Business Information Modelling (BIM) is quickly becoming one of the most important tools within the construction industry and the new chairman of one of the major players within the sector is claiming that more companies need to embrace it.

Keith Howells, chairman and former managing director at Mott Macdonald, recently took up the role as chairman of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) and explained that if firms within the industry fail to embrace BIM they will "probably be out of business" within the next five years. The sector has been hit by a number of setbacks in recent weeks with many experts predicting tough times for the foreseeable future. However, Mr Howells believes that BIM could significantly help firms across the country.

BIM is an innovative tool which is implemented when companies are in the planning stage of building a structure. It uses 3D visualisations which allow contractors to assess how the construction stage of the process will pan out and if there are any major issues that could potentially arise. Company owners are keen to implement as it is designed to improve productivity and even possibly slash the timeframe in which a building can be completed.

Mr Howells believes that the technology will play a key part within the industry over the coming years and that more and more businesses need to embrace or run the risk of being left behind by their competitors.

"If you are not using BIM in five years time you'll probably be out of business. Much like the introduction of the spreadsheet, BIM will become part of business as usual, and it will become that quickly, the benefits are already clear.

"While it is being adopted quickly in the creation of assets, many of the benefits will come from the better management of those assets using the data developed during their creation," the ACE chairman added.

It is hoped that the introduction of BIM to many construction firms will help the industry drag itself out of contraction.

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