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Embracing the #euBIMhandbook

13 Jul 2017

Every now and again you read something and really enjoy it; by all accounts Gone Girl was one of these moments and perhaps that grey book with the red room. I haven’t read either, but I did spend an afternoon this week enjoying the newly published EU BIM Handbook.  Not only was I impressed by the quality and focus,  but I really actively enjoyed it.

The document set out to help public sector procurers from across Europe benefit from the BIM knowledge and experience built up over the last few years.  This was coupled with a desire to avoid a fragmentation of information requirements across the continent which could stifle competition, frustrate companies that cross borders, and most importantly add inefficiency whilst trying to remove it.  Whilst reading I tweeted the best bits, so if you’re looking for a compressed overview, have a look in on the hashtag #euBIMhandbook.

The nagging concern

I always try to take a pragmatic approach to BIM and the much-needed digitisation of our industry, however, I do have nagging concerns about this handbook.  Can we get it to the people who need to read it and will they be willing to take a day off from their public service duties to read it fully?  In a situation with the public purse being tightly constrained, can the influencers justifiably shift their focus to BIM even if they read the handbook and are excited by its approach?  It takes time and resource to move to the model described which departments and authorities are likely to not have.

Unified public sector lead digitisation is a great idea, but the concept of herd immunity must be applied for it to have the impacts mentioned above, in this regard we have to consider the implications of Brexit*.  The UK has decided to take a route that will differ from the EU in many currently unknown ways,  but this may make getting the EU BIM Handbook to get coverage and adoption here at home tricky.  We may risk becoming the BIM equivalent of the the anti-vax movement, even though we have set a great pace at the front of the pack for a number of years, arguably on a global basis.

Imagine a situation where the UK has added a serious amount of work into a collaborative effort to deliver a great handbook, which has built upon the excellent work of the BIM Task Group and the #ukBIMcrew , then because it says EU on the front cover it gets ignored at home?  I hope I’m being overly cynical as there may be people dozens of people across the UK and reading this right now.  However, if my nagging doubt is right then we need to gather round this handbook and actively promote it for the sake of progress.

This is a great piece of work, written in very useful language for it’s intended audience.  Let’s get it out there!

*If you want to hear my personal thoughts on Brexit, it’ll cost you a pint.