The UK BIM Alliance and the buildingSMART UK & Ireland Chapter have agreed to merge, hopefully opening up BIM conversations to cover wider issues relating to people and process change as well as adherence to technical standards.
Today (30 October 2017), Anne Kemp, chair of the UK BIM Alliance, used the opportunity of the buildingSMART International Summit in London to announce that the UK BIM Alliance and the buildingSMART UK & Ireland Chapter have agreed to merge.
According to a UK BIM Alliance news release, the Alliance will act as the umbrella organisation for buildingSMART UK & Ireland, thereby becoming the UKI Chapter of buildingSMART (the former International Alliance for Interoperability). A memorandum of agreement has been agreed by both parties with further, more detailed discussions taking place with a plan to complete integration by the end of the year. Kemp said:
“Shared common goals and the intention of both parties to work towards a digital Built industry makes this the ideal time to collaborate and deliver the needs of the industry today and for the future.”
The UK BIM Alliance was set up in October 2016 following the UK Government’s challenge to industry to support the implementation of BIM Level 2. It has been established as a not-for-profit, collaboratively based organisation bringing together a wide community of interest including BIM4 interest groups and BIM Regions, and other industry organisations, to try and bring about a transformation of the built environment industry, and make BIM “business as usual” across the industry.
The merger reduces the number of bodies involved in standards-setting and BIM promotion in the UK and Ireland. Secretariat responsibilities for buildingSMART UK&I passed from BRE to CIRIA in October 2016. With CIRIA also being ‘home’ to the BIM Technologies Alliance vendor group (a more extensive grouping than the Network for Construction Collaboration Technology Providers, NCCTP, was a decade or so ago), this latest merger may help in embedding common data standards across the UK sector, while opening up BIM conversations to cover wider issues relating to people and process change as well as development and promotion of adherence to technical standards. With several of the collaboration vendors also actively embracing IFC and cooperating on integration of their services through APIs, etc, the merged organisation could be in the right place at the right time. And to maintain the digitisation momentum, how about integrating Digital Built Britain into this effort too?