Back to basics: The Four Pillars – Public Leadership

February 27, 2023

This is the latest in a new series of blogs looking at the fundamentals of building information modelling and the role of the Global BIM Network.

Sometimes it can be hard to navigate through the growing amount of information available on how to implement BIM. A simple four-part framework can clarify thinking, and enable stakeholders at all stages of their BIM journey to take their next steps with confidence. 

This framework is built on four pillars:

  • public leadership;
  • communication and communities;
  • collaborative framework; and
  • capability and capacity development.

Together, these pillars describe the common strategic areas for a successful public sector led BIM programme.

In this blog we focus on the first of these pillars: public leadership. This can mean many different things in different contexts. So, we look at how stakeholders can develop this important strategic area using five action points.

ONE Define compelling drivers, a clear vision and goals. This is the foundation stone for effective and robust public sector led programmes. It defines the way forward. Examples include, Smart Construction 2025 by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Korea and Vietnam’s plan for digital transformation of its construction industry.

TWO Describe the value of BIM to the public and private sector. BIM methodologies derive greater social, economic, and environmental benefits from the built environment. In supporting UN Sustainable Development Goals and inclusive economic growth, they bring multiple benefits. These include the improved energy efficiency and resiliency of buildings and assets, and optimization of the whole-life cycle of infrastructure assets. BIM can also help reduce material waste, target carbon neutrality, and lessen costly errors. BIM initiatives also encourage the global construction sector to develop a highly skilled digital workforce.

THREE Document the general approach for moving the sector towards the defined vision and goals. There are many ways to do this. Levers and drivers may include producing a roadmap, developing a mandate, or introducing legislation. Examples include Dubai’s roadmap to create the ideal [digital] construction ecosystem, Lithuania’s BIM mandate, and Denmark’s ICT Executive Order for Digital Construction.

FOUR Identify a public sector champion to sponsor the initiative. It is important to have a public sector champion at every stage. A strategic responsible owner may be an individual, ministry, or department.

FIVE Establish an implementation team to drive the programme. The value proposition and sponsor can unlock required funding and resources. BIM programmes are being driven at multiple levels of public leadership. In the Czech Republic, for example, the Czech Agency for Standardization is highly active in driving and supporting the Czech Government’s BIM Strategy Framework.

The Global BIM Network’s Information Collection contains many examples of how strategic public leadership is enabling BIM processes and practices.

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