CDBB launches public consultation on BIM Interoperability

The Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB), a partner of the Construction Innovation Hub, opens public consultation on Building Information Management (BIM) Interoperability Report recommendations to government.

On 17 April 2020 CDBB, a partner in the Construction Innovation Hub, has published The Building Information Modelling (BIM) Interoperability Report for consultation. It forms part of the Construction Innovation Hub’s work to grow the digital economy for the construction and infrastructure sector, and to develop and promote digital ways of working as enablers of greater whole-life-value in the built environment.

The report, produced with oversight from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Infrastructure Projects Authority (IPA), and support from the UK BIM Alliance, gives recommendations to Government on how to continue to support existing BIM policy, referred to as the ‘BIM Mandate’ and implement a series of recommendations in order to achieve interoperable information exchange across the asset lifecycle.

The report is based on evidence provided to CDBB’s BIM Interoperability Expert Group (BIEG) committee by 21 organisations during open evidence gathering sessions and through written submission in December 2019 and January 2020. Participants included practitioners (both client and supply sides), technology providers and supporting organisations such as institutions, academia, standardisation bodies and BIM consultants.

Key themes included: the need for continued government leadership, greater standardisation, , education and upskilling; and support of the development of the Industry Foundation Class and model view definitions, including COBie,  to support all asset types .
In response to the evidence received, the top level recommendations of the BIEG are that:

  1. Central Government intervention is required: the existing BIM Mandate is further developed to reflect recent technology, standards and process developments in order to deliver open interoperable data;
  2. A coordination group is required to ensure continued adoption: the BIM Mandate is supported by the formation of a new BIM Interoperability Steering Group to provide leadership, oversight and coordination; and
  3. The UK should increase its support for the development and adoption of a set of recommended enablers as part of the evolving BIM mandate: the Steering Group must have funding and resources available for the development and adoption of the primary recommendations and enablers identified as part of the evidence gathering:
    1. Classification Schema Alignment with NBS
    2. COBie – practical application and development with the UK BIM Alliance and buildingSMART UKI
    3. Education and skills
    4. Further development of Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) with building SMART international and its UK/Ireland chapter
    5. Standards

The recommendations made in the report aim to greatly increase the benefits gained from improved interoperability, across all parties, including Government and supplier organisations; and to ensure that the momentum UK BIM adoption has achieved to date is maintained.

Keith Waller, Programme Director of the Construction Innovation Hub said:
“The recommendations presented in the BIM Interoperability Expert Group Report provide a clear pathway for the UK to drive the digital ways of working that will support economic recovery, increase building safety, move towards net-zero, and improve overall sector resilience.”

Professor Andy Neely OBE, Director of CDBB and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise and Business Relations at the University of Cambridge said:
“Interoperability is pivotal to creating a new information economy and business opportunities for the UK, by providing a means of information transfer between different proprietary technologies. Breaking down barriers to information sharing, through the joined-up efforts of industry, academia, and government with the BIEG, Construction Innovation Hub and the National Digital Twin Programme, will deliver a Britain fit for the future, and build on the nation’s position as a global-leader in the digital transformation of the construction and infrastructure sectors.”

Fiona Moore, BIEG Chair said:
“This is an inclusive process which aims to provide wide industry and societal benefits in both the short and long term, by providing clear leadership on the UK’s information management journey, from BIM and digital twins, to a National Digital Twin. I would like to personally thank all those who have provided evidence to date, and encourage wide participation in this consultation. Through coming together to share expertise and insights we will all advance faster.”

The public consultation will be held from 17 April to 15 May 2020, with the final Report and key recommendations to be published on Thursday, 28 May 2020. Views may be submitted via web form at or by emailing Alanna Gluck, Policy and Public Affairs Manager at

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