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This report for the Scottish Futures Trust is produced to allow the SFT to better understand Scotland’s position in the international area of BIM realisation, and provides recommendations for both policy and implementation. The report studies twelve countries globally and introduces a new comparative matrix: the ‘Ease of Integration Index’ (EOI Index), comparing Policy, Economic and Governance factors, to better explain the development of BIM policy and implementation in twelve countries across the world. The report also gives an overview of digital innovation and practical examples of opportunities and challenges facing the construction industry as digitisation transforms society. The report is the first output of dotBuiltEnvironment's 'policy' stream. See
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A Digital Future
Our built environment is going through
a remarkable if not revolutionary
transition towards sector digitisation.
Across the globe we are witnessing many
programmes of reform, often underpinned
with new digital and innovative working
practices, from mandates to pilot studies
we are moving towards a world where our
physical and digital environments interact.
Data and digital connectivity is becoming
the dierentiator of the 21st Century
construction organisation producing
insights and optimising the whole asset
This report helps us understand the
activities that are happening across our
globe from BIM to Digital Engineering and
gives us valuable understanding of how
digital is being applied across industry and
what lessons we can learn in the forefront
of this adventurous data age.
Chair, Scottish Futures Trust BIM Working Group
Executive Summary
This report examines the BIM policy of key
countries around the world. It examines a
trio of policy, governance and economic factors
in these countries to dene the eectiveness
of BIM implementation. We then examine BIM
level 2 and the current direction of travel that
digital policy is taking in the wider international
BIM has been the rst wave in a rising tide
of digital innovation policies aecting the
built environment sector around the world.
Principally forming the functional backbone
upon which wider goals for cost reduction,
greater transparency and sustainability sit, this
movement has expanded from design focussed
standards to encompass a number of digital
innovations that improve or revolutionise the
digital management of the entire lifecycle of
every type of built asset.
Lead Author: Henry Fenby-Taylor, Chief Operating Ocer
“What’s important to me is the ‘why’ question. We should always be able to say in plain
language what the purpose of our policies are. More than ever, industry and policy
needs to rise with the tide of innovation and technology and not be dragged out to sea
Economics Lead: Neil Thompson, Chief Executive Ocer
“There are key socio-economic factors that inuence the eectiveness of policy. I wanted
to look beyond the typical examinations of BIM and take a much more holistic overview
to understand the context of the successes and failures of dierent BIM policies”
Researcher: Tom Bartley, Network Stream Lead
“Digital innovation is shaking up industry. We need to ensure that the coming changes
support society and the needs of future professionals”
Education Lead: Alex MacLaren, Chief Communications Ocer
“Scotland has a proud heritage of trailblazing scots leading British innovation, from
technical invention to strategic economics. Embracing BIM adoption is the next major
opportunity to transform a sector by applying that same entrepreneurial spirit.
Standards Lead: Daniel Rossiter, Integrity Ocer
“The UK has formed a sturdy foundation. However, the hard work isn’t over as there are
plenty of lessons to be learnt from other international pioneers as well as innovations
from the next generation.
With the UK economy mobilised to an
unprecedented degree to meet the new
challenge there exists a signicant opportunity
to capitalise upon this momentum. To this end,
we have examined key international players
in the global BIM market to understand the
governance, economic and policy factors which
have created an international market to lead
the world in dening new ways of building the
This report recommends the creation of parallel
BIM and digital innovation policy streams in
Scotland with associated, but separate vehicles
for the development of policy in these distinct
areas. The emphasis for each being upon
generating eciency and enhancing the
economy of Scotland. BIM policy will focus upon
implementing BIM level 2 and Digital Innovation
policy will create a policy that enables Scotland
to respond to emerging technologies eectively.
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Going digital, Scotland already demonstrates leadership in digital design and construction.
The Kelpies are a great case study for digital construction techniques and computational design.
Scotland has the opportunity to capitalise
on its unique position in the world. Other
governments have implemented BIM and
Scotland is primed to take advantage of the
existing knowledge, lessons learnt and its
unique innovative character to ensure that the
BIM policy that it implements competes on the
world stage.
Scotland’s proud heritage of invention and
innovation has spanned the centuries and the
whole gamut of human endeavour, from sport
to steam engines. Scotland has always been a
leader and the opportunity to take a leading role
exists again today in an international economy
where automation and computerisation
permeate to every level.
The UK government has supported BIM as
an engine for growth for both the domestic
delivery of built assets and the export of
products and services globally. The suite
of standards that dene BIM Level 2 for the
2016 government mandate have enabled an
industry championed reinvention of the digital
processes which control every aspect of the
building process.
We are writing this report on behalf of the
Scottish Futures Trust who have been tasked
by the Scottish government to provide value
for money across public sector infrastructure
investment. Therefore the emphasis of this
report is primarily upon saving resources
to apply to new projects and enable the
maximisation of value for money for the whole
life of built assets.
This report caters to a number of requirements
that are in line with the .be aims and objectives.
It is open, honest and written as far as possible
in plain language. It draws upon the best
advice available for the creation and use of
policy in combination with our own extensive
experience of this area. This report will equip
policy professionals with the understanding
of a successful BIM and digital innovation
policy as well as how to ensure continuous
We have found the UK and USA are opposing
factors in the literature review. Aggregation
of citation mapping shows that the research
is distributed 45% (EU) 20% (USA) 35% (rest
of the world), [Keywords building information
modelling (and modelling) and Virtual Design
and Construction.]. Our hypothesis is that
UK based institutions (such as CIOB, RICS, ICE
and BSI et al) provide a platform for standards
globally and their inuence is seen in most of
the countries studied, apart from the USA as
they tend to avoid UK based standards and
Interestingly, the USA does demonstrate a
higher level productivity (approximately 10%
more per hour worked) than the UK (Bank of
England 2013). However government policy
is very dicult to implement on a national
level in the USA, but their market approach
to innovation has generated the likes of
Google and Tesla. This highlights the benets
of supporting entrepreneurialism policy over
mandating requirements and regulation.
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There have so far been no studies into BIM
that look at the implementation of policy
and its wider context. This makes comparing
dierent countries highly tentative. We have
looked wider as BIM is only one aspect of any
government’s overall strategy for the built
We have observed that studies compare
BIM implementation irrespective of each
country’s unique economic and governance
characteristics. For example, the comparison
of the health systems between the UK and USA
would not be meaningful without comparing
these characteristics.
Vertical and horizontal assets
are intermediary goods. These
intermediary goods are enablers
for other areas of the economy.
They allow doctors to practice in a
hygienic environment, they keep
the trains running and they allow people to access
the internet in their homes and on their phones. It is
hard to imagine a world where construction is not of
primary importance to the growth of our economy
and the smooth running of our society.
Policy can only ever be as good
as the governance environment
that it exists in. Governance
metrics are used to measure the
general eectiveness of policy
implementation in each country.
Overcoming the risk of corruption and vested interests
result in policies that serve the needs of the government
and the stakeholders that the policy covers.
Eective policy rollout is measured by the rule of law
index which reects that governance is carried out
according to the rules, that property rights are respected
and that the judicial system as a whole is supported.
The creation of BIM
policy and the support of its
rollout into the marketplace are
signicant in measuring the success
of BIM. The scope of the policy
and the measurement of success
enable those that must implement
BIM into their working practices to
plan, resource and execute the requirements. In the
UK a clear identication of the pillars of BIM alongside
which state actors must procure BIM has been made.
The best BIM policies are under frequent review and are
inherently measurable. Where evidence based changes
to the policy based on a sound understanding of the
cause and eect of the policy implementation exist then
not only can the policy achieve its intended goals, but
it can continue to develop and grow the eectiveness.
A high BIM policy score indicates that governments
have indicated a well scoped BIM policy that covers the
lifecycle of built assets from inception to redevelopment
Ease of Integration
The Ease of Integration Index (EOI Index) is a
mathematical variable unique to this study and
is dened by comparing countries economic
and governance data with their BIM policy.
The index demonstrates the ease in
which policy can be executed for a
particular country.
Policy, governance and
economy scores were
weighted to normalise
signicance, weighting
and the data’s own unique
Policy data was created
through an examination
of each country’s BIM
implementation policies. For
further details see Table 1. Each
factor was then assigned a factor
based upon its relative signicance
for a successful BIM implementation.
Governance data was created using the
world bank governance indicators. Data
sets used include Government Eectiveness, Regulatory
Quality, Rule of Law & Control of Corruption. This data is pre-weighted to a global mean which creates an
inherently comparable data set.
Economic data was derived from world bank data sets. The Gross Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) was the
most signicant factor given that it is a measure of the creation of xed assets such as infrastructure and
buildings and therefore is the economic factor most closely linked to the built environment.
Infographic 1: The Ease
of Integration Index
We describe the economic and governance
factors that impact the implementation of
a BIM policy. Countries have been selected
for review that are archetypal of a certain
method of implementation, or that have some
specic economic or governance factors that
mark them out. This enables a comparison of
which economies and which governments
have the capacity to implement BIM the most
eectively. This is encapsulated within the ease
of integration index.
The greater spend per person on such intermediary
goods as construction then the more inuential a
BIM policy would be in protecting the government
High economic scores in our EOI Index indicate
an intermediary focussed economy that has the
capital available to invest into infrastructure
development. Low scores indicate lower
investment in intermediaries which challenges the
cost/benet of investing in BIM.
Governance of market activity is dicult for
established economies due to their decentralised
nature and promotion of free markets. However
stringent control of market activity harms
A high governance factor indicates that countries
are perceived to work in the interests of society and
be independent of the inuence of special interest.
BIM requires a change in working practices that
requires a rm hand at the wheel for the policy
direction balanced by a strong and transparent
engagement process with the stakeholders.
that these administrations have taken responsibility
for the policy and have clearly set out their plans
through the creation or empowerment of an
organisation that is responsible for implementing
BIM. In the UK this has been the BIM Task group.
To gain the highest score there has been evidence
of a strong engagement with industry and the
wider community both in the development and
the roll out of these policies. That input from these
stakeholders has been sought and integrated
into the ongoing iteration of the policy. BIM is
a complex undertaking and the utilisation of
industry expertise is central to making the policy
t for purpose and to meet its objectives.
Communication, through the appointment of well
respected leaders that have been elevated to the
appropriate level to speak on behalf of the policy
makers ensures that sucient credibility is given
to the policy.
The factoring system designed by the Ease of Integration Index accounts for
the economic, policy and governance scores derived for each of the actors
BIM policy is the most signicant factor in the EOII. A territory that has less incentive
to invest in BIM owing to a low investment in infrastructure with a well realised
BIM policy will have a higher score than a state with a lot to gain and a poor policy.
A realm’s governance score is the second most signicant factor in the EOII. A
nation with a high capacity to implement and enforce its policies will naturally
perform better with a less well realised BIM policy than a nation that nds it hard
to turn its policy into reality. Large federated governing structures that have
governance siloed into a greater number of hierarchies across a wider population
have greater diculties developing nationally implemented policy than smaller,
more central forms of governance (such as Norway).
A nation’s economic score is independently the least signicant factor in the
EOII, however it underpins the concept as a means of realising benets from a
BIM policy. The exception being the derived factor for government investment in
infrastructure. Those that spend a large amount of their revenue on infrastructure
have the most to save and therefore the most to gain from BIM.
A key nding of the report is the need to unify the
objectives of policy, SMEs and large businesses.
There is an undercurrent of entrepreneurialism found in
the industry globally as millennials enter the management
arena of small to large enterprises. These individuals are
more likely to take an active role in seeking and capitalising
upon new and innovative techniques. This has the
capacity not to just provide incremental improvements to
the economy, but to enable entirely new services in the
form of startup SMEs. These organisations act as a bottom
up vehicle for change for all countries studied. Once these
innovations Larger organisations are best placed to scale
these innovations.
Government Eectiveness
Regulatory Quality
Rule of Law
Control of Corruption
Ease of
Governance Economy
Ease of
Large rms have the most capacity to implement
complex administrative activities while smaller
organisations, being inherently agile are capable of
rapid changes in working practices. Large organisations
can be relied upon therefore to be able to drive
strong quality assurance and governance for the
implementation of large infrastructure projects.
Conversely, there is an undercurrent of SME
entrepreneurialism that acts as a bottom up vehicle
to implement change for all countries studied, their
capacity to ferment change at a wider scale is the key to
ensuring the success of the recommendations.
Government policy in BIM is largely focussed upon
cost savings for its capital expenditure. States must
ensure that there is sucient rigour to the BIM
policy ensuring that transparency and consistency
of delivery is assured to deliver such cost savings.
Meanwhile enabling innovators (particularly SMEs) to
develop new and potentially revolutionary techniques
that could have signicantly greater cost saving
potential in a shorter space of time than the iterative
process of improvement that underpins a BIM policy.
We must prepare for change.
The Ease of Integration Index puts Singapore and
Norway in rst and second place. Both countries have
a high GFCF making BIM a worthwhile investment,
they also both demonstrate strong governance and
a policy implementation that is well communicated,
supported by government and detailed.
Scotland and the United Kingdom are third and fourth,
this is thanks to the wide scope of BIM level 2 which
covers a greater number of the built environment
lifecycle and thereby has more opportunity to add
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Country Policy Political
Support Standards Standards
with Industry
Future wise
and benets
Scotland In Progress Central Inherited Holistic High National High
National +
Industry +
Late Majority Stage 1 High potential to
lead digital policy.
Mandate Central National +
Departmental Holistic High National High
National +
Industry +
Academic +
Innovators Stage 2
UK Lead Standards,
also a focus on
States of
Mandate Agency GSA Institutional +
Agency Design Low Institutional Medium
+ Industry+
Innovators Stage 2
Lead COBie / Maturity
Measures, but only
implemented in
design phases.
Germany In Progress None None - Low Institutional High Institutional Late Majority Stage 2 Industry 4.0
France In Progress Central None - Low Institutional High National +
Institutional Late Majority Stage 1 Little progress
Brazil In Progress None None - Medium In Progress Low National Early Majority Stage 1
None, but
used for
Central Inherited Holistic Medium Inherited Medium National Early Majority Stage 1
Norway Government
Mandate Central National Design High National High National Early Adopters Stage 2 Eective governance
Mandate Central National Design High National Medium National +
Institutional Early Majority Stage 1
Singapore Government
Mandate Central National Design High National High National +
Institutional Early Adopter Stage 2 First BIM Planning
Australia No Mandate State Institutional Design Low Institutional Low State Late Majority Stage 1
There are four key groups of actors within the
implementation of BIM at the international
level. Those innovating and early adopter countries
have the greatest resources that can be capitalised
upon by other countries implementing BIM.
Central Governments have the most authority
to drive top down change, with their support and
leadership they are pivotal in ensuring national
compliance. They must balance this requirement
with the need to ensure that business remain
Future-sight scores indicate how relatively early
or later policy makers engaged with BIM. In order,
Innovators, Early Adopters, early Majority, Late
Majority and Laggards. Innovators benet from
being the rst to reap the benets of BIM.
Early Majority and Late Majority have the
benets of learning from those that came
before, but miss out on the early benets: as
seen in the Rogers Innovation Curve below.
Innovators Early Adopters Early Majority Late Majority Laggards
Membership Institutions including professional bodies
and research associations are responsible for ensuring
that their members are well informed and able to navigate
the professional world. Their knowledge and connections
with academics, industry and governments make them
excellent communications and knowledge sharing
Academics provide impartial integrity to methods of
analysis and standards development that ensure that they
are developed with due regard to the wider knowledge
Industry are responsible for delivery. Those who have
an ongoing role implementing BIM operationally and
strategically must be utilised to spread knowledge further.
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In order to implement BIM it is helpful to know
what we mean by BIM. The earliest references
to BIM indicate some sort of intelligent
modelling within computer software to
simulate a built asset before it is built physically.
Over the years BIM has become saturated
with not only dierent technologies that also
assist in this development process, but it has
come to encompass an ever wider group of
stakeholders, technologies and processes.
BIM as a term has also spread in from design
tools for buildings to include every aspect of the
built environment sector from masterplanning
at one end of the project lifecycle to asset
management at the other.
The pervasive inclusion of diering meanings
under the umbrella of BIM is confusing to even
the most experienced practitioner and pains
have to be taken to avoid miscommunication,
hence the anecdotal BIM maxim The more you
understand about BIM, the less you use the
As was found with the British standards, the
initial policy that dene BIM Level 2 was perfect
for creating a direction of travel, but has been
expanded as a series of standards with distinct
requirements as a response to the existing
and developing expertise created by these
In a conversation about BIM now, we could
just as easily be talking about advanced laser
scanning and reality capture techniques as we
could about the process of bringing together
animations and dynamic cost saving analytics.
BIM policy focuses upon the processes required
to achieve iterative cost reductions in the
delivery and management of assets. Digital
innovation however is a term that is gaining
ground within the sector and beyond as a
means of identifying those developments that
Planen-Bauen refers to the German initiative
and company with the task to create a
national platform which regulates, promotes
and incubates research and innovation, and
drives the market implementation of BIM in the
German construction Industry.
This initiative will harmonise German standards
in line with EU CEN and ISO standards for the
production and management of construction
information and assets. This will also enable the
creation of standard data sets for infrastructure
projects as these are the rst that will
The initiative is not mandated across Germany
and the public sector is also very fragmented
this has been identied as a barrier to the
success of this initiative. It is suggested by the
drivers of this initiative that a mandate would
make implementation more successful.
Planen-Bauen 4.0 will create the need for
a mandated government policy on BIM in
Germany. This will either lead to a creation of
German national BIM standards or the adoption
of ISO and EU CEN standards.
Digitisation of the construction process that
outputs data in a format that can integrate into
the Industry 4.0 initiative which aims to digitise
multi industry practices through machine
learning. This will also create data which can be
shared openly to contribute to the Open Data
initiative that is taking place across the world.
Planen-Bauen 4.0 is an eort to achieve
standardisation within the German construction
industry and ensure that digital techniques and
outputs are used and generated respectively
during the construction process to cultivate
improvements and integrate into the Industry
4.0 initiative.
While the Planen-Bauen initiative currently
focuses only on manufacturing, there is an
initiative to include construction within its
The Singaporean government’s BIM policy is
a state wide mandate, incentive and support
scheme focussed upon vertical assets led by
the Building Control Authority.
Their mandate has phased in, originally
buildings over 20,000 sqm were covered by
the mandate and a over a period of three years
this has reduced to 5,000 sqm in line with their
Those required to implement BIM are eligible
for a grant of up to £15,000 per project
three times for the purposes of hardware,
software, training and consultancy. These
funds are unlocked by compliance with their
BIM standard execution template and by the
inspection of a coordination meeting by the
There are a number of centralised support
documents, training and qualications available
that upskill the built environment sector. BIM is
applied to contracts in Singapore through the
appending of pre-written conditions available
from the building construction authority.
The incremental approach beginning simply
and with large projects is the recipe for
Singapore’s success in this study.
have the power to disrupt and fundamentally
reshape the market. Digital innovation, explained
in greater detail later, is required to unlock the
signicant cost savings that BIM with its iterative
and low risk approach can achieve only gradually.
BIM and digital innovation are signicantly
dierent in their scope and their means of
policy delivery. Therefore, in parallel to a BIM
policy focussing upon gradual change, a digital
innovation policy centred upon the changes to
the economy that will provide revolutionary cost
reduction should be examined.
BIM & Digital Innovation Planen-Bauen 4.0
Singapore BIM Policy
Open Architecture
14 15
BIM Level 2 was developed in the wake of the
nancial crises of 2007-2008. It was seen as
a means of achieving more for less and value
for money in terms of whole life costs. Similar
to ‘Business Intelligence’ in terms of the private
sector, the government took the lead on
developing smarter ways to surface information
in order to make better quality decisions. This
has been a broad success as an implementation
of policy. However, the original policy had been
perceived as being building focussed, omitting
the fundamentals of infrastructure. This led to
a misalignment between asset classes in the
standards developed by the BIM Task Group.
Internationally, BIM is perceived as
‘buildings focused’ (vertical assets) and in
its conception omitted the fundamentals of
infrastructure (horizontal assets). This has
led to a misalignment of BIM as a policy and
scal policy as the UK government focuses on
its National Infrastructure Plan and vertical
asset investment is placed into maintenance
over new builds. Lessons learnt from previous
construction policy challenges have resulted
in policies that focused on the contractual
arrangements of procuring construction
services and the organisational structures of
large infrastructure projects (such as the 2012
London Olympics and Crossrail).
British Standards and Pillars
Only a few countries internationally succeed
with the regularity of the United Kingdom
in exporting their standards to europe and
the international market. This world leading
capacity is borne out by a combined approach
involving research organisations, industry
bodies, technical experts, and government
representatives. The UK BIM standards
mandated by the BIM policy are a large part
of the brand of BIM Level 2 and the process
of developing them for international export is
well underway. This is in large part thanks to
the comparatively well developed UK National
Standards Bodies and the extent of the built
environment’s eort in developing these
The UK has a strong history of creating national
standards thanks to the strong government
and industry support given to the BSi. The UK
was the second country globally to establish
their national standards body. The BSi has
had considerable success abroad including
the implementation of a number of the BIM
60% of the current ISO membership are
developing countries. However, their
formation of national standards is often
hampered by a lack of established research
organisations and industry bodies to create
such standards. Therefore such countries
frequently rely on international standards.
With the ongoing forces of globalisation at
work across the economy, the importance of
these international standards becomes more
signicant to overcome technical barriers
to trade. The export of BIM Level 2 abroad is
therefore a key tool in the suite of UK rms
seeking to increase their international trade in
products and services.
Engagement with the industry has given
rise to a large body of expertise available
from the BIM4communities who share the
knowledge of discipline or sector specic BIM
implementations. This has enabled the far
reaching BIM policy to be accessible to a wide
stakeholder group. BIM Level 2 then has been a
rising tide that has raised all ships. Collaboration
and adversarial business practices brought
about by the poor relationship to risk present in
the sector have been addressed and the inertia
for change has been overcome.
There are aspects of the BIM Level 2 standards
that require further development and this
iterative approach to the development of the
standards has given rise to standards covering
important aspects of BIM implementation that
are not present in other international standards
such as the management of information
exchange and information security.
Technical capability exists more readily
within the design of vertical assets that have
worked with an elemental design process
as architectural products have become
increasingly modularised. Horizontal assets
on the contrary are rarely designed with the
same tools that have enabled key information
creation and delivery aspects of BIM that are a
core aspect of BIM for vertical assets.
BIM Level 2
16 17
BIM Level 2 Standards have mobilised tier 1
contractors and designers, but has failed
to cascade to every tier of this complex supply
chain. Opacity exists between the stipulations of
policy and their implementation. The complexity
of the standards and the language and diversity
of understandings surrounding the meaning of
BIM has limited its market penetration and led to
resistance in disciplines and sectors that do not
identify with the term ‘building’.
Those that have led the way are now responsible
for ensuring that their supply chain can respond
to their requirements, this is a trend that should
be supported. However, BIM Level 2 still oats
at the senior level of many organisations with
penetration into the operational activities of the
supply chain and client team growing.
This is because their is a diversity of understanding,
the variation of BIM denitions causes resistance,
therefore the most appropriate solution is to
split up those areas that have formerly been
known as BIM and to create specic and distinct
areas of improvement for the sector where BIM
success has been limited, then by locating and
leveraging experts in those areas then the diverse
opportunities can be realised.
An example is between buildings (vertical assets)
and infrastructure (horizontal assets). Although
their information transfer protocols should be
identical, their technical dierences in design
protocols mean ontologies dier. Although the
Digital Built Britain sets out a plan to do this in
stage ‘Level 3b’ .
This does highlight a misalignment in
the mobilisation of BIM and government
investment plans. The National Infrastructure
Plan signals a focus on infrastructure
investment of scal policy (Government
spending/nancing) over the capital delivery
of vertical assets. Furthermore, departments
are also experiencing a budgetary shift from
larger singular spends on capital projects to
smaller, more iterative whole life cycle based
However, this is not a criticism of the UK
Government BIM Strategy as the foundations
of its strategy were before these shifts in
focus. This provides a great example of why
policy does require a level of exibility in
mobilisation and highlights the importance
of separating vertical and horizontal with
consultation needed from each discipline.
The image to the right is analogous of the
point made here. The nodes and chips of this
circuit are the vertical assets, and observe that
they are connected by the copper circuits, the
infrastructure. They are both part of the same
system that is serviced. This shows that the
information system needs to be standardised
between the two, however there is a technical
dierence between the infrastructure and the
node and chips at require individual focus.
Without an integrated information
system, there will be little opportunity for
automation. The autonomous machines in
this graphic represent the opportunity to
implement Industry 4.0 techniques. Lastly,
the cost of implementation will be reduced
if eorts from vertical and horizontal assets
are integrated, facilitated by government as
exemplar clients.
18 19
As part of the progression of this report,
a knowledge sharing event was held by
Scottish Futures Trust with key policy leaders
from around the world. This knowledge sharing
event looked to examine lessons learnt, areas of
success and areas for improvement.
In summary the workshop concluded that the EU
Task Group should be a focal point in terms of
a benchmark for excellence as European Union
Procurement Regulations will play a role in
standardising the industry.
For process and technology it was advised to
provide standard templates with a focus on open
modes of development.
The workshop included the comparison of the
following aspects of BIM adoption by each of the
- Maturity of programs.
- Understanding of the domestic market.
- Research activities.
- Strength of mandate.
- Pilot projects
- Published guidance
- Innovations within programmes.
Through a workshopping activity the policy
makers were able to establish those aspects of
BIM implementation that require the most eort
against those that produce the most outcomes.
Topics surrounding clear communication were
identied as the most impactful including
clearly communicating the reasons for doing
BIM and how to measure the eectiveness of BIM
BIM Knowledge Sharing The conclusion of the workshop outlined 5 bold
steps for making digital working simple’:
1. Link asset information requirements with
operational metrics.
2. Adoption of BIM to be proportionate .
3. Benets to be understood and measured.
4. Clear pipeline of Government BIM projects.
5. Keep guidance simple / utilise what already
These points are reected in the main
conclusions of this report.
Attendees included representatives from:
High Speed 2
Australian State Government Victoria
British Standards Institution
Enterprise Ireland
Northern Ireland’s Central Procurement
Construction IT Alliance
Environment Agency
University of Technology Sydney
EU BIM Task Group
University of Glasgow
Planen bauen 4.0
20 21
Digital Innovation
Digital innovation is typied by a certain brand
of Californian entrepreneurialism that applies
new technological approaches to every aspect
of our daily lives by going back to basics and
building simple solutions to smaller, more specic
Digital Innovation Policy has two principle
challenges. Firstly, it is impossible to test new
innovations and decide their worth as they are
released. Change and invention now happens at
such a rate as to make this unfeasible. BIM level 2
and the standards that have underpinned them
have been in development since at least 2007
and are now t for purpose in 2016, this was a
proactive policy that saw a need and addressed it.
On the other hand, an example of reactive policy
development is Uber (a digital platform for taxi
hire) where governments across the globe are
desperately seeking ways to adapt their policies
to balance the needs of their existing taxi services
and the protection of consumers.
The fact of the matter is that what seems like an
unassailable institution to us can suddenly change
in ways that we can’t foresee. This can be hugely
disruptive and damaging to the economy in the
short term as the transition to the new technology
takes place. So the horses of the Hansom Cab were
replaced by the black cab and so too is the fare
meter being replace by mobile phones and their
The second challenge facing digital innovation
policy is that it is unhealthy for the economy to
insist upon the use of a named technology. There
are various directives that prevent this, but even
in principle it is a poor idea. The moment one
technology is mandated, it becomes obsolete.
As a result the procurement options surrounding
this new process narrow, damaging competition
and innovation. There is a middle ground
between policy that is so prescriptive that
nothing unexpected can be achieved on the
one hand and creating an open pot of money
for would be inventors to dip their hands into
the public purse to pursue their whimsy. This
middle ground requires an understanding of
the policies that have successfully navigated
these waters.
The objectives for construction policy are a
reduced capital and operational cost of assets as
well as increased sustainability and usability of
the built environment. The framework around
which these can take place are the following:
Industry 4.0
The incorporation of all the technological
developments and digital disruptions are
leading what many trumpet as the fourth
industrial revolution. Industry 4.0 employs
cyber-physical systems (incorporating
physical products, virtualization, decentralised
computing and robotics) to facilitate mass
customisation. This will give end users much
more control over the physical systems they
purchase, in design, procurement, use and
disposal, it will also let suppliers become
much more exible and responsive to evolving
Circular economy
Whereas in a linear economy, where once
an object is no longer required, or ceases to
function it is discarded. In a circular economy,
that object is owned by a service provider who
is then responsible for recycling or repurposing
of that object. It builds the foundation for the
delivery of ‘X as a service’ business models.
Eciencies are generated by a change in
emphasis for consumers from ownership to
access. This enables the providers of a service
such as street lighting to be able to control and
manage the disposal as well as the installation
of new lighting xtures, leaving users to enjoy
brighter streets at night and providers with
greater access to resources.
Digital Built Britain
The Digital Built Britain was launched in
February 2015 by the UK Government. It seeks
to create a mature digital economy for the built
environment which delivers high performing
assets and exceptional client value as well as a
knowledge base to enable the Smart City and
community members to thrive in our urban
The programme will continue to prioritise
facilitating access and take-up, as well as
addressing challenges associated with
interaction of data from dierent elements
of the built environment, notably security –
generating the data to maximise social and
commercial benets, while ensuring the
controlled exposure of open data that this
requires does not present security risks.
Create Use Demolish
Linear Economy
Circular Economy
22 23
There are a number of innovations that
support and are supported by a digital
innovation strategy. These tools enable better
decision making, greater cost transparency and
value for money.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things is the process of managing
our day to day lives more intelligently. This takes
the form of using digital sensors to open up the
potential for automated and semi automated
decision making. Sensors are connected to
the internet to monitor things that we wish
to manage better. These sensors may monitor
something as easy to sense as temperature or
something as complex as crowds and trac.
Through the internet of things trac jams
can be better managed by in a multitude of
ways. Road management computer systems
actively monitoring the trac ow can manage
the trac accordingly, by opening lanes or
changing the speed limit. Satellite navigation
systems responding to the slower trac
reported by other systems to plot a new route
and avoid adding more trac to the problem.
The built environment sector is the enabler of
the internet of things, being responsible for
installing and managing the devices in the
public realm. The opportunity exists therefore
for other sectors such as healthcare and crime
and justice to be positively impacted by these
developments enabling faster response times
to emergencies.
Strategic planning can be enhanced by the data
being gathered from the internet of things. This
wealth of data, big data, will enable decision
makers to plan infrastructure works much more
eectively. It is much easier to know where
to put a new road if there is clear data about
where the biggest trac problems exist.
The internet of things also enables an entirely
new approach to services, through the
connection of service providers to their service.
By connecting sensors to things that need
to be maintained it is possible to remotely
maintain assets on a larger scale. In this
way Rolls Royce are able to more eectively
maintain the engines of the world’s passenger
airliners thanks to sensors that remotely
provide detailed feedback about the condition
of their engines in use. The same is true for the
management of roads and buildings so that
they can be managed at the national scale.
Open Data
Open data is data made available to the
public free of charge at the point of delivery.
Furthermore open data is licensed to permit
anyone the rights to use and share it. What
Digital Innovation Tools
the data contains varies signicantly from
‘scores on the doors who provide access
to open hygiene scores for food outlets to
‘shoothill’ whose FloodAlerts tool which
uses Environment Agency data is used by
news casters to communicate to viewers the
likelihood of oods in their areas.
The use of open data is now ubiquitous. In
the UK there is an open data market with a
turnover of over £92bn employing over half a
million people. The Ordnance Survey estimate
an increase in GDP of between £13.0 million -
£28.5 million for 2016 based upon the use of
their open data.
There is international momentum towards
more open data. In 2013 G8 leaders signed
the open data charter ensuring that the most
developed countries will move towards ever
greater levels of openness and transparency
with the commensurate enhancement to
the potential for innovation within their
The Open Data Charter
Open Data by Default
Quality and Quantity
Useable by All
Releasing Data for Improved
Releasing Data for Innovation
As well as open data, software too must be
increasingly accessible and open to enable
the digital economy. By providing structured
means of enabling access to software from
other software platforms, the capability of
users to access dierent productivity solutions
is enhanced.
Slack is a communications platform primarily,
but thanks to APIs it can integrate with other
software tools for activities such as project
management. This approach is used by software
developers to enhance their own services by
enabling other developers to add functionality.
Current policies are a one way street,
information is provided to the market that it
can use to develop new services or enhance the
delivery of existing services. However, if these
new services develop information that could
be of use to governing bodies this information
is lost. Feeding information from the built
environment sector back into mapping services
would enhance the capability of government
and statutory authorities to plan strategically
and mitigate negative events. Flooding
predictions could be enhanced by an accurate
measurement of the amount of permeable
versus impermeable surfaces being created
and removed. This would increase the accuracy
of water run o calculations and thereby
enable a precise use of funds to mitigate
24 25
ooding events in those areas that are most at
risk. Similarly, energy supply and the mitigation
of activities contributing to climate change could
be more readily understood and responded to if
information about the energy use and energy mix
of individual built assets could be centralised for
Open Data is the foundation to an innovative
and increasingly competitive economy. Up front
costs borne by the data providers are oset and
exceeded by the cost benets realised across the
sectors aected by the built environment from
real estate to utilities. Engagement with the users
of the data is paramount in ensuring that the most
useful and value adding data is made available.
Crowd sourcing has two dierent strands. Crowd
funding is a means of many people nancing
an initiative and is subject to regulation by the
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Crowd sourcing
on the other hand is the involvement of large
groups of people on a mainly voluntary basis to
complete a task.
Crowdfunding platforms have sprung up across
the globe and are now the de facto route to market
for new technologies that appeal to many people,
but that would usually nd the traditional funding
mechanisms unwilling or unable to provide them
with support.
Crowdsourcing’s greatest success has been
initiatives such as wikipedia. This well regulated
not for prot organisation has brought greater
knowledge in a more up to date form than could
ever previously have been realised. Thanks to
strong internal governance procedures through
internal moderation.
Crowdsourcing is an ambivalent force in the modern
world, the london riots of (2015?) were an example
of a rapidly coordinated ashmob of destruction
and chaos. However, the cleanup operation the
next day was similarly coordinated and carried out
through the same channels. Crowdsourcing
then, is merely a tool. There remain areas for
exploration that crowdsourcing can address,
such as the development of specic policy,
the support for specic actions over others to
be taken by local government.
With appropriate moderation and governance
in place, crowd sourcing can provide access
to an unprecedented quantity of expertise
and eort that can ease the burden of
administering, managing and carrying out
policy as well as ensuring that the outcome
of these crowd sourced projects is by its
very nature acceptable to the public. Crowd
funding on the other hand has a number of
regulatory controls in place that would make
direct involvement with this process costly.
Where practical, the use of match funding on
existing platforms could be used to support
innovation in a more hands o way.
Engineering heritage, Scotland’s place in infrastructure history is prominent.
Policy Recommendations
The tools for change are support
and requirement, carrot and stick.
Transforming the built environment sector
is the business of leading a thirsty horse to
water. Can we make it drink? A combination
approach will always be the most successful.
One initiative alone is limited in its ability
to achieve long lasting, sustainable and
meaningful change. Top down change is
limited by its integration into day to day
Bottom up change is limited by its take up by
the wider industry and society. Conversely,
the benets are that top down change
creates a standardised way to behave so that
non constructive decisions and actions can
be avoided and best practice normalised.
Bottom up change benets us by nding
entirely revolutionary ways of doing things,
solving problems that we may not
even have known existed. The
key for policy taken from
the institute for
government is as follows:
1. Understand the past and learn
from failure
2. Open up the policy process
3. Be rigorous in analysis and use of
4. Take time and build in scope for
iteration and adaptation
5. Recognise the importance of
individual leadership and strong
personal relationships
6. Create new institutions to
overcome policy inertia
7. Build a wider
constituency of
26 27
There is a shift in the market place
towards digital innovation. This is a
natural branching out from BIM that can
be harnessed for greater cost savings
and long term eciencies. BIM remains
signicant and policy should continue to
be developed in conjunction with digital
innovation in the built environment.
This report has split its ndings into two
broad groups, BIM Policy and Digital
Innovation Policy. This is to separate the
specic issues of short term construction
procurement from longer term market
adaptation to a digital base. The BIM
Policy section focused on lessons learnt
from previous implementations of BIM
in other geographies, where the Digital
Innovation Policy provided a bridge to
steer the procurement practices towards
a framework that connects the means of
production in a Industry 4.0 framework
with a Circular Economic base that
will generate growth for the Scottish
economy and deliver operational
Parallel policies should be created with
separate vehicles responsible for the
implementation of BIM and digital
innovation policies. This will enable
the BIM policy vehicle to focus upon
the operational activities of the built
environment sector and implementing
the well established standards as a
means of achieving ongoing incremental
improvements to the eciency and price
point of the sector. A digital innovation
policy vehicle for the built environment
can then be freed up to focus upon
the creation of added value to the
supply chain in terms of technological
innovations that provide incremental
and revolutionary changes to the way
that the built environment operates.
BIM Policy
Diversity of understanding of the
meaning of BIM has been a key
aspect to the resistance to change
experienced in implementing BIM.
The lessons learnt from this has to be
one of clarity, engagement, education
and incentivisation. Segregating BIM
and digital innovation will achieve this
understanding in part.
Complexity is key factor. Where a
complex policy is implemented the
greatest relative pecuniary benets
can be realised from the largest
projects as these can oset the initial
costs of generating and updating the
information management instruments.
This up-front cost can be oset by
an incremental scaled approach to
BIM implementation. Using the BIM
level 2 standards as an example,
implementing and mandating each
pillar of BIM one by one can give due
time to test, measure and assess the
benets realised by each standard.
BIM level 2 has demonstrated value
for money and eciency gains in
the industry, it has created a culture
of engagement and mobilisation
that can be capitalised upon. The
government must ensure that the
policy being created is adhered to and
the successful policies that have been
implemented have used a mandate
of some description. There must also
be engagement with industry. The
opportunity exists to use key gures in
international BIM implementation to
ensure that the policy rollout has strong
leadership. In collaboration with a BIM
policy leadership team, support for the
creation and management of industry
groups that are enabled to support the
industry and feedback to policy creators
to ensure that the BIM policy is mutually
This policy vehicle should take action in the
following specic areas:
1. Embrace and assist in the evolving
standards landscape. Produce a
standards road map for awareness
and alignment for the supply chain.
2. Measure maturity. Support an
open standard for measuring the BIM
maturity of projects. Celebrate the
success of excellence and for those
who require support provide access
to BIM Surgeries, possibly led by the
BIM Region for Scotland.
3. Ensure BIM policy is designed in
partnership with industry with focus
on continuous improvement over
prescribing proprietary solutions.
4. Align BIM policy development
with investment intentions as
standards for vertical assets have
diering BIM maturities to horizontal
5. Take the lead as a construction
buyer. Set out a plan to integrate the
information requirements between
infrastructure and vertical assets.
Enable a platform for Smart Cities
and the Internet of Things.
28 29
Digital Innovation Policy
The Digital Innovation policy should
focus upon providing a framework for
implementing developing technologies
to ensure the Scottish government can
keep pace with the digital economy. It
should adopt the innovative economic
frameworks of Industry 4.0 and the Circular
Economy to provide fundamentally
new approaches to procurement
within the built environment.
This policy vehicle should take action in
the following specic areas:
1. Plan the Bridge - The creation of
an industry 4.0/circular economy
Strategy that includes a metric
system for which the success of
digital innovation is measured.
2. Build the bridge - Deliver a
smart city and infrastructure
strategy that enables the diusion
of digital innovation.
3. Support the bridge - Support
Digital Apprenticeship schemes
and explore methodologies for
individual skill based assessments.
4. Connect the Bridge - Support
service export growth.
5. Keep the Bridge open -
create lightweight assessment
methodologies to enable new
techniques to be adopted and
integrated into policy. Develop an
open ecosystem for innovation and
support Hackathons like
dotBuiltEnvironment (Formerly
known as the Construction Industry
Council BIM2050 Group) are an
eclectic group of individuals. We
represent the full breadth of digitally
engaged professionals from the
built environment sector. No other
group can boast the range of
construction related disciplines or a
breadth of seniority and experience
in its membership. Every one of
our members is involved in the
implementation of BIM within the UK
and that has given us a strength of
capability that tempers our diversity
of experience.
We know that those who design
policy are not the same people who
implement it. Our members come from
SMEs others from large organisations.
Some work for main contractors, others
work for consultantcies and research
establishments. Our members
come from the senior leadership of
institutions, to practitioners on the
front line. We have every shade of
strategic and operational roles in
between represented here. This report
then is written with an understanding
of the policy levers of BIM and their
All of our material is covered by
a Creative Commons Licence of
Attribution + Noncommercial +
ShareAlike (BY-NC-SA).
dotBuiltEnvironment are:
Tom Bartley (ICE)
Sarah Birchall (BSRIA)
Bobby Chakravarthy (APS)
Henry Fenby-Taylor (LI)
Adam Golden (ICES)
Will Hackney (CIOB)
David Knight (IStructE)
Alex Lubbock (CIOB)
Alex MacLaren (RIBA)
Mac Muzvimwe (RICS)
Charlie Murray (CIBSE)
Daniel Rossiter (BRE)
Neil Thompson (CIOB)
Ryan Tennyson (CIAT)
Dwight Wilson (CIBSE)
above logo is a vector map
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strapline below:
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