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Building Information Modeling in the UK Transportation Dissertation

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Abstract

Technological advancement has improved the efficiency of construction projects nowadays. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an example of such technology and is considered to be a database system that has advanced functionalities based on spatial relationships and relational attributes in the management of the necessary information for any given construction project. Contractors and project managers use building information modeling to ensure that the right details for any given project are followed from the initial to the final stages. BIM plays a crucial role in ensuring effective management of a construction project. Following the introduction of the BIM approach in the construction sector, there have been a lot of concerns on its role on the performance of any construction project.

Recently, the government of UK has been working towards reducing the cost of construction projects through the adoption and implementation of BIM. For this reason, this study was carried out to find out the potential impacts of adopting BIM in the transportation infrastructure of the UK. The study focused on examining the relevance of Building Information Modeling in transportation projects and the key drivers and barriers to the implementation of BIM in transportation infrastructure projects. In addition, the study aimed at evaluating any available case-studies on BIM implementation within transportation infrastructure projects in the UK, as well as providing recommendations on effective BIM implementation in the transportation infrastructure projects in UK.

Two research designs and case studies were used in this study in the collection of the required data on BIM adoption in the UK. As such, both primary and secondary data were used for the study. An extensive literature review was conducted alongside a survey that was based on questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. The study used a sample size of150 individuals within the UK construction industry, who were chosen randomly and interviewed to provide quantitative data on the impacts of BIM adoption in the UK.

The study had the following results based on the survey analysis, literature review and case studies. It was evident that the implementation of the BIM technology in UK is affected by a number of factors such as low level of BIM knowledge, lack of the necessary expertise and skills, inadequate training and education, lack of efficiency in the existing methods, job insecurity, and perspective that BIM technology is complex among many more.

The building information modeling technology is highly relevant in the transport and highways sector of UK. Secondly, it was evident that there are several construction projects in United Kingdom that use the building information modeling in the highways sector. However, many of the construction projects are faced with numerous challenges. The study found out that there is a need for the development of an advanced asset management system, which can effectively store all projects’ information for future use. In addition, it was evident that there is a high demand for the adoption of BIM in UK.

The analysis showed that BIM has been used in various successful projects in UK and that there are various areas where BIM tools can be used in construction projects such as in detecting clashes in a construction project, reviewing design, as well as in the transfer of project’s information.

Introduction

The growth and development of technology has had numerous effects in many aspects of people. This can be attributed to the fact that numerous technologies and devices have been introduced, and have helped to make various operations easy, simple and fast. For example, in the building and construction industry, a lot of building aspects have changed following the introduction of the Building Information Model (BIM) (Alvesson & Sandberg 2013).

Building Information Model can be considered to be a database system that has advanced functionalities based on spatial relationships and relational attributes in the management of the necessary information for any given construction project. Azhar, Khalfan and Maqsood (2015) asserted that BIM plays a crucial role in ensuing effective management of a construction project. In support of this, Arayici, Egbu and Coates (2012) pointed out that Building Information Model is a technological approach of construction projects that ensures coherent storage of available information for purposes of increasing the compatibility and interoperability of the process management.

Following the introduction of the BIM approach to construction, there have been a lot of concerns on the role of Building Information Model on the performance of any construction project (Azzouz, Copping & Shepherd 2015; Teall 2014). This chapter provides an in-depth analysis of the concept of BIM, with the aim of evaluating its potential impact on the performance of the highway transport systems in the United Kingdom (UK).

Research Background

During the Great Recession period, there was the need to improve the transportation infrastructure in UK. The UK government identified the transportation sector as a part of industrial strategy. The transportation sector is diverse and has discrete sub-sectors. In 2010, the sector delivered £69 billion to the UK’s economy and employed more than 2.5 million workers, ranking it among key contributors in UK growth (Eadie, Millar & Grant 2013).

UK preserves competitive advantages as primarily on engineering, development framework, and building solutions. The advantages are driven towards technological changes, increasing environmental awareness, and emerging economies (Teall 2014). The direct and indirect levers of UK’s public sector have several influential factors within procurement of 30% of industry output.

This study will review the UK transportation infrastructure with a special focus on specific requirements of BIM implementation (Pocock et al. 2014). Now the requirements are to be identified with the key development factors of BIM. The Building Information Modeling is another effective way to develop the entire infrastructure with state-of-the-art techniques enabled. Followed by the effectiveness analysis, the best-case practice of BIM implementation is to be reviewed to show the key areas where improvement is addressed (Love et al. 2015). Furthermore, the standard set of guidelines is to be included to achieve quality transportation infrastructure in UK, alongside recommendations for the purpose of achieving high-quality construction practices in UK.

Background of the BIM

BIM was initially approved in UK in the year 2011 through a direction by the Construction Project Information Committee. It appeared that the approval of BIM implementation set the base for organizations to stay relevant (Sanchez et al. 2014). This was trailed by the production of the BIM technique setting the 3D BIM access by 2016 with new technology adoption. The BIM technology has contributed colossally in advancing institutionalization through straightforwardness and clarity of business.

The legislature used BIM as an instrument to achieve its objective of sparing as much as 20% of its expense of capital tasks before the end of the 2015 monetary year (Eadie, Millar & Grant 2013). The BIM technique intended to accomplish a superior operation system while diminishing resource cost, accomplish prevalent and viable development supply chains, and in conclusion help the arrangement of a side-by-side intuition section that individuals can trust with their thoughts.

Research Aim

The aim of this study is to establish the effects of Building Information Modelling on the performance of transportation infrastructure in the UK.

Research Objectives

With respect to the aim of this study of establishing the effects of BIM on the performance of the transportation infrastructure in UK, the study has the following research objectives:

  1. To understand the relevance of Building Information Modeling for transportation projects.
  2. To establish some of the key drivers and barriers to the implementation of BIM in transportation infrastructure projects.
  3. To critically examine case-studies of BIM implementation within transportation infrastructure projects in the UK.
  4. To develop a set of guidelines for effective BIM implementation in the transportation infrastructure projects in UK.

Research question

The primary objective of this study is to examine the concept of BIM in an attempt to establish its impacts on the performance of transportation infrastructure in UK. To achieve such objectives, the study will rely on research questions to act as the guidelines in the course of the study. The research questions for the study include the following:

  1. Is there a significant influence of BIM on transportation infrastructure?
  2. What are the emerging technologies and standards with regard to BIM implementation in infrastructure projects?
  3. What is the role of BIM in the performance of transportation infrastructures in UK?

Justification

The United Kingdom has a very complex infrastructural base. As such, the construction industry in UK experienced numerous challenges following the need to match up the demand within the complex infrastructure of the country (Goedertier, Vanthienen & Caron 2015). For the construction industry in UK to be successful, there is a need for a collaborative work that is highly impressive. First, one of the main challenges in the UK’s construction industry is the lack of effective communication, a factor that adversely affects the effectiveness of any construction project within the industry. This is attributable to the fact that inefficiency in communication limits the sharing of vital information among the necessary shareholders in any given construction project.

As pointed out by Bryde, Broquetas and Volm (2013), lack of effective communication negatively affects the activities of any given construction project since some important information might not reach the intended individuals in any given construction project. In addition, the success of the construction industry depends largely on the availability of the required construction materials (Pocock et al. 2014; Azzouz, Copping & Shepherd 2015).

With a proper system in place that enhances the sharing of information about materials and any necessary aspect of a given construction project, it becomes easy to achieve the goals of any construction project while ensuring that it meets the construction demands in UK (Eadie et al. 2013).

For this reason, the highway transport systems in UK require the input of an efficient module which is able to handle all the information and process management of the industry. In the light of Beynon-Davies (2013), Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a new technology that can be used in the construction industry to ensure effective management of construction projects through availing information to the right individuals whenever needed and managing the personnel and entire construction process.

The Building Information Model was not available in UK until in 2011, when the Construction Project Information Committee proposed its need in the construction industry of UK. According to Eadie et al. (2013), the adoption of BIM in UK was instigated by the need for a module that would ensure that construction projects were effective through improved ways of sharing information and monitoring the progress of construction projects. In addition, there were high expectations that BIM would help construction companies remain relevant (Liapi 2008; Azzouz, Copping & Shepherd 2015).

This was followed by publication of the BIM strategy explaining plans to access 3D BIM by 2016 at the latest. Several studies have been conducted to investigate the adoption rate of BIM in UK, and have shown that there is a high rate of BIM adoption in UK, which can be seen from the rise from 13% at the point of adoption to 48% in 2014 (Eadie et al. 2013; Azzouz, Copping & Shepherd 2015). Neath, Hulse and Codd (2014) pointed out that the government of UK has taken the initiative to ensure that the hosting of BIM objects provided by most of the UK-based websites particularly the websites of manufacturers of construction products.

Since its adoption in UK, the Building Information Model has been very instrumental in the construction industry of UK (McAdam 2010; Azzouz, Copping & Shepherd 2015). This is attributable to the fact that Building Information Model has provided standardization benchmark in UK by ensuring transparency and clarity of construction projects across the industry. The government has used BIM as a tool to reach its target of saving as much as 20% of the total cost of capital projects by the end of the fiscal year of 2015 (Eadie et al. 2013; Azzouz, Copping & Shepherd 2015). According to an investor report, the UK government began the adoption Building Information Model to ensure that the procurement of construction materials is easy for both the private and public sectors (Pocock et al. 2014).

The strategy to adopt the Building Information model into the construction industry of UK was informed by the need for a better operation procedure that can stimulate the reduction of asset cost, and help in achieving superior and effective construction supply chains (Steel, Drogemuller & Toth 2012). In addition, the adoption strategy was influenced by the need for a module that would help in the formation of an abreast thinking segment which people that was trustworthy as far as the ideas of different individuals were concerned (Suchocki 2015).

Even though there are numerous studies that have been conducted about the adoption of BIM, there are limited studies on the influence of BIM on the performance of transportation infrastructure (Crotty 2013; Smith 2014).

For this reason, this study will provide an in-depth evaluation of the potential impacts of building information modelling (BIM) on the performance of transportation infrastructure in the UK. As such, to achieve the objectives of this study, different aspects of BIM will be analyzed. A lot of emphasis will be put on the role of BIM in the construction industry as far as the effective handling of transportation infrastructure is concerned (Goedertier, Vanthienen & Caron 2015). The results and findings from this evaluation will be helpful in identifying the efficacy of using the building information model in handling the transportation infrastructure to overcome the associated challenges within the construction industry.

Outline of Research Methods

Research methods refer to the technique and procedures that are adopted in a study work to help in the collection and analysis of data regarding a given study. In this study, a number of research methods will be used to help in the achievement of the study’s objectives. They include:

  1. literature review,
  2. two case-studies,
  3. survey questionnaires
  4. semi-structured interviews.

The review of the literature focuses on past studies that cover the concept of building information model, and the concept of the global construction industry in relation to the adoption of BIM. To achieve the objectives of the study, the literature review will focus on the following: performances issues in the global construction industry; an overview of transportation infrastructure in the UK, including status and barriers, BIM Adoption, and the BIM strategies in UK, the benefits of the adoption of BIM for transportation infrastructure projects, and the need for transportation investment in UK.

The semi-structured interviews focus on exploring the performance issues of the transportation infrastructure projects in the UK. The interviews will be useful in citing the potential impact of BIM implementation on the identified performance issues. BIM is a new technology within the transportation infrastructure, and this research proposes the adoption of BIM to overcome the performance issues in transportation infrastructure projects in the UK. As such, it would be necessary to evaluate the influence of transportation infrastructure in relation to BIM, along with the significance of adopting BIM in the transportation infrastructure projects in the country. The survey questionnaires will be very effective in the collection of the necessary information on BIM adoption and its role in the transport infrastructure of UK.

On the other hand, the case-study approach focuses on highlighting the best practice of BIM implementation, as well as developing a set of guidelines for effective BIM implementation for the transportation infrastructure projects in the UK. The combination of the various research methods will ensure that the study achieves its set objectives.

Research Structure

This dissertation is divided into five chapters including the introduction chapter, literature review chapter, research design and methodology chapter, results and data analysis chapter, and lastly, the findings, discussion and conclusion chapter.

  • Chapter One: is the introduction chapter to the concept under investigation and presents an overview of the phenomenon under study, the justification of the research along with its aim, objectives and research questions.
  • Chapter Two: is the literature review chapter, and the chapter provides an in-depth analysis of the impact of BIM on the performance of transportation infrastructure in the UK, based on previous studies covering this concept. As such, this chapter explores the concept of BIM, its significance in UK’S transportation infrastructure projects and key drivers and barriers associated with the implementation of BIM within transportation infrastructure projects
  • Chapter Three: is the research design and methodology chapter, and presents the appropriate research design and methodologies used in the study. As such, the chapter highlights the methods used in collecting and analysing data on the concept under study- Evaluating the potential impacts of BIM on the performance of transportation infrastructure in the UK.
  • Chapter Four: is the results and data analysis chapter. It covers a review of the secondary and primary data acquired through the semi-structured interviews and survey questionnaires, and presents such data in form of tables and graphs.
  • Chapter Five: is the discussion, conclusion and recommendations chapter. The chapter provides a summary of the entire study reviews the results obtained from the semi-structured interviews and questions and provides an in-depth discussion of the results and findings in an attempt to examine how the results align with literature review findings. Additionally, the chapter identifies the achievements, limitations of the current research and offers recommendations for further studies.

Literature Review

Introduction

This section aims at the provision of an overview on the effects BIM has on the transportation infrastructure performance in the UK. The literature review will also be involved in the revelation of any existing gaps in the current research. However, there are several aspects that should be covered by the literature review. Some of the aspects include the current state of transportation infrastructure in the UK, BIM adoption strategies and benefits, the necessity to use information and communication technology in the development of infrastructural development projects as we as the challenges that can be faced during the model implementation.

To ensure constant developments, the government of UK has been involving various stakeholders of the BIM projects such as the private sector and both the small and medium sized organizations in the planning and implementation of the project (Azzouz, Copping & Shepherd 2015).

The working together with such organizations has led to the establishment of various programmes that are involved in the reinforcing of the mandate by the government for the effective delivery of the transport infrastructural projects. The implementation of the BIM projects was set to be done before the end of 2016. If the set goals and objectives are attained, it may assist the transport sector to formulate the best strategies for construction. The country will thus gain more benefits in the long run due to the accumulation of profits from the efficient development in infrastructure. The UK government has already received several benefits from the BIM implementation.

Background of the UK Construction Industry

Overview of the UK Transportation Infrastructure

The construction sector in the UK has been in demand for improvement and increase in its operations in the past years (Crotty 2013). The development of business has been performing at a sub-class level with constant expansion in the lodging actions than those experienced in 2014. Employment also recoiled back with the contactors indicating the highest speed ever. However, the sector has faced various challenges that hinder its development and upgrading (Azzouz, Copping & Shepherd 2015).

As a result, the attainment of the objectives of key projects has been slow, the standards are not yet acceptable and the budget has been increasing. The problems have been experienced by both the private and the public sectors in the country. This has led to the provision of best value by the construction strategies to the taxpayers and clients (Goedertier, Vanthienen & Caron 2015). The government has been actively involved in sponsoring various training programs with an aim to improve the value for money, and ensure efficient and effective delivery of services in the sector (Crotty 2013). Klassen et al. (2012) summarize the challenges faced such as the fragmentation of the process of project development, lack of integration in the stakeholder related problems, and supply chain challenges during the contacting processes.

Several studies indicated that partnering and integration by the UK government have been highly favored (Azzouz, Copping & Shepherd 2015; Crotty 2013). For instance, the government has taken responsibility to avoid issues of fragmentation that have so far been established as the key causes of the challenges. The strategic target set by various stakeholders in the country is twenty percent to be attained by the integrated supply chains and teams (Crotty 2013). However, other studies indicated that there is lack of methodology that can ensure appropriate analysis of what lead to inefficiencies in procurement during construction. For instance, false dichotomy between responsibilities has been a major drawback in the integration for construction.

The Status of Transportation Infrastructure in the UK

The transportation infrastructure in UK has been facing various challenges over the last centuries (Crotty 2013). The challenges have emanated from the poor conditions of the infrastructure. All the means of transport in the UK have faced the challenges since their last improvement efforts (Azzouz, Copping & Shepherd 2015). For instance, the air transport is known to have fallen back since the termination of the terminal and runway programmes of building in 1970s (Morecroft 2015). However, the set strategies picked up again in the course of 1980s after the extension of the runways as well as the construction of various terminals (Klassen et al. 2012).

From that time, huge amounts of money have been spent towards the construction and improvement of the UK air transport infrastructure. Additionally, the British Airports Authority has helped in the improvement interventions of the UK government through the expenditure of its money to support air transport development (Goedertier, Vanthienen & Caron 2015). There was a decline in the investment made for railway transport in1980s. However, expenditure on the same has been increasing due to the response of the 2000 crashes. In road transport, the government has still made some huge investments since the 1970s.

However, the strategic implementation of the set strategies has experienced a sharp decline (Crotty 2013). This is the only sector that has had a small improvement since the 1970s and the UK government wishes to keep the status as high as possible. Generally, the UK infrastructure is still poor and needs to be improved through the use of the BIM model (Ceranic, Latham & Dean 2015). In addition, the use of information and communication technology should ensure that advanced technology is applied in the improvement of the infrastructure.

To ensure infrastructural development in UK, Crotty (2013) indicated that there is the need to make considerable investment in such developments. For instance, the renovations and improvements that can be made in the transport sector play an essential role in meeting the ever increasing transportation demands due to the constant growth in the UK population (Azzouz, Copping & Shepherd 2015). In addition, the population has increased propensity to travel as well as the provision of the conditions that can assist in ensuring that the economic growth conditions are well met and adequately productive for the country.

Congestion in roads in the UK is very high. Approximately, 133 million passengers are driven in each kilometer in the UK (Crotty 2013). This number is increasing in every year and it is the highest in the world above the United States, France, Germany and Japan among others. In addition, the freight on the roads of the UK has heavier loads for every kilometer of movement (Klassen et al. 2012). To help in sustainable growth of the UK economy, the government has to ensure that the infrastructural state is improved to ensure smooth movement of people and goods from one place to another.

Goedertier, Vanthienen and Caron (2015) indicated that the rail transport network has been increasing over the last years. As a result, substantial work is required to ensure improvement of the rail system so that the transportation needs of the twenty first century can be fulfilled. For instance, the Great Eastern Main line has been in the current state for more than sixty years. However, its performance has always declined as it has very low sensitivity to changes in temperature and it is highly unreliable. Its maintenance has been expensive for the government and has caused disruptions to the performance of the railway line. The performance of the rail needs fast improvement as studies indicate that it is carrying more passengers than it has ever carried over the last centuries.

In the meantime, the comparison between the airports in the UK and that of other international airports is very poor (Morecroft 2015). However, the airports have recorded a slight improvement over the last five years (Crotty 2013). The UK transport department has predicted that the population in the UK is expected to increase by between eleven and fourteen percent in next twenty years. The rate at which all people travel is also likely to increase over the same period. The expectations of the travel rate of each UK citizen are likely to increase by 1100 kilometers by 2030 (Azzouz, Copping & Shepherd 2015).

As a result, there will be increased use of rail and more flights than ever before. The combination of population growth and the rate of travel for citizens is likely to have effects in two decades time. Keeping other things constant, there will be an increase in the number of passengers on the rails and the roads by fifty percent and thirty percent respectively (Brown & Stowers 2013). In addition, the number of UK flights is expected to increase by seventy five percent by the same period.

The Need for Transport Investment

For UK to ensure constant economic growth and development, it has to ensure that its sectors are well maintained for maximum benefits (Morecroft 2015). As a result, there is need to invest in the development of its infrastructure since it plays a significant role in the development of all other sectors (Brown & Stowers 2013). People use the roads, air and rai to travel to work and to do all their business transactions. Though it may be hard to carry out an assessment of the total amount of money that can be spent in the development of the infrastructure, the utilization of the BIM model ensures the right track of investment and the projects operate within the set budget (Goedertier, Vanthienen & Caron 2015).

Since the national government has allocated a huge amount of money to the infrastructural development, it may be easy for it to allocate around fifty percent of the same to the improvement of its infrastructure (Olatunji 2014). The estimation of the required amount to maintain, expand and improve the roads is actually less than the anticipated amount (Crotty 2013). Even with such an investment, the roads will be used as a means of transport by more passengers than ever before due to the increase transport demands in the twenty first century (Brown & Stowers 2013). However, there is an assumption that the technologies used to manage traffic will have constant development and at the same rate with the growth in population.

On the other hand, the rail transport is expected to take around thirty five percent of the total population that will be travelling. As a result, its projected total amount for maintenance and renewal is $4.8 billion (Highways Agency 2008). Such allocations are based on the efficiency of the means of transport. For instance, the railway transport has challenges in terms of its efficiency, a problem that the government has been trying to solve and achieve results within a short period (Klassen et al. 2012).

Finally, the expansion of the current air transport network, thirteen percent of the total budget can be used for the development and improvement of the network (Crotty 2013). This will ensure that the needs of customers who travel from various parts of the world are satisfied. However, the country may require additional capital for the improvement of the air transport network if it has to continue preserving its reputation for international transport (Olatunji 2014).

Such an improvement will lead to an increase in its international transactions including foreign investment by people from various parts of the world (Goedertier, Vanthienen & Caron 2015). In economic terms, the number of travels to other destinations through the United Kingdom may reduce and lead to a decrease in the viability of its economy. As a result, the impacts on its GDP growth are negative.

The Funding Challenge

Eadie et al. (2013) noted that the adoption of BIM in UK was motivated by the need for a module that would ensure that construction projects were effective through improved ways of sharing information and monitoring the progress of construction projects. However, Azzouz, Copping and Shepherd (2015) pointed out that financial support has been a challenge to the implementation of various projects in different countries in the world. In the same way, the infrastructural development in the UK has been facing various challenges in terms of funding for its projects (Goedertier, Vanthienen & Caron 2015; Cook 2011).

For instance, the last decade has recorded a total of eight percent contribution of the public sector to the development of the country’s infrastructure (Crotty 2013). The funding of road projects has always been done by both the local government and the transport department of the UK. The department of transport has supported the construction and development of the railway network through subsidies and constant support to the companies in the train transport sector (Olatunji 2014).

Only the airports in the UK have received a large percentage of private funding. Actually, around eighty six percent of the total funding comes from the private sector. Even though the support is far much beyond expected, various private organizations in the country have indicated their levels of corporate social responsibility through helping the government in the implementation and ensuring the success of its projects. The deficit in the structure gives an indication that it may be hard to sustain the old model of funding in twenty years to come.

The assessment on the amount of public funding that the government may offer indicated that the amount may decline with time (Olatunji 2014). This is due to the decline recorded between 2014 and 2015. The assumption is thus that there might be increase in the budget allocations for infrastructural development. The department of transport in the UK is thus expected to increase its allocations for strategic improvement of the rail infrastructure and the road network (Crotty 2013). The funding challenges in the UK should push the government to set specific strategies for the improvement in the transport infrastructure within a set period of time.

The set strategies should be reliant on the economic development that is highly determined by how well the transport network allows easy movement of people and goods. On the contrary, the airport owners may have the ability to cater for the development in airports without any changes in the cost of flights within the country or region (Klassen et al. 2012). The biggest challenges in the funding of the infrastructural development may arise after the government’s decision to move all the major airports within London to a different location.

In addition, the failure by the government to eliminate the public funding on infrastructural development may cause severe effects to the UK economy (Goedertier, Vanthienen & Caron 2015). This may lead to almost half percent of decrease in the rate of economic growth which affects the general economic growth. The decrease is likely to come from all sectors of the economy with the highest percentage from a decrease in the productivity of labor if workers have to waste a lot of time experiencing air and rail delays or sit in traffic jams. The wasted time reduces productivity and leads to negative effects on the productivity of the country.

During the evaluation of alternatives on how the government can improve this, it identified two major steps that can help in the tackling of the challenges without any slight increment in taxation (Steel, Drogemuller & Toth 2012). It decided to cut the construction and maintenance cost of infrastructure while increase income from the transport sector. With such a balance, the sector funds itself and the burden is not felt by the citizens.

With the maintenance of average productivity in the transport sector, the additional cost for improvement will be reduced (Crotty 2013; Goedertier, Vanthienen & Caron 2015). This will lead to the elimination of the existing gap in funding between the rail development and the road improvement strategies. To eliminate this gap, the country may further need to seek additional and alternative sources of money. For instance, it may get the money from road users with an aim of helping them to reduce the congestion in roads, rails, and airports.

Reducing the Construction Cost

The construction and maintenance of infrastructure in the United Kingdom is very expensive. Several studies indicate that the outcome of cost used in the infrastructural development in the UK ranks among the highest in the world (Klassen et al. 2012). The expected increase in roads, rails and airport density is due to the density of population in the country. Despite the various challenges discussed above, several providers of infrastructure have been helpful in the support of the UK infrastructural development (Goedertier, Vanthienen & Caron 2015). As a result, there are a number of achievements such as the slight improvement witnessed in the transport sector.

However, due to the variations of what has been achieved so far and what the government had set to achieve, there is still room for improvement in the state of infrastructure in the country. Zhou and Wang (2009) indicated that the collaboration between the UK government and the providers of infrastructure from various parts of the world can lead to a sixteen percent decrease in the total cost of infrastructure. This is under the assumption than the total productivity of the transport sector continues to increase at a rate of 1.7% annually. The attainment of the sixteen percent is further based on the changes of the value chain for construction with the assistance of the BIM model (Klassen et al. 2012; Olatunji 2014).

The time span planned for the attainment of efficiency in the infrastructural sector need to be given to the contractors in charge for their practices to ensure evolvement in the public sector. In addition, the front-line managers of the concerned companies need to ensure that all their efforts lead to an increase in general productivity of the infrastructural sector. There have been prolonged planning processes instead of having attempts towards the reformation of the planning committees.

There are limited opportunities in the attempts to reduce the total cost of infrastructural development. However, a major challenge leading to increase in the total cost is poor specifications of designs (Klassen et al. 2012). The infrastructure developers in the UK are sophisticated and like carrying out their operations outside the United Kingdom so that they can save some percentage of their expenditure through the application of standard specializations at the design stage that lead to improvement in the services provided. The standard specifications further assists in the management of risks and other uncertainties.

In spite of the reasonable progress that has been witnessed in the sector including labor productivity, better results can be obtained (Goedertier, Vanthienen & Caron 2015). The clients of infrastructure and the construction firms in the UK to work collaboratively so as to assist one another in reducing the complexities faced during project management. The integration of suppliers in the projects is essential as it helps in sharing of ideas as well as getting their opinions on the bets courses of action for the projects. In addition the service providers need to ensure that the supervisors of the project remain the same so that the instructions received by employees do not contradict. In case of any contradictions, there comes confusion that leads to challenges during accountability.

The other issue is that if the planning is inadequately done, the daily operations result to a decrease in ground productivity by the employees. For instance, several studies indicated most ground employees work for at most ten percent of their total shift time. The other percentage is spent as they wait for tools, waiting to collect any missing items, accessing the site of work, and waiting for specialist colleagues among other activities. This results to low quality of work as well as common issues of redoing the work that was poorly done.

From several studies, it is clearly indicated that if the supervisors ensure better management practices, they can work better with the staff to ensure improvement of the services provided (Zhou & Wang 2009). Such collaboration will play an essential role in reducing the cost of infrastructural development in the country. The other high cost will remain for the purchase of materials and their efficient use can further reduce that cost. In addition, it was realized that a combination of value design approach and complex techniques of management should lead to the attainment of substantial savings. These strategies to reduce the cost that are based on productivity could lead a decrease in the expenditure required to improve the road, rail and air transport.

Achieving efficiency in transportation projects

To ensure efficient funding of the transport network in the UK, there is a need for the government to seek alternative sources of funds. One of the selected options is to increase the amounts paid by the citizens in the name of reducing congestion in roads (Wong & Fan 2013). However, such an approach may lead to various challenges due to the fact that the road users will bear a lot of cost by the end of it. This is likely to discourage travelling that further reduces that amount of money received from the same.

They may also be motivated by the fact that using roads in the UK is less expensive compared to other places in the world like Germany, France, and Switzerland. In addition, the government in the UK increased the taxes on fuels. Although this led to an increase in the transportation cost per kilometer, it remains lower than in most places in the world. This gives an indication that most of the revenue in the UK is generated from taxes (Zhou & Wang 2009). As a result, studies indicated that if the taxation per every kilometer is to increase by 0.5%, the existing gap in the funding of the public sector is likely to be closed.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) Adoption

There are various benefits that can be obtained from the implementation of the set strategies and goals regarding the adoption of the BIM model in UK. For instance, some of them may include request for information, reducing conflicts, and increasing constructability (Crotty 2013). The benefits obtained may be due to the fact that the approach used provides good visualization, that help in the reduction of the estimated costs for the project leading to effective spread of information among the active parties as well as increase in smooth coordination of activities (Klassen et al. 2012).

However, despite such advantages, the speed with which BIM is adopted is still very low (Goedertier, Vanthienen & Caron 2015). This low speed may gain explanation from the fact that BIM is taken by key players in the construction industry to have disruptive technology. This technology is blamed for causing challenges into the current process used for construction through the transformation of the entire process to a new process (Crotty 2013). As a result, there are various challenges that hinder the adoption of BIM in the construction industry. Such challenges can further be classified into technical and non-technical.

In essence, the non-technical challenges are those related to the culture of an organization and the people within the organization. Culture is defined as the way of doing things in an organization, a country or a society that has been in use for some time and widely accepted as to be passed to new generations. Culture plays an essential role in the development strategies of any organization of country. For instance, some of the challenges that may arise during the implementation of the BIM are explanation of new roles responsibilities to BIM stakeholders and facing resistance to change by people from the old systems. In addition, the stakeholders need to be involved in ensuring that people have a clear understanding of the BIM model as well as how well it can work for their benefit (Crotty 2013).

The benefits obtained are actually better in comparison with managing education, 2D drafting and training people ion how best they can use the BIM (Pottle 2013). On the other hand, the technical issues involved may involve updating to technological advancements, technology complexities, compatibility and interoperability. Although technology may play the most essential role in the implementation of the BIM, it may lead to various benefits to organizations that adopt it very fast. However, the process of technology selection is critical in ensuring that they are in full support for the organization’s set goals and objectives (Klassen et al. 2012).

Wong and Fan (2013) further asserted that the technical challenges that face organizations in terms of acquire g technology are highly determined by several factors such as the size and organizational capability. Actually, not all organizations can afford to adopt the latest technology as soon as it is invented. Several studies indicated that the small and medium sized organizations are more likely to face such challenges than the large organizations (Crotty 2013).

As a result, for an organization to be in a position to adopt the BIM, it should come to a realization that there are benefits after changing several aspects within the organization (Azzouz, Copping & Shepherd 2015). For instance, some of the aspects that need to be changed include the ways in which information related to projects is utilized, the needs of both staff and organization, and the currently used processes of work (Crotty 2013). In addition, the managerial practices such as the hierarchy and functioning, which include the assigned roles and responsibilities as well as the identification of the key skills and capabilities of both individual managers and the organization in general need to be changed.

Building Information Model in the UK

The government of UK should focus on the full collaboration of 3D BIM in all its projects, ensure effective documentation and storage of data in electronic form, and the efficient dissemination of information to both the shareholders and stakeholders in the construction industry (Crotty 2013). These were set as the minimum goals to be attained by the end of 2016. In addition, the government had planned for the publication of the progress on annual basis so as to ensure that citizens can help in tracking the progress of the projects that are set to ensure that public interest is satisfied (Klassen et al. 2012).

To make the process of adopting BIM easy, the Construction Industry Council has been in the front line to ensure the development and implementation of the best practices that can assist with the guidance for the adoption and dissemination of the model throughout UK (Azzouz, Copping & Shepherd 2015). More to the point, the UK government has been getting assistance from Building-SMART that focuses on the improvement of the process to adopt the system and specifically on the sharing of data (Highways Agency 2008). Although the UK government has always provided full support towards the adoption of BIM in all the country’s projects of construction, the private sector has also been playing an essential role to ensure the same (Crotty 2013). For instance, the private sectors led to the formation of the BIM Industry Working Group in 2011.

This is a group that is fully behind the government in ensuring that BIM is adopted and fully beneficial to the country. In addition, the private sector does not just don activities without consultation with the government. However, it gets involved into discussions with the UK government for the development of the national guidelines and standards that should take the country to the desired level of technology. To ensure the promotion the BIM strategies, the government in collaboration with other groups including the private sector has distributed various tasks to be performed. For instance, various seminars have been organized to help in the creation of awareness to the key players in the industry, the development of BIM guidelines and strategies, development of training modules, as well as conducting colloquium and seminars.

BIM Strategies in the United Kingdom

A strategy can be defined as a course of action for an organization or government so as to solve a challenge that has affected its operations. The choice of strategies is mainly based on an in-depth examination of several alternatives that can be adopted and lead to the attainment of the same results. However, they are evaluated in terms of the positive and negative consequences as well as their total expenditure in terms of time and money. The UK government has various courses of action that need immediate implementation for the country to be technologically advanced (Crotty 2013). The strategies are set according to the challenges faced.

For instance, there has been a knowledge gap on the ways to implement the building information modeling. To solve this issue, the government formed the delivery teams that provide assistance to the governmental departments in the development and implementation of their own strategies for the adoption of BIM in order to meet the mandate by the government (Azzouz, Copping & Shepherd 2015). The progress is constantly reported to the government to track if performance is in the right direction. The formed team may also be involved in the study and establishment of the bets processes and procedures that aim at ensuring a smooth transition in the adoption of BIM. Finally, the government authorized the formation of regional hubs that provide guidance to both the clients of small and medium sized organizations.

The other challenge was insufficient technical skills. As a result, it developed training opportunities so as to equip the required number of individuals with the relevant skills for the implementation of the BIM. In addition, the government is severally involved in collaborations with various trade bodies and professionals that help in ensuring that the models can be implemented by all players in the construction sector. A third challenge could be managing risk and other uncertainties. The strategies used are working with the private sector to ensure equal distribution of the BIM benefits and incentives to all parties. Additionally, Government Soft Landings have to be incorporated in the implementation process of the BIM programme.

Case studies

The significance of building information modeling has led to increased attention among many people and companies in the construction and transport industries (Cook 2011). As such, a positive rate of adopting BIM has been noted over the past few years, which indicates that with time the building information and modelling technology will become very common both in the public and private sectors (Eastman et al. 2011).

For the purpose of fulfilling the objectives of this study, two case studies related to the adoption of BIM are examined below. The first case study focuses on the application of building information modelling in the highways sector, with a specific interest on major projects in the future. The subject of this case study aligns with the objectives of the study in that it hopes to highlight the benefits and challenges of adopting BIM in the highways sector. The second case study is on the Highways England-‘digital delivery’ strategy, whereby the focus is on the development of a ‘digital delivery’ strategy that is highly collaborative. As such, this case study puts a lot of emphasis on finding out the role of BIM in the development of the proposed strategy.

Case study 1: BIM in the highways sector

The government of UK announced its intention to ensure that there is a 15-20% reduction in the cost of construction projects in the public sector. This announcement has raised a lot of attention on the building information modelling. The decision to adopt and implement BIM was based on the fact that this model has shown potential to achieve reductions in savings of the construction projects as estimated by the government (Highways Agency 2008; Zhou & Wang 2009).

According to the government estimates, the use of such technology has the capacity to reduce the cost of projects within the construction industry by up to £2 billion on yearly basis. This can be attributed to the fact that the modelling techniques increases the certainty of cost and time, as well as ensures that there are fast mechanisms through which programs are delivered (Pottle 2013). Such savings are often accompanied by strategies aimed at reducing wastage and cases of re-work during the construction process, thereby enhancing efficiency of the projects (Eastman et al. 2011). In addition, the availability of asset information that is more detailed and accurate is important in reducing the cost of survey, as well as risk budgets targeting future projects.

This case study focuses of the present state and continuous developments in relation to the application of BIM and the related processes in most of the highway projects that are being undertaken by the Highways Agency of the United Kingdom. The choice of this case study was based on the fact that analyzing the use of M25 widening scheme provides insights into the benefits that the highways sector of the UK gets from the use of building information modelling in its projects.

The case study provides more information such as the challenges of adopting BIM in the construction industry. Additionally, the case study offers further information on the benefits that accrue from the reliance on embedded information that is available within the building information modelling and other related models. Lastly, the case study discusses the A556 improvement project in an attempt to demonstrate the added benefits from BIM models.

Overview of Highways Agency (HA) of UK

The highways agency of the UK looks for tools and mechanisms that can ensure that the completion of any construction project uses the minimum cost possible (Highways Agency 2008). This explains the interest of the Highways Agency in implementing the building information modelling in its future projects. This agency deals with the maintenance of more than 12,000 km miles of truck roads and motorways. Most of the construction projects undertaken by HA are divided into either maintenance activities or major projects. Over the recent years, Eastman et al. (2011) inferred from trends that there is a high possibility that the highways agency of UK will fully adopt the building information modeling tools for future developments based on the positive results that have been witnessed in the few projects carried out so far.

For example, HA’s M25 expansion project used the 3D building information modeling approach for detecting any clashes, for reviewing the design, and visualization of the site. Such an approach has been very significant in ensuring the project used as low capital as possible (Pottle 2013). In addition, plans are underway to ensure that the highways agency of the UK has more BIM-compliant asset management systems (Kendrick & Taggart 2006). In spite of this, a review of the delivery process of the highways agency and its management systems shows that there is the need to change major aspects of the systems to ensure that the delivery project can effectively enhance the transfer of information among interested parties (Cook 2011). Such capacities are available for advanced functionalities of the building information modelling tools such as the avenue to embed design information in the building models as well as integrate scans in the development of the models.

Highways’ BIM Developments in UK

The United Kingdom has adopted a number of developments that use the building information modeling in the highways sector. For example, the highways agency of UK has integrated asset management information system. Such a system is very important in keeping information for all the projects that the HA engages in (Highways Agency 2008). Numerous challenges have been witnessed in the highways sector, which result from the sheer quantity of information, which need to be stored for all the large and small-scale projects in the sector (Pottle 2013). For this reason, there have been numerous cases of lost information, or the use of incorrect information about a given project.

This is attributed to the availability of multiple systems that are used for the storage of information. Such a system has been considered to lack the necessary standardization measures (Cook 2011). For this reason, it becomes extremely hard to obtain any relevant information on a given project and thus, requires extensive network surveys to be carried out before starting out any new project.

The highways agency of the UK has been working towards improving its asset management systems to ensure that all projects’ information is available whenever needed. To achieve this, the agency laid out plans that would ensure the combination of the agency’s 17 databases to form the agency’s ‘integrated asset management system’ that can allow HA to effectively integrate and comply with the needs of adopting BIM (Highways Agency 2008).

This is based on the fact that to achieve BIM compliance, the agency was required to have a platform that has the ability to directly accept BIM models’ information. At the moment, the highways agency faces a lot of challenges trying to transfer information from the BIM models to the new integrated asset management information systems (Kendrick & Taggart 2006). This is caused by the lack of clear definition of the information format suitable for such a transfer (Cook 2011; Pottle 2013). In spite of this, the continuous work serves as a proof that full adoption of BIM is underway.

Most of the projects carried out nowadays are based on contracts. Nevertheless, this does not have a negative effect on the adoption of BIM in the highways sector (Eastman et al. 2011). For the government to effectively adopt BIM and benefit from it, there ought to be no form of competition or complexity of activities. This is attributed to the fact that there is always the need for client leadership to help in ensuring success based on the mechanisms of collaboration provided by the BIM solutions (Pottle 2013).

Despite the fact that a lot of effort has been put in ensuring full adoption and implementation of the BIM technologies, it has been challenging to ensure effective guidance in the entire process (Kendrick & Taggart 2006). The highways agency of the UK has been working extensively towards ensuring that its asset management systems are based on the proposed guidance, even though such an objective cannot be achieved without effecting the necessary changes (Pottle 2013). A review of the activities of HA and the current status in the highways sector of UK shows that the demand to adopt BIM in the sector is high (Rainer et al. 2013).

Use of BIM in the M25 Widening Project

The use of the building information modelling tools has been beneficial in the highways projects undertaken by the highways agency, as witnessed in the M25 widening project. Upgrading of the initial sections of the M25 widening project was finished in 2012 with a lot of focus on the motorway (Pottle 2013). There was a need for an extension of the carriageway that had been in existence through the erection of gantries alongside associated technology and variable signs. In addition, the project needed an effective drainage to be installed, which was necessitated by the increase in the carriageway area and the need for strict standards.

The boundary next to the designated area for expansion of the project made it quite challenging for effective completion of the widening process. However, the use of 3D BIM model enabled the Atkins to develop a suitable design for the project (Highways Agency 2008; Liapi 2008). One of the significant aims why the model was created is that there was a need to detect any clashes in the process of developing the design (Kendrick & Taggart 2006).

For this reason, discipline models and clash reports were available that ensured effective management of the entire project (Rainer et al. 2013). The use of the building information modeling technology played a major role in saving a lot of cash by ensuring that the project was efficient (Pottle 2013). In addition, the models helped to achieve the objectives of the project before the scheduled time and ahead of budget, which led to the Autodesk BIM experience award of April 2011. Based on the success of the M25 widening project, it was evident that BIM tools are very important in design development, more specifically in areas where there is possible virtual clash detection.

In spite of this achievement, it was not possible to develop the building information modelling tools into an asset information management due to the lack of information from the start of the design process. As such, to effectively use the technology, Cook (2011) noted that there was a need to embed data to the developed model.

Future projects

As evident in the case of the M25 widening project, BIM tools are very effective in design review, clash detection and transferring information on any given project to the necessary parties. As such, the embedding of information is possible through the creation of a model that is based on the objectives of the given project, which ensures that the users have full access to any information whenever needed (Cook 2011; Liapi 2008). Often, a gantry pile cap is used and it contains all the data such as the required reinforcement, concrete mix and any other specifications of the project (Rainer et al. 2013).

In its map, the highways agency identifies seven data drops that are developed to ensure the realization of the initial objectives of any given project (Highway Agency 2008; Pottle 2013). Usually, a data drop is considered to be an avenue through which data from a given project is transferred to the highways agency based on the set requirements. A project that is BIM-complaint ought to have all the required information attached to the model from the initial design phase. Such a strategy ensures that the necessary information can be transferred without much challenge during the project’s life cycle (Kendrick & Taggart 2006). The use of the BIM technology ensures that the highways agency can regularly update its projects easily through effective asset management systems.

However, for the information attached to the project model to be useful, it must have a direct relationship with the requirements of the client. To ensure such requirements are met the highway agency maintains continuous communication with the teams in charge of the delivery of the project (Pottle 2013). For this reason, the highways agency ought to provide detailed information in form of independent groups. Such information should adhere to the methodology applied in the maintenance of projects. This ensures that the installation of the integrated asset management system is effective and follows the required procedures.

On the other hand, the highways agency of the UK had another chance to apply the BIM tools in the A556 improvement project. The A556 improvement project features the upgrade of single carriageway that runs from the M56 junction 7 to the M6 Junction 19, a distance of about 6.5 km. In addition, the upgrade involves the construction of a bypass at Mere for the purpose of preventing a lot of damage to the environment. The cost for the A556 improvement was estimated at £137 and £212 million (Highways Agency 2008). The adoption of the BIM tools at the initial stages of the A556 improvement project has been considered to be a suitable approach to ensure that the development of the project follows the 3D-objectives (Liapi 2008). Essentially, the use of the BIM technology in the construction industry allows project managers and delivery teams to identify any inconsistencies in the project and offer the necessary solutions.

Asset Management Challenges

The highway agency has been trying to change the way in which the systems of asset management work. To ensure effectiveness in the utilization of such systems, it uses the previously separated database information (Kendrick & Taggart 2006). As a result, the way in which the used database looks and how well it can be used becomes a main factor of consideration during the implementation of BIM in major projects of the highways agency (Teall 2014). The key reason for this is that the models of BIM projects are designed in such a way that the information used during construction is updated (Pottle 2013).

After the construction phase, the project is handed over to the HA as an Asset Information Management (AIM) in its final stages (Highways Agency 2008). In addition, there is the transfer of the essential information about the maintenance and operation of the entire asset from the delivery team of the project to the owner (Kendrick & Taggart 2006). The delivery team and the asset owner always do their debate on how information will be transferred. Undoubtedly, in case there is no match between the attached information on AIM and the one within the AIM Information System (IS), handing over the information may become complex leading to loss of some significant information.

The individuals tasked with the responsibility to ensure the implementation of the BIM projects ought to be careful with all the stages. There should be an identification of any existing incompatibilities between the format used by the BIM model and the one that can be accepted by the AIM IS (Kendrick & Taggart 2006). However, the team of project managers ought to ensure that the system is operational from the initial stages so that any problematic issues can be solved during that time.

Although the experts may demonstrate the tools used for BIM for major projects of HA as manageable, they do not have examples of how the model has been used for some contracts. The new asset information management system is thus, aimed at accepting the information fed from the BIM models (Pottle 2013). However, there is less clarity on the storage and the utilization of models based on the projects. Though the acceptance of the new model may face various challenges, it is the responsibility of the team of experts to ensure that all stages are well clarified to avoid challenges during the final stages. In addition, they need to ensure that the model is in use until it helps in the maintenance of the implemented projects. The utilization of all the information gathered from some projects in the asset contracts may be more useful in the development of the IS (Cook 2011). Therefore, the IS should aim at the provision of a link between the system and the gathered information.

According to the Highways Agency (2008), most projects face the challenge of cumbersome data, which becomes difficult to access. In such a case, the main concern is the fact that the combination of all the information about the project may lead to more challenges. This hardens the operation of the AIM IS as adding more data to an already filled database makes it slower to access (Highways Agency 2008). This challenge cannot be easily avoided by the developing team.

From the above, it is evident that the adoption of the BIM tools and processes can lead to efficiency and saving cost of operations as far as construction of reliable structures is concerned (Cook 2011; Highways Agency 2008). Since the UK government has been trying to reduce the amount of capital allocated on construction projects, efforts have been seen that focus on the implementation of BIM and incorporating such models in its supply chains (Highways Agency 2008). The projects undertaken by the highways agency of UK take into consideration the major part of the government expenditure on infrastructure.

As a result, Pottle (2013) noted that there is a need to constantly provide updates on the progress of the implementation of the BIM through improving the used design, detecting clashes and making huge savings in terms of both time and money. Since the implementation of the BIM has mostly been given to contractors, the highways agency has been trying to be compliant with the requirements and accept the information offered by the BIM models.

However, a lot of work still needs to be done in regard to ensuring that the HA gets the construction contracts from the government (Teicholz 2013). For instance, there is the need to integrate the BIM model’s information with that in the IAM information systems of the HA. Adding information to personal projects within the models of BIM has not yet been approved by the government. However, there is the hope that such provision will be available to enhance the integration of the HA to the strategies and models of BIM (Kendrick & Taggart 2006). With such an opportunity, the remaining part is a clear indication that the aspirations of handing over a complete BIM model may be the most suitable option.

To ensure better results in the implementation of the BIM, there is the need to create 3D database and develop a naming system for the highways sector (Kendrick & Taggart 2006; Cook 2011; Highways Agency 2008). It will further help in adopting the BIM models in the future. However, the developers have not yet given a specific deadline by when they should develop the database and it is essential as the information organization has to be aware for the purpose of allocating the upcoming Integrated Asset Management IS in the HA. The tools and processes of BIM have various advantages that have already been observed in the successful projects undertaken by the highways agency of UK.

The biggest limitation is that there is no clear information on the link that exists between the transfer of data and how the project teams use the BIM models. The HA thus, aims at investigating and developing this link and how it will function to ensure that they improve on the delivery of the asset support contracts and the major projects.

According to the findings of the case study, one would notice that the adoption of the BIM technology has been underway and has numerous benefits especially in terms of enhancing efficiency and reduction of cost. As evident in the case of the M25 widening project and the A556 improvement project, building information modelling technique is very efficient in areas where a large project is to be developed on a small area.

This, according to Cook (2011), is possible because the design of a BIM model prior to the start of any work highlights the project’s specifications, as well as helps in clash detection. In addition, adopting BIM tools ensures the availability of all the details of any given project making it very easy for such details to be updated whenever needed, as well as for references purpose in the future. Lastly, the case study discussed above has shown that even though the building information modelling is suitable for al construction projects, it is largely used in large projects.

Case study: Highways England-‘digital delivery’ strategy

This case study focuses on the development of a ‘digital delivery’ strategy in England through the help of Costin, Highways England (HE) and Bryden Wood. While a strategy to implement BIM exists, this case study seeks to provide insights into the implementation strategy by optimizing the adoption of the proposed strategy as well as identifying use cases, which are in line with the Highways England for the purpose of demonstrating the role of building information modeling in the creation of value for money and business in UK. As such, the case study examines the stream of work with respect to the digital delivery strategy and its progress. This will be covered by looking at a section on libraries, use cases, and key performance indicators.

Libraries

The assemblies and objects of the library play a significant role as far as the specification of elements and standardized designs in the construction of highways is concerned. Such elements are necessary ensuring improved production, accurate and consistent definition of data based on the required clarity. The Highways England Building Information Modeling Libraries were developed to offer maximum usage of standardized designs in areas where it was applicable for the purpose of ensuring effective development of the design, as well as to ensure that projects could be developed earlier in the course since such an approach ensures rapid model progress.

For this reason, the library contains components and assemblies that are rich in data and are used as reference points in relation to equipment, signage, fixtures, functionality and activities, adjacencies and flows, any form of maintenance required in the process of construction, clauses that outline various specifications, as well as other Highways England designs and technical standards (Morecroft 2015).

Evidently, the objects of the library are important in the lifecycle of any given project, as well as in differentiating between objects that are ‘actual’ from the ‘virtual’ ones. The components are often data-driven and are thus, very important based on the fact that the Highways England is becoming highly popular for its reliance on data to enable the involved parties to make effective decisions especially in network optimization.

During the initial stages of any given project, the objects of the library are useful in the creation of an outline that can be used for the ‘visual brief’ of an asset. Such an outline is suitable in extracting data on the cost of the project, schedule among other aspects of the project (Marzouk & Abdelaty 2014). The project teams find the use of library objects very convenient in that they are easy to refine or even manipulate whenever needed, which is very important especially because such an approach allows effective testing of scenarios, as well as development of necessary options at scales that are in line with the requirements of the project.

In the case of the tender age of any given project, the BIM models offers option of being populated with respect to an increase in the level of ‘granularity’ (Pottle 2013). At such a state, the library objects play the role of generic ‘placeholders’ whereby the performance specifications and other properties are contained. As such, the project team can extract any data they require easily. According to Marzouk and Abdelaty (2014), the significance of the library objects at this stage is that they provide certainty of all procedures including the programme, fit and cost.

The design development phase provides the project team with an opportunity of populating the BIM tools with elements and objects that are compliant with the project and are highly tested to ensure that the required design is achieved (Cook 2011; Wong & Fan 2013). In addition, the presence of such elements make it possible for the contractors to assess the client brief as well as create schedules that are accurate based on real time data (Zhou & Wang 2009).

For this reason, the contractors are in a suitable position to carry out virtual construction exercises at the pre-construction phase. Such exercises can include training operatives that are intended to achieve the necessary efficiency while on site (Morecroft 2015). The BIM tools offer a platform that is safe with an environment that is highly controlled for the purposes of planning all aspects of the project such as assembly, logistics and manufacture prior to the start of the actual project. Such an approach makes is suitable for the contractors to track all components at every step involving manufacturing, package, logistics as well as delivery procedures (Pottle 2013).

In addition, there is an option for the involved parties to access the history of all components in the future whenever needed since the library objects allows recording of each component’s history (Marzouk & Abdelaty 2014). Recording of the component’s history is important in that such information is needed in the assembly phase for the purpose of linking the quality records, methods statements and assembly manuals to achieve maximum production as far as the site personnel is concerned (Cook 2011). This ensures that the project can rely on low-skilled labor for effective completion of all the required tasks for the project.

The use of standardized components in the operational phase of any given project is beneficial in aspects of replacement and maintenance in elements that require extension, refurbishment, reconfiguration, as well as assets re-purposing (Pottle 2013). This is possible in that the contractors get the chance to identify all the components which is important in ensuring that all data is created according to the required context (Cook 2011).

Thus, it can be seen that the library objects allows the creation and linking of assemblies and components in a building information modeling platform for the purpose of ensuring that the standardized designs can be reused for any given estate portfolio. Such strategy is convenient in that ensures improved design productivity, and the availability of the necessary project’s specifications whenever needed. There have been efforts to ensure the production of BIM libraries for the purposes of supporting the Highways England as far as the management or risk, efficiency and improved performance are concerned (Morecroft 2015). As such, the availability of the BIM libraries ensures improved collaboration and knowledge capture with the intent of supporting continuous improvement of projects.

Use cases

According to the Highways Agency business plan of 2014 and 2015, there are several activities and key use roles that are based on the needs for to adopt BIM libraries, as well as any other work in relation to supporting and facilitating improved performance, efficiency and productivity of highways projects (Kendrick & Taggart 2006; Pottle 2013). This section provides an overview of the themes forming the background of the business plan.

First, the roles of the Highways Agency included responsibility for operation, maintenance and improvement of the strategic road network of UK, overseeing the expenditure of funds meant for construction, as well as ensuring that there is increased capability and capacity in supply chain investment (Zhou & Wang 2009). Therefore, the goals of the Highways Agency revolve around supporting and facilitating the growth of the economy, ensuring that highways are in a condition that is safe and can be serviced, operating effectively and efficiently, minimizing adverse effects to the environment, local communities and the users, as well as ensuring the business and individuals’ needs are in a state of balance (Kendrick & Taggart 2006). Based on these goals, it is evident that the primary activities of the Highways Agency are to operate, maintain, and improve.

The collaboration between the Highways England and the BIM libraries hopes to provide the necessary support in order to enhance improved performance of major structures in the country as well as set up the required measures towards effective risk management (Pottle 2013). As such, the highways agency of UK gets a number of benefits through the adoption of the BIM technology in its operations. For example, building information modeling provides the agency with a platform for improved organization regarding the making of decisions that are based on predictable quality. This is enabled through live stimulations, as well as room for verification.

Secondly, the agency gets enhanced design upon adopting BIM tools in all its projects. This ensures that the projects carried out have few cases of rework and fewer errors. In addition, the design ensures sustainability of the constructed structures since a lot of focus is given on lifecycle and environmental assessment before carrying out any construction works (Kendrick & Taggart 2006).

Thirdly, the BIM tools are beneficial in that they enhance delivery of projects through predictability that is highly improved and efficient production. On the other hand, the building information modeling tools provides the contractors and project teams with a platform for effective maintenance of any given project (Pottle 2013). Generally, the use of BIM technology in the highways sector is very beneficial and very efficient in terms of reducing the cost of construction, faster delivery, and better quality of final structures. This is attributed to the fact that the tools are significant in streamlining the entire process.

Key performance indicators

The operational metrics manual that is followed by the Highways England has several significant performance indicators that ought to be facilitated and supported by the building information modeling technique upon its adoption (Pottle 2013). The proposed performance indicators are based on the need for safe network. As such, the key performance indicators adopted for the Highways England include contributory factors and incident numbers especially for all motorways, casualty numbers alongside contributory factors that are designed for trunks that are meant for all purposes, as well as accident frequency rate in accordance with the workers in various sections of the project.

To achieve the objectives of each individual project, the adoption of the BIM tools will enhance the visualization as well as analysis of any type of data needed for various projects in order to cite any areas and causes that require immediate action (Wong & Fan 2013; Kendrick & Taggart 2006). Secondly, the adoption of the BIM can be very instrumental in the success of any given project by allowing incident’s reproduction through stimulations for the purpose of ensuring that the project team and other players have full knowledge of the entire project right from the initial stages (Pottle 2013). On the other hand, the use of the BIM technology in the Highways England projects provides the project team with a number of lessons that they can transfer for the purpose of making progressive improvements.

Level of detail

During the design of any given project, it is important to put into consideration all the necessary details of the project to ensure that the final project matches the client’s requirements (Pottle 2013). The level of detail often increases according to the development of any given project. For this reason, there is a need for suitable design that captures every single detail of the project regardless of the complexity. The use of the building information modeling technology in the Highways England allowed effective description of the entire project graphically to ensure that the details at all stages were brought out as expected (Zhou & Wang 2009). During the initial stages of the project, simple boxes were used to represent several components of the project, while ‘coarse grain’ models are preferred in the final stages of any given project.

Chapter Summary

The review of the literature on the impacts of adopting the building information modeling technology has been comprehensive with a lot of effort in examining the potential of BIM in the highways sector of UK. From the literature review, it was evident that there have been demands for the improvement of the construction sector of UK for many years now. In addition, the development of business has been slow and employment also recoiled back.

In spite of this, the chapter has highlighted the various challenges that hinder the development and upgrading of highways in UK. A lot of government’s involvement in development of the highway sector has been evident in the recent years with huge amounts of money being spent towards the construction and improvement of the UK transport infrastructure. Additionally, the British Airports Authority has helped in the improvement interventions of the UK government through the expenditure of its money to support air transport development.

The review of literature also reviewed two case studies on the adoption of the BIM technology in the highways sector of UK. These two case studies have highlighted the significance of implementing BIM technology in major construction works in the country. The findings from the literature review are compared with th survey results and analyzed in chapter to ascertain whether or not the objectives of the research including understanding the relevance of Building Information Modeling for transportation projects, establishing some of the key drivers and barriers to the implementation of BIM in transportation infrastructure projects, critically examining case-studies of BIM implementation within transportation infrastructure projects in the UK; developing a set of guidelines for effective BIM implementation in the transportation infrastructure projects in UK, were achieved.

Research Resign and Methodology

Introduction

The success of any research study is largely depended on the methodology and research design that the researcher adopts. The systematic planning of actions that are applied in the collection of information and subsequent analysis of data in a logical manner that help in realization of the purpose of the study is called the study design (Creswell 2009). Examples of the study designs include descriptive, cross-sectional, experimental, and explorative researches. Research methodology refers to the principles and processes that are applied to collect data that can be utilized in decision making, in business and/or social setting (Kothari 2005).

This chapter concentrates on the research methodologies and design used in the research. Research designs, target population, sample frame, sampling techniques, methods of data collection and data analysis are therefore presented under this chapter. In addition, the chapter presents the aspects of data validity and reliability. A detailed explanation is provided for the strategy that will be adopted in the collection of the required data and information, the steps involved in the analysis and examination of this data. As such, the research methodology chapter provides a guideline that will be followed to achieve the aims and objectives of the study.

Research Strategy

Creswell (2009) asserted that a research strategy is very important in any study and ought to be selected during the initial stages of any study. In this section the strategies used for the different types of activities regarding the entire research study will be chosen. The alternative strategies will be discussed and then the justification of the selected strategies will be given in this section. The research will be conducted using two case studies. In order to collect the data of the research study, survey and interview will be used as the methods of primary data collection.

Research Philosophy

Research philosophy refers to the belief that researchers have regarding the method of collecting and analyzing data for any given study subject. The positivism and interpretivism are the two types of research philosophies that are commonly used in research.

Positivism

According to the positivism view, reality is considered to be stable, which makes it possible for a researcher to observe and describe it based an objective perspective. In such a case, the researcher does not interfere in any way with the subject under study (Klassen et al. 2012). This can be attributed to the fact that independent variables are used to manipulate reality for the purpose of identifying any changes in the study subject. In addition, any existing information, explanation or observation can be used to predict reality of the phenomenon under study.

Interpretivism

According to the interpretivism philosophy, reality can be explained through the subjective viewpoint. As such, in this approach, the interpretivism focuses on the examining a given phenomenon with respect to its natural setting (Leedy & Ormrod 2013). It is opposed to the positivism approach in that the interpretivism philosophy is based on the view that researchers have a lot of influence on the any phenomenon under study.

Justification of choosing both philosophies

Both the abovementioned philosophies can be used as part of the study. None of the two approaches is superior to the other; what brings the difference is the subject being examined. As such, the combination of both the positivism and interpretivism approaches can offer the research a better chance of collecting reliable data. For this reason, the research will make use of both philosophies for better results. By analyzing the concept of BIM in UK through the subjective and objective view, it will be possible to determine the impacts of BIM in the highways of UK.

Research Approach

There are two mainstream research approaches that are commonly used in research work. The two approaches are used for various types of research work. The choice of the research approach is determined by the topic and area of the research study. The inductive research approach portrays the components and occasions of the exploratory approach (Leedy & Ormrod 2013). This gives the room to define a theory for the study depending on the perception and the example of the occasions. The theory examines the hypothetical concepts of the study. In this study, the deductive methodology will be adopted. In such a study, a hypothetical system and theory are utilized to set up a relationship between the variables used in the study (Mitchell & Jolly 2013).

Justification for choosing the deductive approach:

In this particular research study, there is no need to test the existing theories and models. The impacts of one variable on the other will be analyzed with the help of the existing theories and models. Therefore, the deductive strategy will be the best for fulfilling the objectives of the study.

Research design

Three types of research designs are very popular in the area of academic research work. They are known as explanatory, exploratory and descriptive research designs. The descriptive design helps to identify the information that will be able to fulfil the objectives of the particular research study. Explanatory design helps to discover the problems and their alternative solutions. Exploratory design helps to conduct an in-depth analysis on the basis of the background information available in the area of the research work (Novikov & Novikov 2013).

The research on the impacts of BIM adoption in UK will focus on what has been achieved following the implementation of the Building Information Model, the associated benefits, and the constraints faced in the transport infrastructure of UK following the adoption of BIM. The study will also get quantitative data that relate to the performance from the necessary databases on transport and infrastructure.

Such information will be supplemented by interviewing employees and manager of the selected companies within the construction industry of UK. The interviews will focus on the overall performance of the selected companies following the adoption of the building information model. The research will be comprehensive following the combination of two study designs which include descriptive and cross sectional. The descriptive research design will apply to this study, as it is very crucial in assisting to provide answers relating to how research problem has affected a given societal situation (Mitchell &Jolly 2013; Leedy & Ormrod 2013).

In this case, therefore, the descriptive design will be useful in for example, helping to ascertaining the effects of the building information model in the infrastructure of UK. This can be attributed to the fact that the study will require offering a description of tangible impacts of BIM, as far as the performance of the selected companies is concerned. In addition, the decision to use the descriptive study design is very effective in any study due to its ability to provide indexes regarding given variables under examination in a study (Kothari 2005). As such, the descriptive study design is very effective in obtaining reliable data for the purpose of drawing the necessary conclusions regarding a given subject under investigation.

The research on the impacts of BIM in UK transport infrastructure will focus on a large geographical area, and hence the study will require the use of large data for reliable results. In the view of Mitchell and Jolly (2013), descriptive study design is very effective in studies that involve the collection of large amount of data. In spite of the suitability of the descriptive research design in the collection of data and ensuring reliability and validity of data, this type of research study has several limitations such as high dependence on instrumentation of measurements and observation. For this reason, there is a need for another type of study design to complement the descriptive study for the purpose of ensuring that reliable data is obtained. Thus, the cross-sectional research design was adopted in this study.

While the descriptive study will be used in providing an overview of what has been happening within the transport infrastructure of UK since the adoption of BIM, the cross-sectional study design will provide complementary platform to collect and describe the impacts of BIM on the performance of the selected companies.

Justification of choosing the descriptive design

In this research study, the suitable strategy for exploration configuration ought to be exploratory. The information has been gathered on the premise of the foundation study made, and the survey has been planned by making an inside out examination. The descriptive design will help to conduct the research work by collecting the information from the practical field and comparing this to the information gathered in the literature review, i.e., the research works of the previous researchers. This will be the most effective method to fulfil the objectives of the research study in a shorter time.

Secondly, the descriptive study design is very effective in any study due to its ability to provide indexes regarding given variables under examination in a study (Kothari 2005). As such, the descriptive study design will be used to obtain reliable data for the purpose of drawing the necessary conclusions regarding the subject under investigation.

Third, in the view of Mitchell and Jolly (2013), descriptive study design is very effective in studies that involve the collection of large amount of data. In this case, the study on impacts of BIM covers a large geographical area, which requires the collection of large data for the reliability of results.

Justification for choosing the cross-sectional design

In spite of the suitability of the descriptive research design in the collection of data and ensuring reliability and validity of data, this type of research study has several limitations such as high dependence on instrumentation of measurements and observation. For this reason, there is a need for another type of study design to complement the descriptive study for the purpose of ensuring that reliable data is obtained. Thus, the cross-sectional study design was used to as a complementary study to the descriptive research design.

The cross sectional study will help in analyzing the concept of building information model and offer snapshots on the achievements, failures and benefits of the building information model. Through the cross sectional studies, the researcher will be in a position to find out whether or not BIM has had significant impact in the performance of the transport infrastructures of UK. Creswell (2009) asserted that the cross-sectional studies can be carried out repeatedly to give pseudo longitudinal study.

The Research Process

For the required data to be collected there was the need for an effective research process to be followed. This process comprised of a series of steps to help the research collect all the necessary data on BIM, both from primary and secondary sources. The diagram (Figure 1) presents the research process.

Research Problem

The primary concern of this study revolves around the performance of highway transport systems in UK. As such, the study reviews the concept of BIM adoption in UK, in an attempt to highlight the significance of BIM in UK’s transport infrastructure, as well as any associated challenges. This study was motivated by the fact that there are limited studies covering the implementation of BIM in UK.

Research Methods

As outlined earlier, the study adopted the both qualitative and quantitative research methods. This involved an extensive literature review as presented in chapter two, questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. The decision to use interviews in this study was appropriate since they are considered effective data collection tools especially where in-depth data about a research topic is needed. In the case of the current study, it was necessary to use interview method since the study required to collect first hand data on the performance of transport infrastructure in UK.

As such, the interview design focused on establishing the level of satisfaction among the study participants as far as the performance of transport infrastructure in UK was concerned. The interviews also factored in challenges affecting the highways transport of UK, and suggestions on how such challenges could be addressed.

In addition, the study used questionnaires to help in the collection of the required data on the impacts of BIM in UK. The use of questionnaires in this study was based on the fact that questionnaires are effective data collection tools in studies that involve large sample sizes and large geographical data. The use of the questionnaires helped in identifying the level of awareness of the study participants regarding the use of BIM in infrastructural development.

Research Process.
Figure 1: Research Process.

Sampling

Sampling refers the methods used in a research to arrive at the required sample for a study (Salaberry & Comajoan 2013). It is used in the selection of study units or subjects to be used in data collection. There are two major sampling techniques that can be used in any study. They are the probability sampling technique and the non-probability sampling technique (Uprichard 2013). In this case, both of sampling techniques were used.

In order to select the population for the survey, the probability sampling will be used. A total of 150 employees of the UK construction industry were chosen randomly to collect the quantitative data. The selection of the 3 managers was done through the use of the non-probability sampling technique. A lot of focus during the selection process of the study participants was put on the experience and status of the company.

Methods of collecting data

The methods of data collection that a researcher adopts are very important in determining the validity and reliability of collected data (Creswell 2009). There are two types of data sources, primary and secondary, that can be used in any study (Popping 2012). In this case, both primary and secondary sources of data were used. Interviews and survey methods were used in collecting the required data for the study.

Practical Implementation

Survey Questionnaire

A consent form was provided to all the study participants before actual study was carried out in order to ensure their commitment (Thomas 2013). The form contained information on aim of the study and the terms of data collection that the participants would follow. The questionnaire comprised of four sections including the demographic characteristics of the study participants, level of awareness of the building information modeling, barriers of implementing BIM, and the opinions of the study participants regarding the BIM’s future. Table 1 below, is the sample questionnaire used for the study.

Part 1: DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION

Section 1: General information:

Please state the title of your job……………………………..

How many years of experience do you have dealing with construction projects?

  • 0-4 Years
  • 5-10 Years
  • 11-14Years
  • 15-20
  • More than 20 Years

Which type of organization have you worked in?

Consultant Civil servant Contractor

Tick where applicable as far as your level of education is concerned :

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Higher diploma
  • Master’s degree
  • Doctorate
  • Other (Specify)

SECTION 2: LEVEL OF BIM AWARENESS

Have you ever heard, and/or used BIM technology in any of your projects?

I have heard and used BIM
I have heard but not used BIM
I do not know BIM

SECTION 3: BARRIERS OF BIM IMPLEMENTATION

What do you think are some of the barriers of implementing BIM in UK?

Barrier Frequency
Very high High Moderately
low
Low Very
Low
Low level of BIM knowledge
Lack of the necessary expertise and skills
Inadequate training and education among staff
Lack of efficiency in existing methods
BIM technology is expensive
Lack of interoperability.
Issues of job insecurity
Impacts of government regulations and instructions.
Legal issues like copyright, ownership, etc.
Inadequate supply of data formats and standards
BIM technology is complex
Habitual resistance).
Disagreement among top

What are some of the factors hindering your organization from adopting BIM in its projects

  • …………………………………………
  • …………………………………………

SECTION4: FUTURE OF BIM TECHNOLOGY IN UK

In terms of adoption of the building information modeling, how ready are the participants in UK?

  • Very High
  • Very Low
  • I am not sure

In your opinion how successful is the adoption of BIM technology in UK transport infrastructure likely to be?

  • Very High
  • Very Low
  • I am not sure

Please give a reason for your answer to the above question

………………………………………………………………………………………………

The implementation of building information model is the responsibility of? (tick where applicable)

  • Contractors
  • Design and consultant firms
  • Software developers
  • The government.

End. Thank you.

Table 1: Questionnaire.

Case study

Chandra and Sharma (2013) asserted that the choice of a data collection method if often influenced by the suitability of the given method to collect the required data. In this case, case study method was considered to have a high potential of collecting data on the impacts of BIM implementation in UK. Two case studies were selected, which focused on collecting data on best practices of BIM implementation, and the development of a set of guidelines for effective BIM implementation in transportation infrastructure projects in the UK.

Interview

Three managers from three different constructions companies in the UK were interviewed. The interview focused on the effects of the implementation of building information modeling in the selected companies’ transportation infrastructure.

Data analysis

After collecting the data, it is very important to summarize the data and then analyze the data to achieve the desired outcome of the research work. The practical data analysis will be conducted with the help of statistical analysis tools. The data gathered through the survey will be summarized in tabular format and then the statistical analysis will be conducted by using MS Excel. The analysis of the qualitative data will be conducted by summarizing the interview transcripts in written format and analyzing the data by deep observation (Wang & Mao 2012).

Ethical Considerations

Every study has a number of factors to consider in order to ensure that the study achieves its objectives. For this reason, the current study was conducted by maintaining all the ethical considerations. For example, there was the need to maintain the Data Protection Act, 1998 during the process of gathering personal feedback from the participants of the study. As such, the participants of the study remained anonymous through the use of codes (Klassen et al. 2012). In addition, the participants of the study were awarded full freedom of withdrawing their participation from the research study (Brown & Stowers 2013). However, a consent form was necessary to ensure that only committed participants were considered in the study sample. The design of the questionnaires included simple and clear questions to ensure that all the participants understood what was required of them.

Finding and Analysis

Introduction

There have been numerous concerns in regards to the role of BIM in construction industry as well as the potential of such strategies in the highways sector of the United Kingdom. For this reason, the study on the impacts of building information modeling in the UK primarily focused on aspects of adopting and implementing BIM tools in the highways sector of the United Kingdom. The choice of this subject and the need to adopt BIM in the UK’s highways sector was based on the need to ensure effective organization of building and construction activities right from the initial stages up to the completed structure.

The construction of highways as well as any other structure has numerous challenges which are attributable to the complex details. Therefore, this study hoped to examine the potential impacts of adopting building information modeling in UK. This chapter presents the data collected, its analysis, as well as the results and findings based on the collected data.

Research Process and Data collection

The concept of building information modeling is wide and thus required suitable data collection approach to ensure comprehensive coverage of the research topic. For this reason, two case studies were used alongside an interview on selected individuals within the highways construction sector. The decision to use interviews as data collection method was based on the fact that there was a need to collect in-depth information on the impacts of BIM adoption in UK from people who have the potential of using or who have used such technologies in the construction of various structures.

As pointed out by Mitchell and Jolly (2013), interviews offer a researcher the opportunity to get firsthand information on personal opinions, perspectives and experiences regarding a given phenomenon under study. In this case, interviews were instrumental in the collection of data on respondents’ opinions on the impacts of adopting building information modelling in the construction sector of the country.

The focus of this study was on what has been achieved following the implementation of the Building Information Model, the associated benefits, and the constraints faced in the transport infrastructure of UK with respect to the adoption of BIM. The study relied on quantitative data that related to the performance of the sector from the necessary databases on transport and infrastructure. Such information was supplemented by interviewing employees and manager of a few selected companies within the construction industry of UK. The interviews focused on the overall performance of the selected companies following the adoption of the building information model.

The research was comprehensive since it was based on two study designs and two case studies. The descriptive research design was very instrumental in providing insights on the challenges faced by contractors and other stakeholders in relation to the lack of suitable technologies to enhance effective building of structures with careful attention to details. In addition, the descriptive design played a significant role helping to ascertain the effects of the building information model in the infrastructure of UK, by describing tangible impacts of BIM with respect to the performance of the concerned companies.

The case studies adopted in this study were very important since they provided firsthand data on the adoption and implementation of building information modelling technology in UK. This can be attributed to the fact that the case studies provided an avenue to describe the impact of BIM on the highways sector of the UK based on practical approaches.

The success of this study is attributable to an effective data collection process that, as pointed out earlier, focused both primary and secondary data. Based on the study’s need to understanding deeply the concept of BIM adoption in UK, in an attempt to highlight the significance of BIM in UK’s transport infrastructure, as well as any associated challenges, both qualitative and quantitative research methods were used.

An extensive literature review was conducted alongside a survey that was based on questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. The adoption of questionnaires and interviews helped to establish the level of satisfaction among the study participants as far as the performance of transport infrastructure in UK was concerned. The interviews also factored in challenges affecting the highways transport of UK, and suggestions on how such challenges could be addressed. Additionally, the use of questionnaires was significant in fulfilling all the study’s objectives as far as the use of BIM in infrastructural development was concerned.

Descriptive Data

The study used the probability sampling technique and the non-probability sampling technique in the process of obtaining primary data on the impacts of BIM in UK. The probability sampling technique was used to select the population for the survey whereby a total of 150 individuals within the UK construction industry were chosen randomly to collect the quantitative data. On the other hand, the study required input from 3 managers who were selected through the use of the non-probability sampling technique. This section describes the age, gender as well as any other relevant information on sample used for the study alongside a summary of the sample’s demographics.

Study’s sample population

The study targeted a total of 150 individuals within the construction sector of UK based on random selection. As such, questionnaires were distributed to the targeted population and collected back for analysis. Where there were logistic challenges, the questionnaires were emailed to the respondents. Out of the distributed questionnaires, only 125 were collected back since 25 selected individuals were not available at the time of the questionnaires were distributed.

On the other hand, only 100 questionnaires were used for the study for analysis. This was attributed to the fact that the rest of the questionnaires (25) contained parts that were left unanswered as well as other parts that had been marked more than the required times. As such, the exclusion of the 25 questionnaires from the analysis was informed by the fact that there was the need for an analysis of data based on equal number of responses. Therefore, the data analysis, results and analysis presented herein are based on a sample size of 100 individuals whose questionnaires were filled according to the instructions.

Age of the respondents (in years)

The study examined the ages of the respondents. This was aimed at analyzing how many of the study participants fell under different age brackets. Such examination was necessary to establish whether or not the opinions of the participants were based on their ages. It was found out that all of the study participants were above 18 years. In addition, majority of the study participants (45%) were between 31 and 40 years of age, followed by those aged between 41and 50 years, who accounted for 30% of the total study sample. On the other hand, those aged between 18 and 30 years, and above 50 accounted for 15% and 10% respectively, of the total study participants as presented in the table below.

Age in years Count Percentage
18-30 15 15%
31-40 45 45%
41-50 30 30%
Above 50 10 10%

Table 2: Showing the respondents’ ages in years.

Microsoft Word Excel was used to analyze the data presented above to produce the figure below.

Data on respondents' age.
Figure 2: Data on respondents’ age.

Gender of respondents

The gender identity of the study participants was significant in this study since there was a need to weigh the opinions of the respondents based on their gender. This would help to ascertain whether or not a particular gender was more knowledgeable about BIM impacts, challenges and benefits than the other. As such, the study found out that the sample comprised of more males than females, whereby the male participants accounted for 55% of the study participants while the female ones accounted for 45% of the total composition of the study sample as shown in the table below.

Gender Count Percentage
Female 45 45%
Male 55 55%
Total 100 100%

Table 3: Gender of respondents.

Further examination showed that majority of the females were aged between 31 and 40 years (20%), while majority of the males were aged between 41 and 50 years (28%). The study participants aged between 18 and 30 years comprised of one male participant and 14 female participants. On the other hand, those aged above 50 years comprised of one male and 9 female participants. The table below provides a cross tabulation of the ages and gender of the respondents used for the study.

Age in years Male Female
18-30 1 14
31-40 25 20
41-50 28 2
Above 50 1 9
Total 55 45

Table 4: cross tabulation of gender and ages of the respondents.

The above data was presented in a graph as shown in the figure below.

Ages and gender of respondents.
Figure 3: Ages and gender of respondents.

Level of Education

The level of education of the study participants was a significant factor of consideration in this study. It was important to analyze how knowledgeable the respondents were in terms of university, college and high school level. Such analysis would help to ascertain whether or not the level of education influenced the respondents’ opinions on the potential impacts of adoption and implementation of building information modelling technology in the highways sector of UK. For this reason, the questionnaire had a section whereby the participants of the study would choose their level of education.

According to the responses, most of the study participants (55%) had a bachelor’s degree, followed by those who had a higher diploma (30%). In addition, another group of respondents had a master’s degree (10%), and yet 5% of the sample composition had a doctorate as shown in the table below.

Level of education Frequency Percentage Cumulative percentage
Bachelor’s degree 55 55% 55%
Higher diploma 30 30% 85%
Master’s degree 10 10% 95%
Doctorate 5 5% 100%

Table 5: Respondents’ level of education.

The implication of the analysis was that majority of the study participants (99%) were in a position to give feedback and opinions based on their level of education as far as the concept of BIM adoption, its implementation as well as the associated effects were concerned. The above data on respondents’ level of education was plotted in a graph as shown below for easy comparison and presentation.

Respondents' level of education.
Figure 4: Respondents’ level of education.

Nationality of the respondents

The nationality of the respondents was also examined in an attempt to find out whether or not the sample comprised foreigners. Such an analysis would help to determine the extent at which the UK was in terms of adopting and implementing BIM in comparison with other parts of the world. As such, it was found out that majority of the study participants were UK nationals with only an insignificant percentage representing foreigners as showed in the table below.

Nationality Count Percentage
Nationals of UK 89 89%
Foreigners 11 11%
Total 100 100%

Table 6: Nationality of respondents.

Since most of the respondents were from the UK, it was convenient to collect information that pertained activities within the country in regards to the potential impacts of adopting the building information models. On the other hand, the availability of a small section of the study participants who were not nationals of United Kingdom was important in that such participants were best suited to cite the potential impacts of BIM relative to their home countries. The graph below shows the percentage composition of the study participants in terms of their nationality.

Nationality of respondents.
Figure 5: Nationality of respondents.

Level of experience

The level of experience that the respondents had as far as building information modeling is concerned was a significant factor of consideration in this study since such experience was very important in the determination of the potential impacts that such technology would have in any region where it is adopted. As such, it was necessary to examine the respondents’ level of experience. The study found out that almost half of the study participants had high level of experience as far as the concept of building information modeling was concerned. This was a suitable revelation since it implied that the respondents would provide substantiated feedback on the potential impacts of BIM adoption in UK.

The study examined the concept of BIM level of experience among the study participants based on a time span of zero years to over 20 years. It was evident that majority of the study participants (75%) had experience of between 5 and 10 years. Secondly, there was a group of participants (20%) that had an experience of 10 to 20 years dealing with BIM technology. In addition, 5% of the respondents had experience of more than 20 years.

Level of experience Count Percentage Cumulative percentage
    1. Years
5 5% 5%
5-10 years 70 70% 75%
11-14Years 15 15% 90%
15-20 5 5% 95%
More than 20 Years 5 5% 100%

Table 7: level of experience.

Evidently, having a considerable percentage of the study participants with many years of experience in building information modelling technology was very instrumental in achieving the objectives of this study. The above data was presented in the form of a graph as shown below.

level of experience.
Figure 6: level of experience.

BIM knowledge and awareness

It was important to examine the knowledge and awareness of the aspect of BIM among the participants of the study since such examination would reveal to what extent the participants felt that BIM adoption in UK would have some impacts. This analysis was also necessary to create a picture of the reliability and validity of the collected data. As such, the study participants were required to provide information about their BIM knowledge and awareness. It was evident that almost all the participants of the study had knowledge of the BIM technology as used in construction nowadays. Only an insignificant part of the respondents had little awareness of BIM. The degree of awareness was assessed in terms of use BIM. As shown in the table below.

Percentage Cumulative percentage
I have heard and used BIM 65 65%
I have heard but not used BIM 34 99%
I do not know BIM 1 100%
Total 100%

Table 8: BIM knowledge and awareness.

The above data was presented in a graphical form as shown in the figure below.

BIM knowledge and awareness.
Figure 7: BIM knowledge and awareness.

Respondents’ type of organization

The study also examined the respondents’ type of organizations where they work or have worked before ranging from civil services, contracts to consultancy. Such analysis was necessary as there was a need to compare opinions based on experience from various types of organizations. It was evident that all the three types of organization were represented in the study sample. However, majority of the study participants were contractors (60%), followed by consultants (30%) and lastly, civil servants who formed 10% of the sample composition. Such a representation was important in the comparison of experiences, opinions and perspectives of the respondents regarding the adoption of BIM in various types of organizations.

Results and Findings

The primary focus of this study was to establish the potential impacts that UK might experience following the adoption of building information modeling technology within the highways sector. As such, the results and findings herein are based on various objectives as outlined earlier. The research therefore, sought to find out the relevance of Building Information Modeling for transportation projects, the key drivers and barriers to the implementation of BIM in transportation infrastructure projects, critically examine case-studies of BIM implementation within transportation infrastructure projects in the UK, as well as to develop a set of guidelines for effective BIM implementation in the transportation infrastructure projects in UK. For this reason, the respondents were interviewed to gain more insights into the concept of BIM with respect to the objectives of the study.

Relevance of BIM in transportation projects

The survey sought the opinion of the respondents as far as the relevance of BIM in the transport and highways sector. The opinions of the study participants was evaluated based on a scale of 0 to 5, whereby 0-1 implied not relevant, 2-3 implied moderately relevant, and 4 to 5, highly relevant. Majority of the respondents (65%) felt that the building information modeling technology was highly relevant in the transport and highways sector of UK, while 28% pointed out that BIM is moderately relevant and the rest (7%) did not think that BIM had any relevance in the UK’s transport and highways sector. The table below provides a summary of the respondents’ opinions.

Scale Percentage Response Cumulative Percentage
0-1 (Not relevant) 7 7%
2-3 (Moderately relevant) 28 35%
4-5 (Highly relevant) 65 100%

Table 9: Relevance of BIM in transportation projects.

Evidently, more than half of the study participants pointed out that there was some level of relevance in adopting building information within the highways sector of UK.

Barriers to the implementation of Building Information Models

There are several barriers that affect the implementation of BIM in UK which include low level of BIM knowledge, lack of the necessary expertise and skills, inadequate training and education, lack of efficiency in existing methods, job insecurity, and perspective that BIM technology is complex among many more. As such, the respondents were asked to rate the frequency of various barriers in terms of how they influence the implementation of BIM in UK. From the analysis, majority of the respondents pointed out that low level of BIM knowledge, expensiveness of BIM technology, complexity of BIM technology, inadequate supply of data formats and standards had very high frequency as far as hindering the implementation of BIM in UK was concerned. However, low level of frequency was evident issues of job insecurity, legal issues like ownership and copyright, habitual resistance as well as disagreement among top personnel in various organizations.

The table below provides a summary of the survey results regarding some of the barriers of implementing BIM in UK.

Barrier Frequency
Very high High Moderate Low Very Low
Low level of BIM knowledge 75% 20% 5% 0% 0%
Lack of the necessary expertise and skills 68% 30% 2% 0% 0%
Inadequate training and education among staff 50% 40% 7% 3% 0%
Lack of efficiency in existing methods 0% 1% 2% 19% 78%
BIM technology is expensive 58% 28% 22% 2% 0%
Lack of interoperability. 40% 23% 15% 20% 2%
Issues of job insecurity 1% 2% 5% 17% 75%
Impacts of government regulations and instructions. 60% 20% 10% 5% 5%
Legal issues like copyright, ownership, etc. 4% 25% 40% 20% 11%
Inadequate supply of data formats and standards 70% 26% 4% 0% 0%
BIM technology is complex 71% 25% 3% 1% 0%
Habitual resistance 5% 10% 12% 13% 50%
Disagreement among top managers 1% 1% 5% 13% 80%

Table 10: Barriers of implementing BIM in UK.

Some of the factors hindering organization’s adoption of BIM

The study narrowed down to individual organizations to examine the factors that were preventing the adoption of BIM. Majority of the study participants blamed low rate of BIM adoption in their organization on low level of BIM knowledge, expensiveness of BIM technology, complexity of BIM technology, inadequate supply of data formats and standards and small scale of projects undertaken by the organizations.

Future of BIM technology in UK

It was important to find out the state of BIM technology as far as its future in UK was concerned. For this reason, the study participants were required to provide their individual opinions. The assessment of the future of BIM technology in UK was based on the readiness of participants in adopting BIM, as well as the likely level of success in adopting BIM in UK.

Most of the study participants revealed that many stakeholders are ready to adopt BIM technology. However, even though the respondents had very high hopes in the success of the adoption of BIM technology in UK, most of them pointed out that there was a need for increased level of BIM knowledge and awareness in UK for the purpose of ensuring that all involved stakeholders have the necessary knowledge, skills and expertise as far as BM technology is concerned.

BIM’s implementation responsibility

The respondents were asked to offer their opinion regarding who they thought was responsible for the implementation of building information model. There were various responses for this question with most of the study participants (49%) pointing out that the government was responsible for BIM implementation. On the other hand, 30%, 19% and 2% of the respondents reported that the contractors, design and consultant firms, and software developers were responsible for BIM implementation respectively.

Case studies’ findings

The study reviewed two cases studies; one on the use of BM in the highways sector and the other on the Highways England-‘digital delivery’ strategy, with a lot of emphasis on the development of a ‘digital delivery’ strategy. Basically, the two case studies focused on showing the various applications of BIM. Therefore, there were a number of findings that arose from the two case studies as highlighted below.

  • First, it was evident that there are several construction projects in United Kingdom that use the building information modeling in the highways sector.
  • Secondly, many construction projects are faced with numerous challenges due to lack of appropriate building and construction technology that can reduce cost of operations, and provide safe storage of projects’ data for future use.
  • Thirdly, the case studies revealed the efforts of the highway agency of UK towards the development of an advanced asset management system, which can effectively store all projects’ information for future use.
  • Fourth, it was evident that there is a high demand for the adoption of BIM in UK. However, the lack of effective guidance has affected its adoption and implementation.
  • Fifth, the case studies showed that BIM has been used in various successful projects in the UK; a factor that shows that there is a need to set up the necessary measures to have BIM implemented in almost all projects in the country.
  • Sixth, there are various areas where BIM tools can be used in construction projects such as in detecting clashes in a construction project, reviewing design, as well as the transfer of project’s information.
  • Seventh, it was evident that the major problems that major construction projects face in UK are related to asset management.

Guidelines for effective BIM implementation in UK.

Empirical literature showed that the implementation of building information modeling is faced by numerous challenges especially in the transportation sector. As such, there was a need to examine the possible guidelines that can be followed to effectively implement BIM tools in the transportation sector of the UK. According to the survey, it was evident that the implementation of BIM in UK suffers from numerous challenges such as resistance to change, lack of the necessary knowledge and awareness of BIM, inadequate training of people in BIM, lack of the resources required for BIM implementation such as high-end hardware and other facilities used in running BIM applications.

In addition, the interviewed study participants pointed out absence of interoperability, integration and the required collaboration among stakeholders to hinder the implementation of BIM in UK. For this reason, for effective implementation of building information modeling tools, there is the need for suitable measures to be put in place that bring the involved stakeholders together for a chance to adopt BIM in UK.

First, knowledge and awareness campaign are necessary as a means of ensuring that majority of the people understand what BIM entails, as well as its significance in transport and construction projects. Secondly, there is a need for the establishment of BIM training institutions to equip contactors and other stakeholders with the necessary knowledge and skills on BIM. Based on these findings, it can be considered that effective adoption of BIM requires reinvention of the workflow, training of staff and the assigning of responsibilities, as well as the instilling a change in the process of construction model. For this reason, there ought to be a clear outline that features suitable strategies as well as robust methodology for the implementation of BIM.

Chapter Summary

The primary objective of this study was to provide a critical analysis of the concept of BIM adoption and implementation in the transport and high sector of UK. Particularly, the study hoped to establish the potential impact of implementing BIM in UK. As such, this section of the dissertation focused on the data collection and analysis, and findings. The study used the MS Excel software to present the collected data on graphs and charts for easy understanding of the results and findings from the study.

The chapter provided results on the relevance of BIM in construction projects, barriers of implementing BIM in UK, factors that hinder the adoption of BIM among various organizations, BIM implementation responsibility, the future of BIM in UK, as well as guidelines on effective implementation of the building information modeling technology in UK. The analysis of the collected data showed that the adoption and implementation of BIM has several benefits in any country. In spite of this, it was also evident that there is a slow rate of BIM adoption in the UK due to numerous challenges as cited in the findings section above. Nevertheless, majority of the study participants pointed out that there is still some hope as far as successful adoption and implementation of building information models in the country is concerned.

The results and findings in this chapter are discussed extensively in the next chapter, with a comprehensive comparison between the survey results and the findings from the two case studies and the review of literature.

Discussion, Conclusion and Recommendations

Introduction

This study was primarily focused on analyzing the aspect of building information modelling technology used in construction in an attempt to find its potential impacts upon adoption and implementation in the UK. For this reason, the study aimed to review the existing literature, carry out analysis of various case studies on the use of BIM in the construction sector, as well as carry out a survey to examine the opinions of selected study participants as far as the potential impacts associated with the adoption of BIM in UK are concerned. As such, this chapter provides a summary of the entire study, in-depth discussion of the study results and findings, conclusion and recommendations based on the findings from the survey and literature review.

Summary

The primary motivation of this study was based on the fact that even though the NBIM technology has been in existence for quite some time now, its awareness among people is low, a fact that is attributable to limited studies on BIM implementation. For this reason, this study hoped to provide the necessary insights into the concept of BIM technology in construction projects. Therefore, the study focused on the potential impacts of adopting BIM in UK, and had various objectives to achieve including establishing the relevance of Building Information Modeling for transportation projects establishing some of the key drivers and barriers to the implementation of BIM in transportation infrastructure projects, examining various case-studies of BIM implementation within transportation infrastructure projects in the UK, as well as developing a set of guidelines for effective BIM implementation in the transportation infrastructure projects in UK.

The study used qualitative and quantitative research methods, whereby various studies on the implementation of BIM were considered for secondary data. On the other hand, the primary data involved a survey whereby data was collected through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. The use of interviews in this study allowed the researcher to collect in-depth data on the impacts of BIM implementation in UK by examining the opinions and perspectives of study participants on this concept. This was based on the fact that the study required the use of reliable and valid data on the performance of transport infrastructure in UK.

The study participants were selected through the use of both the probability sampling technique and the non-probability sampling technique, whereby the study’s population was reached through the probability sampling while the non-probability sampling technique was used to determine the individuals to be interviewed.

It was also important to consider a few factors while carrying out the study to ensure that all legal aspects of data collection, recording and analysis, as well as the necessary permission requirements were followed. First, the Data Protection Act of 1998 was maintained during the process of gathering personal feedback from the participants of the study. The participants of the study were given codes, which ensured that they remained anonymous throughout the study.

The researcher ensured that all the study participants were briefed on the objectives of the study, as well as awarded full freedom of withdrawing their participation from the research. As such, a consent form was necessary to ensure that only committed participants were considered in the study sample. Lastly, all the questions used in the questionnaires were clear and simple for the purpose of ensuring that all the study participants understood what was required of them and that they provided valid feedback for all questions.

All the collected data was analyzed using MS Excel software and presented in graphs and charts. The next section provides a critical overview of the results and findings from the survey as compared with literature review findings.

Discussion of results and Findings

The study examined the level of experience of the study participants as far as the use of BIM tools in construction projects was concerned. According to Brown and Stowers (2013), experience in BIM use is a very important aspect of consideration when it comes to the determination of the potential impacts that such technology would have in any region where it is adopted. According to the survey carried out, half of the study participants had high level of experience in the building information modeling concept. The implication for such findings was that the collected information was reliable as the study participants could substantiate their opinions based on experience. There was a case of low number of participants with little experience in BIM, which was attributable to the fact that BIM technology is a new concept in the UK, whose rate of adoption is very slow given the reluctance of many people to change from old methods of construction.

Secondly, the study examined the level of BIM knowledge and awareness among the study participants in an attempt to find out to what extent the participants felt that BIM adoption in UK would have some impacts. The study found out that almost all the participants of the study had knowledge of the BIM technology as used in construction nowadays. Only an insignificant part of the respondents had little awareness of BIM. The degree of awareness was assessed in terms of use BIM.

In spite of such findings, Cook (2011) noted that not many people have used BIM tools in construction projects. According to the study results, about 35% of the interviewed respondents reported that they have never used BIM in any construction projects. Such findings align with the assertion of Kendrick and Taggart (2006), that there is a slow rate of BIM adoption and use in the United Kingdom. Teicholz (2013) attribute the low level of BIM use in UK to the fact that the technology is quite complex and mainly used for large construction projects.

It is quite impossible for contractors who are involved in small projects to use BIM in such projects given that it can be relatively expensive (Brown & Stowers 2013). According to the study’s results on the type of organizations where most of the study participants work or have worked before ranging from civil services, contracts to consultancy, it was evident that all the three types of organization were represented in the study sample. However, majority of the study participants were contractors (60%), followed by consultants (30%) and lastly, civil servants who formed 10% of the sample composition. Since most of the projects that use BIM are the large and complex ones, Liapi (2008) noted that BIM is often used in projects that are undertaken by the government.

Thirdly, the survey sought the opinions of the respondents as far as the relevance of BIM in the transport and highways sector. According to the evaluation of the responses from the study, it was evident that majority of the respondents (65%) felt that the building information modeling technology was highly relevant in the transport and highways sector of UK, while 28% pointed out that BIM is moderately relevant and the rest (7%) did not think that BIM had any relevance in the UK’s transport and highways sector. On the other hand, the review of the literature showed that the use of BIM in building and construction projects is very relevant for any country. Several researchers and scholars have spent a considerable high time in evaluating the relevance of the building information modeling technology in the construction sectors.

Thirdly, it was evident that the implementation of the BIM technology in UK is affected by a number of factors such as low level of BIM knowledge, lack of the necessary expertise and skills, inadequate training and education, lack of efficiency in existing methods, job insecurity, and perspective that BIM technology is complex among many more. According to the survey results, the respondents pointed out that the concept of building information modeling is not common in UK. This has led to the low level of BIM awareness and hence, a lot of resistance among various people as far as its implementation is concerned. In addition, the respondents cited other factors such as high cost of adopting and implementing BIM tools, lack of the necessary resources, and complexity of the technology.

According to the review of the literature, it was evident that the slow adoption of BIM is attributable to numerous challenges experienced by the building and construction individuals and the government (Kendrick & Taggart 2006). As pointed out earlier, BIM is commonly used in big projects. Liapi (2008) added that most of the big projects in which BIM tools are used are run and financed by the government since a lot of capital is involved, which cannot be afforded by some of the private contractors. The implication of this assertion is that although BIM is very advantageous in construction projects, it is quite expensive; a factor that tends to slow is implementation in the UK.

On the other hand, empirical literature showed that there is a lot of resistance among the involved stakeholders to change from the traditional methods of construction in order to pave way for the adoption of BIM. Such habitual resistance is directly linked to issues of job insecurity, and legal issues like ownership and copyright as well as disagreement among top personnel in various organizations. However, Kendrick and Taggart (2006) noted that such challenges can be overcome through vigorous awareness campaigns on the concept of BIM technology. In addition, offering the necessary training and education to contractors and any other involved parties can have significant impact as far as eliminating various barriers of BIM adoption in UK is concerned.

On the other hand, it was discovered that the adoption of BIM is faced with various challenges at the organizations’ levels. According to the survey conducted, most of the study participants blamed low rate of BIM adoption in their organization on low level of BIM knowledge, expensiveness of BIM technology, complexity of BIM technology, inadequate supply of data formats and standards and the scale of projects undertaken by the organizations.

Such findings aligned with the literature review’s findings whereby it was evident that various organizations use different building technology depending on construction objectives, urgency, available resources and the scale of operations. For large projects, Cook (2011) pointed out that BIM becomes very useful, while its use is considered uneconomic in the case of small projects. Most small projects not have adequate resource which thereby, account for inadequate supply of the required data formats and standards for BIM.

Fourthly, the study examined the future of BIM in UK and found out that there is a high demand for advanced building and construction technology in UK that can reduce the negative impacts of construction and involved cost. For this reason, BIM being an example of such a technology has a lot of use in UK. The surveyed study participants revealed that many stakeholders are ready to adopt BIM technology. The lack of awareness on BIM and the cost of implementing such technology have proved to be a real threat as far as the future of BIM in UK is concerned.

Nevertheless, it is expected that the government’s efforts to have BIM adopted and used in UK’s building and construction projects have positive results. Such assertion is based on the fact that there is a high demand for a building and construction technology that can bring efficiency in construction, as well by reducing errors and involved costs.

According to the study reviewed, majority of the construction projects in UK are operated by the government, and so is the responsibility of the government to implement BIM in the country. Although the private sector has a significant impact in the constriction of various infrastructures, the government has the upper hand in championing for the implementation of such tools. This was depicted in the respondents’ feedback whereby, most of the study participants (49%) pointed out that the government was responsible for BIM implementation. On the other hand, 30%, 19% and 2% of the respondents reported that the contractors, design and consultant firms, and software developers were responsible for BIM implementation respectively.

Findings based on the case studies

Two cases studies were used in the examination to the concept of BIM adoption in UK. From, the case studies, it was evident that BIM has several applications within the transportation sector of the country. The case studies highlighted that there are several developments in United Kingdom that use the building information modeling in the highways sector. Pottle (2013) noted that the construction sector of the UK is faced with challenges of data storage as there is a lot of information that ought to be stored both for large and small projects. In most of the cases, information is lost and sometimes mixed up such that contractors use incorrect information on a given project.

Cook (2011) attributed such situations to the lack of a suitable asset management information system and the availability of multiple systems that are used for the storage of information. However, the case studies highlighted that the highways agency of UK has integrated asset management information system, which according to the Highways Agency (2008) is used in the storage of construction projects’ information for future retrieval whenever needed.

There is a need for all construction projects to have an advanced asset management system, which can effectively store all projects’ information for future use. As evident from the case studies, the highway agency of the UK has set up the necessary measures towards the development of an improved asset management system.

For this reason, and depending on the increased demand for technologically-compliant systems, the agency is required to develop an information system that is compatible with the building information modeling technology. The advantage of having a BIM-compliant system is to ensure ease of operations whenever BIM tools are used for any given project in the future. With such a system, Kendrick and Taggart (2006) pointed out that the agency will not have any challenges when transferring information from the BIM models to the new integrated asset management information systems.

Notably from the case study analysis, many projects suffer from increased costs of operations. As pointed out by Cook (2011), such costs escalate when contractors fail to detect crashes or provide a wrong design that results to the need to change the design at advanced stages or to completely start over the entire project. However, the use of building information modeling tools avoids such cases of increased costs and the associated inconveniences brought about by poor design and failure to detect clash in the projects.

According to the Highways Agency (2008), BIM is very effective in reviewing construction designs and detecting flaws in designs and structures. Secondly, many construction projects are faced with numerous challenges due to lack of appropriate building and construction technology that can reduce cost of operations, and provide safe storage of projects’ data for future use.

The analysis brought out the picture of a high demand for the adoption of BIM in UK. However, the lack of effective guidance has affected the adoption and implementation of BIM in UK. Eastman et al. (2011) pointed out that most of the projects carried out nowadays in UK are based on contracts. Although such a methodology does not have a negative effect on the adoption of BIM in the highways sector, there is a need for the UK’s government to ensure that competitive forces do not hinder the implementation of BIM. As such, the government ought to provide the necessary leadership and guidance towards successful adoption of the BIM tools.

Kendrick and Taggart (2006) noted that one of the challenges affecting the adoption process is lack of effective guidance due to competition between various stakeholders. For example, the highways agency of the UK has faced numerous challenges in the development of an extensive asset management system due to the fact that its system depends on the proposed BIM solutions which are yet to be implemented.

According to the case studies reviewed, BIM has been used in various successful projects in the UK; a factor that shows that there is a need to set up the necessary measures to have BIM implemented in almost all projects in the country. for example, the use of the building information modelling tools has been beneficial in the highways projects undertaken by the highways agency, as witnessed in the M25 widening project. In this case, the BIM tools were in the upgrading of the initial sections of the M25 widening project, whereby the carriageway needed to be extended and the installation of effective drainage system.

As such, the contractor adopted 3D BIM model in the development of a suitable design for the project (Liapi 2008). According to Rainer et al. (2013), the use of 3D BIM model was instrumental in the detection of clashes in the process of developing the design and reducing cost of operations. As evident in the case of M25 widening project, BIM tools ensured helped the achievement of the project’s objectives even before the projected time and budget.

In addition, BIM tools were used in the A556 improvement project, which required an upgrade involving the construction of a bypass at Mere for the purpose of preventing a lot of damage to the environment (Wong & Fan 2013). Using BIM tools in this project allowed the project team to detect any inconsistencies in the project and offer the necessary solutions.

Conclusion

The study has thoroughly examined the concept of BIM adoption in UK, the applications of such technology, as well as the associated challenges and benefits. For this reason, it suffices that the objectives of the study were met. The aim of this study was to establish the effects of Building Information Modelling on the performance of transportation infrastructure in the UK. From the analysis, it was evident that the adoption of BIM tools in eth transportation infrastructure would increase the efficiency of construction projects as evident in the cases of M25 widening and the A556 improvement project. In addition, adopting BIM in the construction of transport infrastructure would reduce the costs of operations and the duration of such projects thereby saving on time and resources.

As evident from the survey results, case studies and the literature review, the BIM tools and processes are very important elements in any construction project. This can be attributed to the fact that such tools have a high potential of increasing project’s efficiency and saving cost of operations. The government of the United Kingdom has been working towards a reduction in the amount of capital allocated on construction projects (Wong & Fan 2013). For this reason, the adoption of building information modeling appears to be a suitable approach towards achieving the reduced amount of capital allocation and increase of projects’ efficiency.

The literature review findings showed that there have been a lot of towards the implementation of BIM and incorporating such models in the supply chains of the highways agency of UK. For example, the various studies consulted showed that the projects undertaken by the highways agency of UK take into consideration the major part of the government expenditure on infrastructure. Based on such findings, it was evident there is a need for strategies that can constantly provide updates on the progress of the implementation of the BIM through improving the used design, detecting clashes and making huge savings in terms of both time and money.

The high demand for BIM compliance in most of the agency’s operations provides evidence on the need for BIM solutions in UK. In spite of this, the literature review, case studies reviewed as well as the survey results showed that the government of UK has a lot to do towards enhancing the efficiency of infrastructure projects in the country. Evidently, there is a need for an updated asset management system that effectively integrates the BIM model’s information with that in the IAM information systems of the HA. Presently, the government of UK has not approved the addition of information to personal projects within the models of BIM. In spite of this, empirical literature showed that in the future such provision will be available to enhance the integration of the HA to the strategies and models of BIM.

As evident in the findings, the process of adopting building information modelling tools in UK has been ongoing. Nevertheless, as evident from the survey results there is need for knowledge and awareness campaigns, education and training to ensure that the involved parties have the necessary information on the role of BIM in transportation infrastructures. Such an approach is likely to eliminate the challenge of lack BIM knowledge and awareness that has been affecting the implementation of BIM in UK.

As evident in the literature review findings, implementing BIM in UK will have enormous impact as far as the efficiency, cost of operation, and resources are concerned. The review of the M25 widening project and the A556 improvement project showed building information modelling technique is very efficient in areas where a large project is to be developed on a small area. Such benefits are achieved since BIM tools have the ability of highlighting the specifications of any projects, detect clash, and reduce cost and resources used in any given project.

Furthermore, the study findings showed the benefits of using BIM in availing all the details of any given project, which makes it possible for such details to be retrieved any time. Evidently, BIM adoption and implementation in UK will have a lot of impact as far as the efficiency of construction projects, cost of construction, duration of projects, and other resources are concerned.

Recommendations

Even though many researchers and scholars have provided evidence of the challenges that affect the implementation of building information modeling, it was also evident that such a technology can be very useful in the building and construction industry of the United Kingdom. For this reason, the government of UK ought to enact robust strategies to effectively ensure successful implementation and operation of BIM tools in the transportation sector of the UK.

Based on the findings from the review of the literature and the survey, this study recommends the introduction of knowledge and awareness campaigns to spread information about BIM and its significance in transport and construction projects. Such campaigns are meant to eliminate the challenge of low level of BIM knowledge and awareness among UK’s citizens. Such campaigns can occur alongside the establishment of BIM training institutions to equip contactors and other stakeholders with the necessary knowledge and skills on BIM.

Secondly, according to the study’s findings, it can be seen that there is a need to reinvent the flow of building and construction work, improve the training offered to staff and other stakeholders to feature the modern needs for building and construction such as sustainability in construction projects by instilling a positive change in the process of construction. As such, the study recommends the availability of a succinct outline that involves the appropriate strategies as well as robust methodology for the implementation of BIM.

Thirdly, based on the need for effective BIM technology in UK, the study recommends that individuals who are given the responsibility to ensure the implementation of the BIM projects ought to be careful with all the stages. For this reason, it is important for the concern parties to ensure that they identify any existing incompatibilities between the format used by the BIM model and the one that can be accepted by the asset information modelling system. As such, the team of project managers ought to ensure that the system is operational from the initial stages so that any problematic issues can be solved during that time.

Lastly, the study recommends government to take the initiative of implementing BIM by providing the necessary incentives to construction companies and contractors as a way to encourage such parties to adopt BIM technology in their construction projects.

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IvyPanda. (2021, April 3). Building Information Modeling in the UK Transportation. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/building-information-modeling-in-the-uk-transportation/

Work Cited

"Building Information Modeling in the UK Transportation." IvyPanda, 3 Apr. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/building-information-modeling-in-the-uk-transportation/.

1. IvyPanda. "Building Information Modeling in the UK Transportation." April 3, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/building-information-modeling-in-the-uk-transportation/.


Bibliography


IvyPanda. "Building Information Modeling in the UK Transportation." April 3, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/building-information-modeling-in-the-uk-transportation/.

References

IvyPanda. 2021. "Building Information Modeling in the UK Transportation." April 3, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/building-information-modeling-in-the-uk-transportation/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Building Information Modeling in the UK Transportation'. 3 April.

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