For many years, the construction industry was aid to be behind the times in adopting new technology. While the automotive, energy and aerospace industries evolved and incorporated
concepts such as Industry 4.0, construction was left
In 2011, the UK Government formed a new
mandate calling for the construction and infrastructure sectors to adopt the Building Information
Modeling (BIM) concept as a way of changing the
dynamics and behaviors of the industry. By incorporating BIM Level 2, the government hoped to
trigger a revolution in the sector and welcome a
new era of digital construction.
But what does this mean for the businesses working with this new breed of construction company?
What is BIM?
BIM is all about integration. It is a concept that
manages information from a variety of sources
linked with the construction, renovation or demolition of a building. The key output of the process
is a digital model of the building. The level of detail
within this drawing is dependent on the criteria the
developer is using.
To encourage collaboration as part of the build
process and improve the overall standard of the
final project, the UK Government introduced a
level system. Ranging from zero to three, each new
level represents an increased degree of collaboration between suppliers.
In this context, BIM acts as a quality control tool
and is quickly becoming part of the brief for many
Up until 2011, Level 0 represented the way in which
many construction companies operated. At this
level, there is no collaboration between suppliers, as
each one works independently. A standard outcome
for Level 0 is a simple 2-D CAD drawing, with no
detail about the functionality of a building.
A slight improvement on Level 0, Level 1 requires
a minimal level of collaboration, with all organizations using both a 3-D CAD drawing to define the
concept of work and a 2-D version for approvals
and product information.
Level 2 requires a greater level of collaboration on a
build project, with suppliers using 3-D CAD models, but not necessarily the same one. Information
sharing is integral to this standard, allowing organizations to include additional data in their own
model. In 2016, the UK Government set Level 2 as
a minimum standard for all its public-sector work.
If a business cannot provide evidence of how it
will incorporate collaboration within the program
of work, it will not be successful in the tendering
Seen as the gold standard of construction, Level 3
represents collaboration across all areas of the build
process, using a single shared model that all parties
have access to.
BIM in pharmaceuticals
When building cleanrooms and laboratories,
there are many more factors to be taken into
consideration than in a conventional office. With
working parts built into the structure of a room,
an object-orientated database needs to be created
detailing exactly how equipment works. A simple 2-D CAD drawing does not offer the level of
detail required, causing problems when the facility
is constructed. The drawings require a level of
intelligence, providing specifics on movement and
operational functionality. These specifics not only
assist with the build, but also ongoing maintenance schedules.
Many pharmaceutical projects fluctuate
between Level 2 and Level 3. While BIM promotes
More industries are adopting BIM for new projects, sparking an emerging
era of digital construction.