BSRIA has responded to the Government Construction Strategy 2016-20 which was launched last week where the government has committed to saving £1.7bn from the cost of public projects and hiring 20,000 construction apprentices, by 2020.

It also pledged to roll out BIM level 3 and improve client procurement skills over this parliament. The strategy builds on the Chief Construction Adviser’s last strategy, which covered 2011-2015 and has been credited with saving the government more than £3bn in construction costs and ‘sparking a digital revolution’ in the sector through its 2016 BIM level 2 mandate.

Government hopes to achieve further cost savings through better use of BIM and adopting whole-life costing. The strategy also sets out ambitions for smarter procurement, fairer payment, improving digital skills and reducing carbon emissions.

The principal objectives of the strategy are to:

  • Improve central government’s capability as a construction client.
  • Embed and increase the use of digital technology, including BIM level 2.
  • Deploy collaborative procurement techniques that:
  • Enable early contractor and supply chain involvement.
  • Develop skills capacity and capability, including delivering 20,000 apprenticeships through central government procurement over this Parliament.
  • Promote fair payment.
  • Enable and drive whole-life approaches to cost and carbon reduction across the construction, operation and maintenance of public sector buildings and infrastructure.

Julia Evans, chief executive, BSRIA, said: “BSRIA is pleased that there will be no change to the timetable and implementation of Government Soft Landings (GSL). Indeed, we are supportive of the government’s commitment to GSL – as we believe soft landings is a highly-effective tool to reduce the performance gap. The strategy states that ‘GSL seeks to align the interests of those who design and construct an asset with those who subsequently use it, which will also help realise the full benefits of BIM level 2’ which is encouraging. BSRIA is heartened that – through the work outlined in the strategy – government is committed to paving the way for smarter, better, connected cities.”

Government, in conjunction with industry, will develop the next generation of digital standards to enable BIM level 3 adoption under the remit of the Digital Built Britain Strategy. The continued embedding and mandating of BIM level 2 is crucial to support government adoption of BIM level 3 at a later date.