Don’t shoot for the stars – aim for the half landing!

So said Richard Saxon at today’s E4BE meeting at the CIC in London, to discuss BIM, Higher Education and Growth.

Richard was on top form, and gave an insightful presentation about where BIM is in the UK and where we’re going, particular with education. His quote illustrated the UK approach to set a realistic target for the whole industry – the stars can come later!

Most accepted that the professional silos we have are not fit for the purpose of what we will need to educate, and support BIMmed up roles.But the silos are and will prove resistant to change, there’s too much at stake, in self-preservation. It seemed to me that industry may well prove to be the cutting edge. Organisations are already adopting BIM ways of working, and changing their businesses and roles in the process. Higher Education bodies might be pushed to keep up. Integrated training of some kind is the way forward for future professionals , but few institutions are really tackling this. In post upskilling could well be key here and drive the change in training. There are 2.5 million people who need it! 300,000 business in UK construction , 97% of whom are SME’s that need to be at BIM Level 2 by 2016.

Another Richard, Richard Lane of the BIMTaskGroup made a telling point. He mused as to whether most BIM meetings are attended by mostly the same people (?), so is the message really penetrating the industry? We are nearly half way through the Level 2 programme, a sobering thought.

Whilst the processes and standards are becoming embedded and consolidated, communication of the message could well be the key activity now to ensure we hit the target. Admittedly most will not need to become BIM gurus, but they might need to find their way around a COBie spreadsheet!

I’d like to see BIM in all forms of media – tv adverts, mail shots, full-page adverts in the Times and the Sun, and features in the sunday press and coffee table magazines. Whilst great progress has been made in setting up networks, the Hubs and BIM4 groups we need a lot more to reach across, up and down the industry…lets make BIM cool. Its coolness will sell, and help sell our industry to the generations of digital natives that devour Facebook, Twitter, Instagram everyday. And also the Silver Surfers (like myself) who are just trying to keep up!

Level 2 isn’t a done deal yet, but it will be. We have lots to do!



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