Construction Products Association and NBS Launch BIM Publication

In response to a government initiative requiring that all central government building procurement contracts use BIM from 2016, the Construction Products Association together with the NBS have today launched a guide for...

In response to a government initiative requiring that all central government building procurement contracts use BIM from 2016, the Construction Products Association together with the NBS have today launched a guide for manufacturers entitled ‘BIM for the Terrified’. This guide is aimed at the general reader who does not have a detailed understanding of BIM, but wishes to gain sufficient understanding to assess its possible impacts on their construction product manufacturing or distribution business.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a process for managing the information produced during a construction project, in a common format, from the earliest feasibility stage through design, construction, operation and finally demolition, in order to make the best and most efficient use of that information. BIM has three key elements: 

  • The consistent, conventional labelling or naming of documents and data;
  • A method for storing and manipulating information;
  • A method for exchanging or issuing information about the building, including its construction, operation, performance and maintenance.

The use of BIM can increase efficiency and reduce errors. Virtual designs are built in three dimensions before work proceeds on site; the attributes of all the elements of the building can be found in the model; and spatial ‘clashes’ can be identified and resolved in the model instead of on site.

The guide explains the basic vocabulary of BIM so that readers will be better able to understand the wider debates about it. It looks at how BIM has evolved from the earliest drawing and specification systems, how the various types of BIM differ and what benefits they offer. The reasons for the government’s drive to adopt BIM are explained and the requirements that will fall on to the supply chain are set out. Case studies are included, showing how manufacturers are taking up the challenge of BIM. Finally there are references to sources of more detailed information.

To be prepared for BIM, manufacturers and distributors will need to invest time and resources. It is hoped they will be better informed and more confident after reading this guide and will be able to ask the right questions as they make investment decisions.

With the 2016 deadline fast approaching, the Cabinet Office has set up the BIM Task Group to work with industry to bring the construction industry up to speed. The Construction Products Association is working with the BIM Task Group and others on a range of initiatives to support this work.

John Tebbit, Industry Affairs Director and Deputy Chief Executive of the Construction Products Association, said: ‘In order for any of the BIM agenda to work and benefits to be delivered, manufacturers and suppliers will need to put significant resources into the data and models underpinning BIM.

 ‘Some have been doing this for years but for others the market case has not yet been made.  The publication is a small part of making that case. Others will need to play their part too, primarily through demonstrating demand and sticking to open, non-proprietary standards for both data structures and data itself.’

Dr Stephen Hamil, Head of BIM at NBS commented: ‘Use of BIM is growing significantly within the design communities with adoption predicted to rise to 91% within the next 3 years. In order to really achieve the benefits for the whole industry which BIM offers, our manufacturing sector must make the BIM journey too. We hope that this guide will help manufacturers better understand what this journey is and why it's in their interest to become BIM enabled.’

To view a copy of the BIM for the terrified click here.



The Construction Products Association represents the UK’s manufacturers and suppliers of construction products, components and fittings. The Association acts as a single voice for the construction products sector, representing the industry-wide view of its members. The sector has an annual turnover of more than £40 billion and accounts for over 1/3 of total construction output.

NBS have produced specification products for 40 years, including the recognised national standard specification system for the UK. NBS specification products cover building construction, engineering services and landscape design.

For the last 5 years, NBS has been an advocate of Building Information Modelling, specifically the importance of structured information as part of that model. In 2012 they launched the National BIM Library, a free to use source of generic and proprietary BIM objects which conform to a published data structure and support open source IFC and COBie production. They also produce the National BIM Report, now in its third year, which surveys trends and adoption of BIM in the UK and beyond. The NBS also provide a rich source of free articles, videos and guidance on BIM for the UK construction sector at

NBS also produce a range of information products, including The Construction Information Service, a joint venture with IHS. From 2005 NBS have been a publisher of the Building Regulations Approved Documents for England and Wales. More than 5,000 offices subscribe to NBS products.

NBS employ 250 staff, most of which are based in Newcastle upon Tyne. NBS are part of RIBA Enterprises Ltd which is wholly owned by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).


Simon Storer      

Communications and External Affairs Director

Construction Products Association

Tel: 020 7323 3770

Fax: 020 7323 0307

Mobile: 07702 862 257



Clare Watson    

Director of Marketing

NBS / RIBA Enterprises Ltd.

Tel: 0191 244 5530

Mobile: 07887 855 926



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