Jun 13, 2021

Digital tools key to ensuring housebuilder quality

UK
Housing
Codes
Digital
Dominic Ellis
3 min
A consultation into the draft New Homes Quality Code has been published by the New Homes Quality Board - and digital tools are key to ensuring quality

consultation into the draft New Homes Quality Code has been published by the New Homes Quality Board (NHQB).

The Code will sit at the centre of the new arrangements being put in place by the NHQB that includes the appointment of an independent New Homes Ombudsman Service (NHOS). In development for four years, it has had input from a broad range of stakeholders and takes into consideration other emerging policy including on leasehold and building safety, all of which the NHQB is committed to supporting.

The consultation will run for four weeks (from June 9 to July 7) and the NHQB is encouraging as many stakeholders, customers and interested parties as possible to respond. 

Tom Boland, Global Head of Digitalisation at Zutec, said the Code will dramatically increase build standards and involve a hand-in-glove approach linking the physical build and digital worlds. 

"Housebuilders will need to adopt the total capability of digital tools to check quality, have a digital footprint and allow homeowners to fully understand how their house has been built, and easily understand any defects that need rectifying," he said. "Residents will benefit from safer, better constructed homes and housebuilders will benefit from improved productivity and lower costs from fully implementing technology."

Rating the States 2021 edition issued

A strong building code is critical to reducing the damage and destruction caused by hurricanes each year. On the first day of the Atlantic hurricane season, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) today released the 2021 edition of Rating the Statesits signature report evaluating building codes and the administration of code provisions along the hurricane coastline from Texas to Maine.

Now in its fourth edition, Rating the States is released every three years following the building code update cycle of the International Code Council (ICC).

The report scores the 18 Atlantic and Gulf Coast states vulnerable to hurricanes based on a set of questions related to statewide building code adoption, administration and enforcement and contractor licensing requirements in the adopted building code. It also provides a roadmap each state can follow to improve residential building regulations and reduce the cycle of repeated losses resulting from hurricanes and other severe weather events.

"Building science has advanced significantly over the last decade, providing cost effective strategies to reduce the impact of Mother Nature. Modern building codes are core to addressing the known risks of high winds and heavy rain that invariably come with these systems," says Dr. Anne Cope, chief engineer at IBHS. "Strong adopted and administered codes apply the latest science and engineering knowledge to protect homes and families from the catastrophic damage hurricanes bring and make our coastal communities more resilient for the future."

The Linux Foundation, the non-profit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, will host the Intelligent Supervision Assistant for Construction (ISAC-SIMO) project, which was created by Build Change with a grant from IBM as part of the Call for Code initiative. ISAC-SIMO packages important construction quality assurance checks into a convenient mobile app. 

Turn to page 78 of the current issue to read more from Boland on how field BIM is a "game changer" for the industry

Share article

Jun 24, 2021

Which countries are leading the adoption of BIM?

PlanRadar
BIM
research
DigitalConstruction
4 min
As Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology becomes more widely used, we take a look at which countries are leading the way in its adoption

Building Information Modelling (BIM) was first used by UK construction firms in the 1980s. Since then an increasing number of countries such as Germany, Austria, and Russia have also started to use it, but which country is leading the way? 

According to research by PlanRadar, the UK, as of 2021, remains the leader in BIM implementation in construction when compared with other European nations. However, the company’s research shows that there is clear evidence other countries in close pursuit.

As part of the research into the adoption of BIM, PlanRadar examined government policy documents and conducted interviews to find out why BIM is being deployed in each country. The study also allowed the company to gauge construction professionals’ attitudes to digital technology tools in their industry, as well as explore where fast growth rates in BIM are most likely in the coming years. In addition, it looked at which governments have progressed furthest in making construction BIM mandatory. 

 

Image: PlanRadar

 

PlanRadar says the findings are “a useful follow-up to the recently published Construction Manager BIM annual survey”, which pinpoints distinct barriers to adoption in the UK market.

While Britain has long been considered a pioneer in BIM technology, with projects such as the Heathrow Airport reconstruction, it seems that Russia is catching up. Even though its first BIM projects only appeared in 2014, PlanRadar says that the country “is on a steep upward trajectory”. According to the research, no other European country has adopted so many laws on standardisation and the mandatory implementation of BIM in the construction industry.

 

Image: PlanRadar
Image: PlanRadar

 

“Russia is arguably the most eagle-eyed nation for compliance and harnessing advanced BIM tech to drive efficiencies”, the company said. 

Germany’s BIM adoption is also rapidly increasing as its government invests in BIM standardisation, skills training, and support for BIM projects, in line with its vision for the future digitalisation of the German construction sector.

PlanRadar research summary

As part of its research into the adoption of Building Information Modelling, PlanRadar has summarised each country. According to the company, here are the summaries for the UK, Germany, Russia, and France. 

UK:

  • The UK has the highest number of construction companies using BIM at level 2 and beyond.  
  • It remains the leader in the earliest use and implementation of BIM in construction projects. 
  • Since 2016 all state-funded projects must use at least BIM level 2, and this has led to a surge in awareness and use of BIM in the last decade. For private projects, BIM usage is advised but not mandatory. 
  • Currently, only 62% of small businesses in the UK actively use BIM, compared to 80% of large businesses.

Germany: 

  • Approximately 70% of German construction companies use BIM at different levels. However, the majority are architects and design companies, making use of BIM in the design phase rather than construction and operation. 
  • Since 2017, BIM has been mandatory for projects worth over €100 million. And from 31st December 2020, BIM became mandatory for all public contracts relating to the building of federal infrastructure.

Russia:

  • BIM technology is used by very large property developers and construction companies that operate in the largest cities such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Ufa, Yekaterinburg.
  • When it comes to legislation standardising and mandating BIM, Russia is the clear leader, and today there are 15 national standards (GOSTs) and eight sets of rules for information modelling in the country. 
  • From March 2022, all government projects are required to use BIM technology, and further legislation is in the pipeline.

France: 

  • France does not yet have a single BIM standard enshrined in law or regulation, yet 35% of developers in France use BIM for their real estate projects. 
  • In addition, 50 to 60% of the leaders in the French construction market have switched to BIM, with level 2 as the most common maturity level. 
  • At the end of 2018, BIM Plan 2022 was launched to encourage construction participants to integrate it into their workflows. Still, construction companies have struggled to agree since there is no single approved BIM standard. 

The research report concluded that the adoption of BIM is yet to reach its full potential in Europe. While the UK is currently the leader, countries such as Russia and Germany are evidently forging a clear path and have goals surrounding skills and legal frameworks. PlanRadar says that next year’s European BIM ranking “could paint a very different picture”.

 

Share article