buildingSMART Australasia (bSA) believes that Australian governments would be better positioned to achieve policy outcomes by adopting Building Information Modelling (BIM) and related digital technologies and processes.
In recent years governments at all levels across Australia, have committed to significant policy targets regarding public construction, emissions reduction, procurement transparency and value for money public assets. Yet achieving these targets remains a vexing problem for most jurisdictions because of the lack of adoption of transformative technologies that would enable such targets to be met. In some jurisdictions the disconnect between the policy targets and the mechanisms to achieve them are great, making them difficult to achieve.
However things do not have to be this way.
The technologies necessary for government to deliver on their local, state, national and international policy commitments in many instances already exists.
This is the case with BIM (Building Information Modelling) that conclusively shows in the UK, Singapore, Norway and other countries to be a major public policy enabler. Specifically the adoption of BIM and other digital engineering technologies enables:
- Lower cost public buildings and infrastructure.
- Reduced carbon emissions from buildings and infrastructure.
- Delivery of public projects as promised (on time, on budget and to the expected standard).
- Transparency and accountability in government project decision making.
- Improved construction industry productivity and labour market improvements including in safety.
- Improved operation and maintenance of public assets.
- Harmonisation of information across departments and agencies leading to better records and reporting associated with public assets.
- Removal of reliance on software houses now and in the future for Government organisations.
- Transitioning of workforces from obsolete industries (e.g. Australian car manufacturing and brown coal power generation) to 21st century digital industries.
The clear benefits of BIM in helping achieve policy targets have also focused consistently in Australian government reports and policy documents:
- Productivity Commission – Inquiry Report into Public Infrastructure – July 2014 (Recommendation 12.5).
- Infrastructure Australia – Australian Infrastructure Plan – Priorities and reforms for our nation’s future – February 2016 (Recommendation 10.4).
- Queensland Government – State Infrastructure Plan – Part B: Program – March 2016 (Implementation Action 15 and Opportunity 10).
- House of Representatives, Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities – Report on the inquiry into the role of smart ICT in the design and planning of infrastructure (March 2016).
Therefore buildingSMART Australasia (bSA) advocates that all Federal, State, Territory and Local governments:
1. Adopt collaborative BIM based on open standards for information exchange (commonly referred to as Open BIM) throughout the procurement of all public buildings and infrastructure from July 1, 2017.
2. Establish performance measures to ensure that BIM is being used effectively on public projects and meeting set policy targets with reporting to the relevant Building or Infrastructure Minister of any failures in adoption.
3. Establish a joint government and industry rapid-response taskforce (perhaps a function of the new Australasian BIM Advisory Board) to deal with any barriers to the adoption of full collaborative BIM that Governments might experience.
4. Identify exemplar public projects that can be used to demonstrate the effectiveness of BIM adoption such that prospective private building owners and developers will understand the benefits of BIM services and products.
Click here to download the Meeting government policy objectives through the adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM)