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Many projects, developers, architects have been reluctant to take on BIM because of the scale of the undertaking. And, most importantly, because there hasn't been satisfactory information on the return on investment. However, here for the first time, BIM is measured.

The application of BIM Level 2 could save the government £400m a year according to a report by PwC, which has developed a methodology quantifying the financial benefits of BIM for the first time.

The consultant has used the sophisticated methodology to work out savings on two projects, for the Department of Health and the Department of the Environment, and have used the results to extrapolate across the government’s capital spending programme.

PwC is also trialling the Benefits Measurement Methodology (BMM) on projects for the Ministry of Justice.

The report says: “Interpreting quantified benefit estimates across our two projects/assets – Foss Barrier Upgrade and the 39 Victoria Street Office Refurbishment – the gross total quantified benefits estimated were 1.5% and 3% of whole of life expenditure, respectively.

“We believe that this is a lower bound estimate as we were unable to estimate all benefits. These are gross estimates since our analyses have not considered the costs of implementing BIM Level 2.

“Across the design, build and commission, and handover phases, our quantified estimates were 0.7% and 1.4% of capital expenditure respectively. If this level of saving could be achieved across the National Infrastructure Commission’s projected public sector funded infrastructure spend of £31.7bn in 2018/19, this would imply savings to UK taxpayers of £226m-£429m (in 2017 prices).”

For the Department of Health refurbishment of 39 Victoria Street for example (pictured above), the report calculated that BIM-enabled savings accounted for £676,907. Of this, £42,366 was in design, £141,872 in construction and an expected £492,669 in operation over 12 years.

A lack of tangible measurable financial benefits is often cited as one of the reasons clients have been reluctant to invest in BIM, and its uptake has been particularly slow for FM.

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