The future of BIM for surveyors

by Kishore Machnoor | October 23, 2020 |  3 min read

The future of BIM for surveyors
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There is much debate across the surveying sector on the use of BIM and how it can generate greater efficiencies throughout an asset’s lifecycle, and none more so than the discussions coming out of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

In July this year, RICS published The future of BIM: Digital transformation in the UK construction and infrastructure sector, which provides insight into the progressive implementation of the BIM in the UK, charting the continued development and transition of standards to the ISO series.

The paper states that traditionally, surveyors have employed technology to design and manage the construction process, but now, asset surveyors are increasingly realising BIM’s potential to create efficiencies throughout the project life cycle. BIM not only allows the sector to offer innovative solutions to small and large scale problems, but also supports stakeholders in setting out new and efficient methods of working that are capable of creating and adding value.

To realise such efficiencies and make strategic decisions in the surveying sector, professionals need to understand exactly what technology can offer in terms of BIM implementation and how they can use the latest digital technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), data analytics and Blockchain to benefit their projects.

To what extent BIM is incorporated on a project or an organisation is predicted by stages of information management and following the process of the ISO 19650 standard.

Leaders in the surveying profession can accelerate their transformation by identifying change agents from across the business to be part of the business transformation function.

The report continues to say surveyors should think of the solutions to their problems which can add value to the project and helps to make strategic decisions before starting on the project.

A key part of industry 4.0 is digital data. What we mean by this is when data is accurately analysed, from design to operational stages, efficiencies based on cost and time can be achieved which will reduce errors throughout the project life cycle.

Technology used on the project cannot identify the present state of the BIM, but the process of information management can identify the stage of the BIM where AI, IoT, Big Data, Blockchain, Machine Learning, etc. play vital roles in increasing the efficiencies needed and managing them in a digital process.

I believe that we have a substantial amount of information, technology and ideas as an industry to promote the use of digital opportunities to manage a built asset throughout its whole life cycle, but there is a lack in skills, which needs to be addressed. Greater collaboration is needed between education and industry. There is a fear that new graduates lack the understanding required for these types of technologies, and particularly how they are applied in the built environment.

New skillsets in the application and use of AI, IoT, Data Analytics, Blockchain, etc. is required for our industry. This will only come, however, when the universities review their professional courses to ensure the competencies are satisfied to implement digitalisation in the 4.0 revolution.

The key aspect here for surveyors when delivering the client information is to make better use of advanced technology, which will allow them to increase project efficiencies and offer a more effective decision-making process.

The paper concludes that it is essential surveyors understand the current BIM framework within which they operate, and the technologies that can not only support them in their role, but also provide the client and end-user with the information they need in order to better manage their assets.

The full paper was published in July 2020 and authored by Thomas Dowd MRICS and Dianne Marsh MRICS of Liverpool John Moores University.