13 May 2022
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

5 KEY TAKEAWAYS | The Global Impact of BIM

Building Information Modelling (BIM) has become increasingly popular around the globe as the construction and built environment industry are realising the benefits it offers.

Jamila Rizvi sat down with Rebecca de Cicco of Aurecon for an in-depth discussion on the historical journey of the UK BIM Policy and its impacts on the global BIM implementation and what this means for the Australian built environment. If you missed the live session or would simply like a recap, here are the key insights that came out of the session from our virtual 2021 Be Summit.

1. The Need for Change

“The industry was effectively delivering inefficiency and a poor sense of productivity, and change was urgently required”. Rebecca believes that this is exactly why leaders in the UK took an aggressive approach to implement BIM.

Consequently, in the UK, The Government Construction plan was released in 2011, with BIM being a key component. “This was about total reform” Rebecca continued, ‘looking at a variety of different aspects of change to support greater productivity and efficiency in the industry.”

BIM was selected as one of the most critical enablers for change and the government recognised the importance of their role in acting as the main driver behind the new BIM Policy. Rebecca went on to say that strong industry leaders united to support this major global initiative, which was a staged plan of over 5 years.

2. Why BIM?

“When we talk about BIM, we talk about BIM as a process”, Rebecca goes on to explain just how much the industry needed a process like BIM to better improve efficiencies in the construction industry.

According to Rebecca, BIM was selected for its wide range of initiatives that looked closely at several areas in construction including design changes, DFMA and using technology, design build and operate links, procurement reform and client skills and knowledge. The Government Construction Strategy had highlighted the need for productivity through the use of technology and process, all of which BIM would enable.

Now that BIM had been chosen “the focus would be on the government client being able to support the implementation of BIM across their organisation” Rebecca went on to explain.

3. Internationalisation of UK BIM

After worldwide recognition and great interest in how the UK government were measuring the impact of BIM, “we saw the internalisation of the UK BIM and the release of ISO 19650 part 1 and part 2”. Rebecca went on to explain that this series had used the UK as a framework with the addition of lessons learnt – it was practically a handbook that was pushed out globally to support the implementation of BIM.

“The internationalisation of the UK BIM policy has provided great opportunity for the rest of the world”. Rebecca also shared how the Global BIM network has worked with the UK government to support the development of a global initiative for the implementation of BIM.

Rebecca closed with optimism that other parts of the world would adopt BIM, stating that there was “uptake of BIM across China and huge opportunities in Asia”.

4. Australian Construction Industry

Although Rebecca acknowledges that the construction industry here in Australia has been impacted by COVID-19, she reassures us that “construction has continued to thrive” and suggests we still see an increase in construction activities.

“The uptake of digital engineering has been well taken in Australia” and Rebecca continues by saying that “digital engineering is being used as a common language in Australia” to show support in BIM policies.

Although there has been much research and discussion around how BIM can support productivity and efficiency in the industry, there hasn’t yet been many official policies set in place. Rebecca highlights that Queensland is one of the only states to adopt BIM policy, saying that “digital is a strong focus for Queensland government”.

We’ve also seen the development of the Victorian Digital Asset Strategy, which Rebecca says is a direct response to the uptake of BIM and digital technology.

5. Challenges moving forward with BIM

Rebecca reveals some details of the Australian Infrastructure plan of 2021, showing she is particularly excited about one of the key messages ‘digital by default’. The document acknowledges the lack of productivity and the urgent need for reform in the Australian setting, especially when it comes to technology.

Rebecca admits that Australia is at “risk of implementing BIM as a policy in isolation”, when at the core it should be all about collaboration and enabling sharing. However, believes that it won’t be a major problem if each government aligns with the framework of ISO 19650.

Rebecca also speaks a lot about the lack of skills in Australia, saying that “there’s still a real issue with the fact we need to bring people with the right skills”.

“Currently we don’t have enough people to sustain the growth.” Rebecca says, but she concludes on a positive note by mentioning that “we are bringing in people from other regions to help us.”

Watch the full discussion below!


  • Jamila Rizvi | Author, presenter and political commentator | Be Summit MC
  • Rebecca de Cicco | Principal, Digital Operations | Aurecon
A big thank you to our speakers for being a part of the 2021 Be Summit virtual event! Subscribe now to receive upcoming event and industry news straight to your inbox.


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