The concept of BIM (Building Information Modelling) was first introduced in the UK as far back as the 1970s. Over the past 10 years, it has become a prominent term in the construction industry, with the initial BS 1192 standard coming into effect in 2007. In 2011, the UK government launched their BIM Level 2 initiative and a series of national standards and specifications followed. Most notably what has become known as the UK 1192 series, which have recently been superseded by BS EN ISO 19650.

While there are undoubtedly benefits to BIM at all stages of a construction project, from conceptual design to post-construction asset management, there is a considerable investment required on the part of contractors to adapt their existing design procedures. Critically, a common data environment relies on collaboration and the quality of data provided at all levels of the supply chain.

In this project, I have investigated the implications of BIM from the viewpoint of SMEs (small to medium-sized enterprises), both in terms of changes to the design workflow and commercial considerations. I have identified the primary factors affecting the design and 3D modelling procedures as Model complexity, file size and format, naming convention and the incorporation of suitable metadata. Inevitably such changes to existing procedures will impact a business commercially. Critically, consideration must be given to how existing resources can be adapted and used most efficiently, as well as how intellectual property can be protected.

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