So, Green Deal & ECO implementation is in sight. January is upon us and the programme that will look to improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s existing homes and buildings has almost arrived.

But what next? Carbon reduction programmes are ever evolving and now the no small task of improving the costs and carbon associated with Government build programmes. Step forward Building Information Modelling (BIM) – another exciting programme which according to a lot of the material I have seen, has actually been in existence since the 1970s. It would just appear that nobody knew about it, wanted it or needed it!

Government will require 3D BIM on all its projects by 2016. The objective: to deliver a 20% reduction in costs and carbon associated with these projects. Four years seems a long time away but already the signs are there that being BIM ready will become a part of the specification process a lot earlier.

BIM requires everyone in the supply chain to work together and share information. But what I have noticed from the events I have attended is that success relies heavily on the adoption from product manufacturers. Without this, buildings run the risk of just being designed on generic data. In our world, where it is often misconceived that because its PIR foam and foil facers it all does the same thing, BIM offers true opportunity to add value and competitive advantage to the supply chain. And of course, in principle it should make it a lot harder for products to be substituted for a lesser performing option.

BIM can be as straight forward or complex as you wish to make it. An element of BIMwash is already upon us. There are several ways of getting BIM ready but for which of the four available formats and for which products and systems and where do I host them are just some of the obvious challenges. The advice is to avoid BIMWash. There is no harm in not being BIM ready now; the key is to know how and when you will be.

And one final thing, BIM’s success relies on data. And data, which will only ever be supplied by the manufacturer. But nobody will be policing the data. Therefore any project using BIM objects must always check that the data includes details of third party verification. If not, from the start, the BIM building could already be underperforming -increasing costs and carbon. Or in other words, doing the exact opposite of what it is intended to do.

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