Implementing a BIM Collaborative Workflow in the UK Construction Market

Implementing a BIM Collaborative Workflow in the UK Construction Market

Nidaa Alazmeh Jason Underwood Paul Coates

School of the built environment, University of Salford, Salford, United Kingdom

1 January 2018
| Citation



BIM Level 2, as defined by the UK government, sets out processes and standards that formalise and regulate the collaborative methods for producing, sharing and exchanging information during different stages of any construction project. For overseas organisations that are looking to invest in the UK construction market, they will most certainly need to consider developing their understanding and ability related to BIM in order to enable developing their capability and competency to compete. This paper presents a case study that focuses on the implementation of collaborative based BIM workflow at a large Chinese engineering and construction organisation, which has recently established operations in the UK. The BIM implementation has been achieved under a Knowledge Exchange Partnership framework between the organisation and an academic institution in the UK. The main aim for this partnership project was to transform the organisation’s traditional workflow to achieve a BIM based collaborative workflow, and to comply with BIM Level 2 requirements. The case study has been achieved by adopting an action research methodology, whereby the project affiliate was an active part of the implementation project and was managing and coordinating the partnership project between the organisation and academic partner. Results to date from the project will be documented in this paper. This includes highlighting key challenges, adopted strategies and tactics to overcome the obstacles, pockets of improvements and potential areas for future development.


building information modelling, collaboration, communication, process, information exchange, innovation

1. Introduction
2. Adopted Methodology
3. Phase One: Detailed Analysis of the Organisation’s Current Situation
4. Phase Two: Develop BIM Implementation Strategy Plan
5. Phase Three: Pilot Project BIM Implementation
6. Phase Four: Project Review, Evaluation and Dissemination
7. Conclusions

[1] Government Construction Strategy 2011, UK government construction strategy, available at: (accessed 21 December 2016).

[2] NBS, NBS National BIM Report 2016, UK2016, available at: (accessed 20 January 2017).

[3] Bo, J., Khan, R. R. A., Vian, A., & Zhijun, C. (2015). BIM Implementation in China: A Case Study Approach. International Conference on Information Technology and Management Innovation (ICITMI 2015).

[4] BIM Level 2, available at: (accessed 12 March 2017).

[5] Underwood, J. & Khosrowshahi, F., ITC expenditure and trends in the UK construction industry in facing the challenges of the global economic crisis. Journal of Information Technology in Construction (ITcon), 17, pp. 25–42, 2012.

[6] Eastman, C.M., BIM handbook: a guide to building information modelling for owners, managers, designers, engineers, and contractors, John Wiley & Sons Inc.:Hoboken, New Jersey, 2011.

[7] CIOB, Skills shortage still a concern for faltering construction industry. The Charted Institute of Building, 2016, available at: still-concern-faltering-construction-industry. (accessed 10 March 2017).

[8] Lambert, R., Lambert review of business–industry collaboration. Final Report, 2003 December, HMSO, ISBN 0-947819-76-2.

[9] Coates, P., Arayici, Y. & Koskela, L.J., Using the Knowledge Transfer Partnership model as a method of transferring BIM and Lean process related knowledge between academia and industry: A Case Study Approach. International Conference of Ecobuild America: Sustainable, High Performance & Technology Solutions for Built Environment, Washington DC, USA, 2010.

[10] Sobek II, D.K. & Smalley, A., Understanding A3 thinking: a critical component of Toyota PDCA management system. CRC Press: Boca Raton, FL, 2011.

[11] Arbulu, R. & Zabelle, T., Implementing Lean In Construction How to Succeed. Paper presented at the international group for lean construction conference (IGLC 2006) Santiago, Chile, 2006.

[12] BS 1192:2007+A2:2016 Collaborative production of architectural, engineering and construction information. Code of practice, 2016, available at: http://shop.bsigroup. com/forms/PASs/BS-1192-2007/. (accessed 07 March 2017).