“BIM, Digital Life and the Third Industrial Revolution”

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“It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin

Do you remember the ZX Spectrum? Commodore 64? Amstrad PC? Betamax and VHS? How things have changed! Then there is the internet, email, and the like. Facebook has 1.2 billion users, founded in 2004, vying for largest nation with China and India. Twitter with 500 million is larger than the USA. The world is our oyster thanks to 4G, smartphones, and online information 24/7.

This digital revolution is transforming our lives as individuals, industries and communities. Music is the most recent example where MP3s and iTunes transformed how music was produced, distributed, and sold.

Our lives have been digital for many years. Consider Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS), and handling of our banking and transactions. Using Big Data machines, corporations analyse our digital footprints to profile our spending patterns and lifestyles.

The reasons and drivers for our industry to move to digital – BIM and Common Data Environments – lie more outside than within! Across the Internet of Things (IoT) or Everything (IoE), all around us machines, objects and sensors of all kinds are communicating and sharing data.

16 billion devices are projected to be connected on the IoT by the end of 2014, 50 billion by 2020, and one trillion by 2040. This is why migration to BIM for our industry is absolutely inevitable.

All of the above things become possible; joining up buildings, assets and infrastructure, individually and on an urban, national and international scale. BIM isn’t about a single building or asset, nor just design and construction. It’s about how we live in the built environment and share and use information about absolutely everything.

This is a Darwinian moment for our industry. The First and Second Industrial Revolutions were about mass production. The Third Industrial Revolution is about the information economy – how digital industries are changing our lives. We trade, consume and use information/data all the time and we need to adapt both as individuals and businesses.

The 2016 Level 2 deadline approaches and in theory the target will have been met for some of the leading government departments. Outside of Whitehall the picture is very different as we all know. Supply chain and upskilling SMEs will remain high on the agenda for several years in achieving consistency of Level 2 adoption.

Simply implementing the 3D aspects of BIM, plus some data transfer in a federated CDE would represent a huge step forward. The benefits would be obvious in terms of less waste, higher quality and profitably. That’s a good place to start, but as an industry we have a long way to go to fully implement BIM Level 2.

And for next time…The CIOB BIM Handbook and UK BIM Level 2 – The 8 Pillars of BIM!

John Eynon is a writer, blogger and consultant. You can catch up with him at www.zenanddm.com

Check out his website at www.openwaterconsulting.co.uk

Open Water Consulting Ltd

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