£1m Innovate UK contract to help digitise Government construction projects
Innovate UK has awarded a 1m contract to RIBA Enterprises to develop a prototype digital tool that is set to transform the procurement of buildings and infrastructure at home and abroad.
Free to use, the tool will exploit the standards being made publicly available for Building Information Modelling (BIM). Regarded as a ‘game-changer', BIM involves the sharing of three-dimensional data and associated asset information by all responsible for the design, construction and operation of buildings and infrastructure.
RIBA Enterprises has been awarded the contract following an open competition launched in February 2014 and run in partnership with the Department for Business (BIS) and the joint industry-government BIM Task Group.
Building Information Modelling (BIM) involves generating a visual model of a building or piece of infrastructure which also manages data about it during its entire lifecycle. Typically BIM uses dynamic building modelling software working in 3D, 4D (time) and, increasingly, 5D (cost) to increase productivity and efficiency, provide better value for money design, procurement and construction stages, and to reduce running costs after completion.
‘By developing this digital tool, procurement of construction projects here in the UK and – eventually – across the world will be transformed, both in terms of quality and price,' said Iain Gray, Chief Executive of Innovate UK.
‘This will place the UK in a global leadership position and provide overseas growth opportunities for the industry.
The competition was of a very high standard, and while RIBA Enterprises has been awarded the contract we would like to thank and congratulate all participants for their efforts.'
RIBA Enterprises will now develop a tool which will be subsequently developed as free-to-use, open-source product to be adopted on all central government construction from 2016.
David Philp, Head of BIM with the UK BIM Task Group commented that "the completion of the Digital Plan of Works (DPow) and Classification System will not only complete the Level 2 BIM suite but help drive the take-up of BIM, support exploitation of the standards and ensure that the UK remains at the vanguard of a digital transformation in the built environment."
The competition took place as part of the government's SBRI programme which encourages SMEs or other organisations that can help find solutions to government procurement challenges.
RIBA Enterprises will complete the final two aspects of the government's Level 2 BIM package, namely the digital Plan of Work (dPoW) and also Classification.