New African BIM portal: NavBIM

NAVBIMWhile discussion about building information modelling (BIM) in north America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region is well advanced, it has yet to reach the same levels across much of Africa. A recent initiative, NavBIM, from the BIM Academy Africa aims to help African organisations jump-start their BIM adoption journeys.

Vaughan Harris told Extranet Evolution about why he helped establish NavBIM

“This an exciting time for the African construction sector, as it moves into its own era of digital construction and unlocks the efficiencies of digital construction and information management not only during the design stages of projects, but throughout the construction and operational stages too. The key to unlocking this potential is BIM.

This navigation tool is a comprehensive step-by-step guide aligned with international BIM standards and best practice to help teams improve how they share and analyse data through the entire life of a building.

Countries such as the UK, Australia, Canada and Singapore have transformed their own construction sectors significantly and valuable lessons can be learnt from their combined journeys. It is however also important to factor in Africa’s unique strengths and weaknesses into the process.

BIM is a journey. We envisage that it will grow with time and will inspire more advanced and innovative use of BIM. I would like to encourage all BIM practitioners to join in this industry effort to grow this portal into a wealth of BIM knowledge for Africa.”


Much of the information on NavBIM is through the guidance development philosophy from Australian Natspec and the Singapore Building Construction Authority. The site also includes much of the associated British Standards and refers to parts of the BS 1192 / ISO 19650 standards. Launched in September 2018, the BIM portal has already achieved over 172,000 impressions on the African continent alone. Some basic guidance is provided free, but a subscription is required to view some of the detailed content, including information about common data environments (CDEs), etc.

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