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Brexit–a stroke of luck for BIM?

Eva Konrad
Freelance architect and journalist specializing in architecture

The British lead the way in construction efficiency


The goal of building information modeling (BIM) is to implement–and later operate–construction projects in a way that is easier to plan, more effective, and more cost efficient. The most important tool in this endeavor is a three-dimensional building model that all of the interdisciplinary stakeholders contribute to and develop further. In Europe, the UK has led the way in this field for a number of years, and following the Brexit referendum, it soon became clear that British construction firms and planning offices would find it more difficult to win contracts for European construction work. This in turn means that developing BIM is now more important than ever.

The British government invigorates the industry

In 2011, the British “Government Construction Strategy 2011” was introduced, with a view to ensuring that all public civil engineering projects were planned and carried out using BIM from 2016 onwards. The “Level 3 Building Information Modeling-Strategic Plan” followed in 2015, implementing a third BIM development stage and, from January 2016, a law was put in place making the use of two out of the three BIM development stages a mandatory legal requirement. For context, many other European countries have not yet achieved development stage 1. As such, the British have carved out a real niche for themselves, creating their own opportunities within the European market.

BIM as a response to Brexit

In light of Brexit, it is only logical that the British will continue to advance BIM, as their expertise will be more valuable than ever in establishing a firm foothold in the European construction industry. Should the third BIM development phase be introduced in the UK, working methods across the whole of Europe will benefit. So perhaps Brexit might be a stroke of luck for BIM after all.

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