In results that won’t be altogether surprising, an industry survey conducted by Consult Australia has found 71 per cent of respondents want stronger government leads on BIM, or building information modelling. This is the sophisticated software used to slash design and construction costs by integrating a huge range of data into a single system. However, while take up overseas has been strong, Australia is lagging.

A forum in Sydney on Thursday, hosted by Consult Australia, surveyed participants and found 71 per cent indicated current procurement of BIM was below average.

The organisation said  jurisdictions needed to be part of the National Digital Engineering Working Group and that industry collaboration was essential to deliver the maximum benefits from BIM.

NSW state manager Matthew Trigg  said there was currently “no common definition or understanding of BIM, or an awareness of how this will impact government and industry alike”.

“It is great to see governments moving on BIM, but their paths are not aligned and it is causing problems.”

“The benefits of BIM and other digital approaches can be better harnessed.” Too often positive outcomes depended on the knowledge and interests of single individuals within government or industry, he said.

The forum explored implementing a BIM mandate or whether the focus should be on creating greater harmonisation on areas such as standards, language, skills and competency.  At the start of the forum 93 per cent of attendees expressed support specifically for a BIM mandate in Australia, with this falling to 69 per cent by the end of the discussion, Mr Trigg said.

Consult Australia said it was establishing a Digital Built Environment Task Group open to representatives from industry and government with demonstrated experience and overseen by the Consult Australia Innovation Roundtable.