Tuesday, May 28, 2013

BIM in New Zealand

The Productivity Partnership an initiative with MBIE are aiming to make a 20% productivity gain in the New Zealand Construction industry by 2020

On 7 May a workshop was held in Auckland to get industry input to a constructors’ guide to using Building Information Modelling. The Productivity Partnership is working through the National Technical Standards Committee (NTSC) to produce an online BIM handbook for New Zealand. The project is part of the Partnership’s strategy to accelerate the application of BIM in construction in New Zealand.

After reviewing BIM handbooks around the world, NTSC has commissioned NATSPEC of Australia to write the New Zealand version. The workshop gave 40 industry representatives the opportunity to discuss the content, structure and scope of the handbook so that it is tailored to our specific industry needs.

I was lucky enough to be in attendance and here are the key points I noted.

The Productivity Partnership is targeting a 20% productivity gain in the New Zealand Construction sector by 2020. Three core aims of this are:

  • Taking the complexity out of our build
  • Increasing the speed of our build
  • Building better for less cost.

A number of items have been identified to achieve a 20% Productivity gain by 2020, most of these items are small steps spread over a longer period of time.

BIM has been identified as a major step change – an immediate (and quite large) productivity gain can be achieved over a shorter period of time.

Steps to BIM

National Technical Standards Committee has been set up and will be tasked with looking at items like IFC, interoperability, etc.

A national NZ BIM Object Library will possibly be set up, similar to the NBS National BIM Library in the UK http://www.nationalbimlibrary.com/

Auckland University are on board with the productivity partnership and are looking at how the education sector can influence BIM in the industry.

A BIM policy will be proposed to Government by the productivity partnership by the end of 2013.


BIM can save the construction industry 5.5% per annum (Public Sector only) this equates to approx. $182 Million per annum.

Geobuild aims to bring together 3 core foundations of knowledge that can provide comprehensive location information.

National online consenting

Building Information Modelling

Location based information

A centralised internet based hub which receives, captures and allows consistent electronic processing of all building consent applications.

A digital representation of both the physical and functional characteristics of a building.

A complete digital picture of all land and data on the built environment. (i.e. a building, on a particular site, with all below ground services.)

It will take 3-5 years to fully implement Geobuild

CCoPE (Construction Centre of Procurement Excellence) has been set up to look into improving current procurement methods.

The 2 key components to getting BIM moving forward are a BIM Handbook and the Legal Framework for BIM.


Natspec have been commissioned to author the NZ BIM Handbook

The aim is to create a guide that will clarify BIM (on a national level) for all project stakeholders.

Natspec are experienced in writing guidance on BIM, their BIM Portal R&D projects can be found here www.natspec.com.au

NZ BIM Handbook

To create a common industry language for BIM (a number of Handbooks exist around the world but it is felt that a New Zealand handbook needs to be created with New Zealand terminology)

Clarify the briefing process for designers and constructors

The Australian National BIM Guide produced by Natspec will be used as a starting point http://bim.natspec.org/index.php/natspec-bim-documents/national-bim-guide this decision was made after reviewing a number of countries BIM Handbooks, the Australian one seemed to be the most comprehensive and didn’t have hundreds of pages like some of the others.

The main focus of the Handbook will be aimed at the people directly involved in the BIM process. The start of the guide will be aimed more towards the lower end of the BIM knowledge scale, to give an overview of BIM to those in the industry who know very little about it.

Define the process, methodology and interface of BIM throughout the whole design stage and touching on FM (further FM information can be added in later revisions)

A common language combined with common expectations is the key to the handbooks success.

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