Ireland’s National BIM Council launched the first digital strategy for Ireland’s construction industry, titled a ‘Roadmap to Digital Transition’. The strategy is based on 18 months of consultation and research on levels of digitisation in the construction sector, domestically and internationally. The strategy delivers a vision and direction for the construction sector, aiming to achieve 20% reduction in cost, 20% reduction in programme, and a 20% increase in construction exports to 2021.
The Roadmap outlines that a central objective of Irish construction professionals and companies is to implement digital standards that are aligned with and advance best practice in the sector in Europe and internationally.
With trade in Irish products and services to the UK increasing by 68% over the past five years, to €1.29bn in 2016, Irish companies are uniquely positioned to support the requirements the UK construction sector. Collaboration with Irish Construction companies could become increasingly important, the UK requires 400,000 new construction workers every year until 2021.
Ireland’s Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys T.D. said, “The Irish government recognises the importance of Building Information Modelling (BIM) and sees the benefit of how it brings together technology, process improvements and digital information to radically improve project outcomes and asset operations. We see BIM as a strategic enabler for improving decision making and delivery for both buildings and public infrastructure assets across the whole lifecycle.
This industry roadmap is an initiative that advocates more productive ways of working that improves competitiveness at home and overseas. This roadmap not only seeks to increase efficiency and the productivity of the industry, but also seeks to support an SME community that makes up almost 95% of the sector both in Ireland and across the wider European Union.”
A key priority for the National BIM Council has been to develop central Government support for a ‘whole industry transition’ and the commitment to a four-year digital procurement directive by Ireland’s Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, T.D., and the Minister of State for Public Procurement, Open Government and eGovernment, Patrick O’Donovan, T.D., is another important milestone.
NBC Chair Caroline Spillane agrees that, “The Government procurement mandate makes an important distinction between the type of project, its complexity and the requirement for specialist operations and maintenance with a progressive time line for implementation that meets the requirements of clients and the supply chain to adapt to new ways of working.”
The Council has set out an ambition for the sector, both public and private, to be more outward looking and more ‘connected’ with the communities, towns and cities the construction sector helps to create. For example, the Council has considered how Ireland’s planning and building control processes and ultimately how those users and inhabitants of the built environment can benefit from digital data and better information. The alignment of collective benefits inside and outside of the industry have made a compelling case for digital adoption.
John Hunt, member of the NBC and construction advisor for Enterprise Ireland proposed that “Up until now, the benefits of digital adoption haven’t always aligned with where the costs are initially borne, and so decisions around “who” should invest and “when” have not always been clear. The commitment of Government along with a definition of how we might adopt digital tools and processes over time will bring the clarity to foster wider industry adoption.”
Minister Humphreys concluded, “The National BIM Council is a committee of senior representatives from the industry, including clients, industry bodies and professional representatives, from both the public and private sector. We have learned that the collaboration required to develop the Roadmap is much closer to the way the industry must operate in future and will be a fundamental requirement for the leadership groups both established and new, that will implement the plan.”
Read the full National BIM Council digital roadmap strategy here.
Earlier this month, the third national survey (November 2017) to benchmark the level of Building Information Modelling (BIM) adoption across the architects, engineers, and contractors (AEC) of Ireland revealed that 76% (67% 2015) of the industry sample possessed confidence in their skills and knowledge to deliver BIM. 85% also called for a government mandate. Learn more about the survey.