 is clear and highlighted by government to have a positive impact on the specification process as a whole, challenges over adoption remains of critical concern.

    For the most part, UK Specification still believes there is a significant requirement to demystify the objectives of BIM right from the basics of what it’s about and how it can really help the specification process. After all, it’s not described as the biggest cultural change in a generation by the RICS for no reason!

    BIM really represents not just a process or technological trend but also a culture change, caused by external forces i.e. Government and other groups.

    UK Specification currently offers to partner with specifiers architects, design led main contractors and property development companies, who we know are under increasing pressure to use BIM building practices (and will have no choice post 2016 for public sector programmes) to seamlessly adopt the principles of BIM in all aspects of building design.

    But we also go one step further, and offer over 60 of our own exclusive BIM doorset objects, carefully designed following significant research to deliver on specific applications.

    With this proposition, we believe UK Specification as a business division from ASSA ABLOY UK, can not only become a total provider of the highest quality architectural ironmongery and innovative doorsets, but also we can provide added value and knowledge of BIM practice, to level 2 and 3 to which we are already striving, together with the flexibility to engage with architects, design led contractors, property development companies and end users.

    For more information on UK Specification, please visit or join the debate on LinkedIn at

    Issued on behalf of UK Specification by ASSA ABLOY UK.

    David Wigglesworth

    Managing Director

    UK Specification, a division of ASSA ABLOY UK

    Tel: +44 (0)190 236 4060


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