What does the new BIM Mandate mean for you?

by Dr Melanie Robinson | October 8, 2021 |  3 min read

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The Infrastructure & Projects Authority’s (IPA) 2030 roadmap was released in September 2021, with the purpose to improve services and outputs from the built environment.

There are five focus areas within the roadmap, one of which outlines how data can be leveraged to optimise the performance of our existing built environment. As part of this, the roadmap specifically outlines an updated information management mandate, 10 years on from the original. Whilst the 2011 UK’s BIM Mandate emphasised the potential role of BIM on centralised projects, adoption beyond its 2016 deadline faced some hurdles, resulting in a patchy uptake across the public sector.

The IPA has sought to address these barriers through the new, updated mandate – offering a more prescriptive direction for clients which focuses on broader information management.

Built Environment Model

The mandate sets out a new “Built Environment Model”, with one of the ambitions being to tie in the UN Sustainable Development goals with the UK’s built environment. The 17 goals aim to eliminate world issues such as poverty, infrastructure, sustainability and climate action.

The model, pictured below, aims to optimise construction to work with, rather than in spite of, the natural environment, while optimising services and basing decisions on insight and projected societal value. 

Who is the mandate for?

While the mandate from the IPA is set out for publicly funded projects overseen by the IPA, the roadmap also enforces the mandates set out in the Construction Playbook, a government guide to construction which is applicable to the entire public sector regardless of project ownership.

The playbook outlines, for example, that “contracting authorities and suppliers should apply the UK Building Information Management Framework”.

The objective of the roadmap is to delineate the “artificial separation between infrastructure and construction” – which itself drives the importance of setting out clear, structure information requirements regardless of project type and size. This should ensure that construction projects in the public sector are led by data and insights, with societal impact at the heart of every decision – regardless of whether they are roads, rails, pipes or buildings. 

What will the new Information Management mandate achieve?

With a wealth of centralised resources that have accumulated in the 10 years since the original BIM Mandate, we are in a much stronger position to inform the adoption of information management processes – including having new standards in place that are built on lessons learned from the Level 2 discourse.

With the ongoing development of the UK BIM Framework alongside the National Digital Twin Programme, the mandate comes at a time when there is a clear need for a centralised approach to align industry change – and the roadmap provides the overarching guidance on how clients can drive this industry shift.

Evolution of mandates

Rather than creating a single mandate as a one-off end goal, it is important for mandates such as this one to evolve as the technology and environment evolve.

For example, the new mandate also points to future developments – in particular, it highlights the creation of an “Information Management Framework”, which will ultimately tie the standards and processes governing digital twin development into the well-established but still evolving BIM and information management journey.

Understanding how this impacts you

The new mandate brings with it a revised focus on the value of developing and utilising information requirements ar an organisational level which has traditionally been neglected even where Level 2 BIM was adopted. This may represent a new hurdle in many clients’ journeys and put a lag into best practice performance.

BIM Academy is on hand to support clients using what they fundamentally do as an asset owner to inform their information requirements. We specialise in giving clients the tools to move forward and feel confident that they’re ticking all the right boxes – and we are already well versed in the new mandate and can help you to achieve compliance with ease.

If you would like further details on the mandate or to understand how BIM Academy can help you implement it, please contact Melanie Robinson at [email protected].