The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohue, T.D. and the Minister of State with special responsibility for Public Procurement, Open Government and eGovernment, Patrick O’Donovan, T.D., today set out the Government’s strategy for the increased use of digital technology in the delivery of key public works projects that are funded through the public capital programme.

The strategy will see public bodies establishing requirements for the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the design, construction and operation of public buildings and infrastructure on a phased basis over the next 4 years, commencing with the larger, more complex projects, where those operating at that scale are already working through BIM. A BIM model comprises a digital dataset of all the information associated with a project’s development from the early design stage through to its operation.

Minister O’Donovan said ‘BIM is fast becoming an essential requirement for informed consumers of construction services internationally, and many countries have established BIM requirements at a national level.  It has already been successfully used on a number of complex building projects completed in Ireland in recent years, primarily in the technology and pharmaceutical sectors.  It is also being used on the National Children’s Hospital at the St James’s Hospital campus, on the Dublin Institute of Technology’s Grangegorman Campus and across the Public Private Partnership programme.’

At a European level, the significant efficiencies that BIM brings to project delivery and operation are recognised.  The 2014 Procurement Directive makes provision for its use and the European Commission has established the EU BIM Task Group to deliver a common European network aimed at aligning the use of BIM in public works.  The publication of the Task Group’s Handbook for the Introduction of BIM by Europe’s Public Sector Community at the end of June is timely in the context of the Government’s strategy.

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The Government strategy has a two-fold objective, firstly to manage the adoption of BIM in an orderly fashion across the public capital programme, reducing the disruption that such change processes can bring both within the public sector and to the consultants and contractors that are engaged thereunder.  The second objective is to act as a catalyst for its wider adoption across the industry generally.  The sustained period of growth in the construction sector affords an opportunity to introduce these requirements in a managed fashion to enable industry to adapt to the new processes and procedures that BIM requires.

REF: Bim Ireland