Confidence in Building Information Modelling (BIM), but no confidence in its enforcement, is one of the sentiments to come out of the eighth National BIM Report from NBS.

For the first time less than a majority (47%) feel that the Government is ‘on the right track’ with BIM.

There’s no suggestion that the mandate was a mistake, or that the industry doesn’t agree with the ambitions to further embed BIM as ‘business as usual’, but it is the speed of this direction of travel that is increasingly the frustration.

“There’s no doubt that our industry needs to find better ways of working and the move to digital will be a major factor in how we get this right,” said NBS CEO Richard Waterhouse.

“BIM Level 2 is the foundation of this digital transformation, providing data structures, responsibilities and process and whilst this report looks at the industry’s current attitude to BIM, the industry will not stand still. Digital transformation will continue.”

Positives from the report show the biggest year-on-year growth on BIM usage and awareness since 2014, with a 12 per cent increase on last year’s results, helping other stakeholders to trust the BIM process.

And there are signs that those with the influence to help drive this activity are listening as industry has seen the revision of the CIC BIM Protocol based on industry feedback, the BIM Level 2 suite of standards and tools is being revised and the Centre for Digital Built Britain has now been created.

Although 70 percent of respondents call for more standardisation of BIM the report does indicate that an increasing number of respondents are using PAS 1192-2:2013 (44%) and Uniclass is gaining strong traction with just over a third now using the classification system.

Mr Waterhouse continued: “Adhering to standards is one way to demonstrate good BIM practice. One example of how the UK is helping to shape the global BIM world is the development of ISO 19650, Parts One and Two, which are being developed in partnership with the global community to ingrain a standard method of working internationally – a great example of how the UK is pushing ahead internationally and more examples are highlighted in the report.”

BIM is more than the production of 3D models and collaboration is more than reducing coordination problems on-site through clash detection at design time.

The next stage of the BIM journey must focus on both the information generated from the models and the information linked to the models. For this standardised information, structures must be followed in terms of the objects in the model and linked data sources such as project specifications.

NBS will continue to work with partners in the industry to help set these standards.

Dr Stephen Hamil, Director of Research and Innovation at NBS, said: “Emerging technologies are continuing to provide new opportunities. The move from desktop to cloud computing will be a game changer in terms of collaboration, performance and transparency of decision making.

“Future transformative technology will build upon this this foundation, helping us to create a step-change in productivity and quality within the industry and NBS can and will play a part in this journey.”

The 2018 report had 808 responses from a range of large to small practices and organisations carrying out a range of project types. The largest group to respond were architects (33%) with architectural technologists, BIM managers and technicians, clients, contractors, civil, structural and service engineers, surveyors and landscape architects all represented.

To read the full report visit

The origins of NBS lie in the National Building Specification and for over 40 years NBS has developed and produced NBS products which support the built environment.  NBS specification products cover construction, engineering services and landscape design. More recently NBS has developed an integrated BIM platform that has been designed to support global design and construction.