New BIM Taskforce

19 February 2018

ACA – Qld/NT and the Australian Institute of Architects Qld have joined forces to create a BIM Taskforce to help architects and practices become BIM capable.

The processes that architects use to deliver their services has evolved significantly over the last 20 years, moving from hand drawings to CAD to 3D modelling. While most architectural practices use BIM authoring software, the majority of deliverables remain as traditional 2D drawing outputs. In the near future, we will see a significant change in client information requirements. We will need to provide accurate digital models with structured associated data as well as relevant drawings.

The Queensland State Government has taken a leading role in adopting BIM processes. Early in 2017, the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning released the document, “Building Information Modelling – draft policy and principles for Queensland”. This policy, if adopted, recommends that BIM deliverables are included for all projects (where feasible) from 2020 for buildings and 2023 for infrastructure.

Architects will need to invest in developing new processes, software templates and digital content to deliver these requirements. Architectural practice owners also need to be aware that to be capable of delivering these projects, all project staff will need to have varying levels of BIM knowledge across various aspects of project delivery. Meeting the deliverable requirements will not be simply solved by employing a few “BIM Guns”. Everyone will need particular skills and knowledge. Many architects may think, “I don’t do government work. This is irrelevant to me!” However, it’s important to note that there are strategic goals in the pipeline for all built assets across the country to have digital representation based on concepts developed by organisations like VANZI (Virtual Australia and New Zealand Initiative).

The Association of Consulting Architects (ACA – Qld) and Australian Institute of Architects (AIA Qld) recognise the challenges that the profession will face in becoming BIM capable. In recognising these issues, both organisations have signed a memorandum of understanding for the formation of a BIM Taskforce made up of members of both organisations, who are experts in BIM processes. The group’s goals are to provide support for architects and owners of architectural practices by delivering under three separate pillars:

  • Communication – To raise awareness
  • Training – To enable capability
  • Proformas – To assist in responding to client requirements

Over the next 12 months, the BIM Taskforce will release quarterly updates via newsletters on the status of the Queensland government policy and other relevant Australian and international standards.

The group will also investigate various methods of providing training for the profession to facilitate the ability for all architects and practices to become BIM capable.

And moving into the future, as client documents or standards are released, the group will assist in the authorship of Practice Notes to provide members of both the ACA and AIA with recommended processes and standard forms.

The overall aim of the group is to maintain the relevance of the architect moving through these changes and the leadership role that they play now and into the future.