The current state of BIM

Last week Construction News suggested that Tesco was considering dropping its plans to roll out BIM across all of its new build construction projects, and since then there’s been plenty of surprise registered on Twitter. Given the current situation, the timing of this may seem rather baffling. Take into account these developments over the past month for instance:

– The NBS announced that the preliminary results for their second National BIM Survey showed that BIM adoption in the UK has doubled from 13% to 26% over the previous 12 months;

– The UK’s biggest privately-owned building firm, Laing O’Rourke, reveals it feels their use of BIM was the ‘main catalyst’ of their appointment on the Leadenhall Street (aka the Cheese Grater) build;

– Leading authority on town planning and infrastructure software, Adam Strafaci, published an article saying that, while BIM has gradually been transforming the building industry for years, it is only now that infrastructure specialists are catching on;

– The first round of students graduate from The BIM Academy at Northumbria University, all securing jobs or further study as a result;

– CAD software giant Nemetschek Vectorworks announces its collaboration with NBS in the development of the UK National BIM Library, set to be launched in November.

With the tide moving in favour of BIM, it seems unthinkable that Tesco wouldn’t consider the situation ripe for them to push forward with their original mandate. It’s also quite disappointing for someone who has championed BIM for years, as having the world’s third largest retailer adopt BIM would undoubtedly help convince many other major businesses to follow suit. On the other hand however, one thing that this will do is create debate around BIM: debate which can only be considered healthy and a great opportunity for all sides to ensure that BIM progresses in the best possible manner for everyone involved.

It should also be pointed out that Tesco’s exact phrasing of its original intention was ‘evaluating its potential for future use in our construction processes’. That seems perfectly reasonable and it can be argued that many businesses may find themselves at the same juncture in the near future as a multitude of factors (recession, cut-backs, technological advances and legislative decisions) converge to create a lengthy period of change. In the ensuing fallout, many people seem to have skipped over the point that, in such an environment, there is room for everyone to have their say about standardising and shaping BIM in order to realise its full potential.

The Jigsaw CAD team is perfectly placed to help companies of all sizes adopt and implement BIM: offering advice, software and a RIBA-approved introductory seminar. Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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