BIM Decree: starting from 2019 BIM will be mandatory
Graziano Delrio, Minister of Infrastructures and Transport, signed the “BIM decree” on 1 December regarding the obligation of the progressive use of specific electronic methods and tools for construction and infrastructure.
This is the Decree implementing the art. 23 paragraph 13 of the New Procurement Code, drafted by the Baratono Commission, called to define the methods and timing for the mandatory use of the BIM by the Contracting Authorities, the Conceding Administrations and the Economic Operators.
Road map BIM implementation
The “Baratono decree“, after an initial consultation phase concluded in July 2017, envisages the introduction of new BIM digitalization tools through a well-defined timetable, mainly divided into three phases.
- Until 2019, the obligation to adopt the BIM methodology will be linked to particularly complex works, with amounts exceeding 100 million euros.
- From 2019 to 2021, the criteria will instead be linked more to the issue of complexity than to the amount. The BIM will be used for strategic works with special security standards and a high number of people..
- Finally, from 2022 onwards, BIM will be introduced at full capacity, becoming mandatory for all ordinary works, with the exception of residential ones and not characterized by particular problems related to safety. In 2025, the process will be digitized for all the works, of greater or lesser complexity, up to amounts of less than one million euros.
As foreseen by the BIM Decree, the first steps for the digitalisation of existing processes will primarily concern the definition of a training program for the training of public commissions and the drafting of an investment plan (maintenance and update) related to the instruments modeling and information management (hardware and software). The use of interoperable platforms and data sharing environments will be envisaged, using open formats not proprietary IFC. In this way it will avoid conditioning the modeling and management of information with specific proprietary formats, not limiting competition.
BIM in Europe
Apparently in the European panorama the use of the obligatory digital tool is still rather limited and extremely heterogeneous.
In addition to the United Kingdom and the Scandinavian countries, which have positioned themselves as leaders of change, only France, Germany and Spain seem to have understood the importance of the obligation of the new instruments linked to the computerization of procedures. For this reason, according to a note from the Ministry of Infrastructures, the case of Italy would represent a significant precedent and would be considered as a reference within the European Union, and not only.
Given these premises, however, there is currently a rather controversial aspect in what can be called the “revolution of BIM“. To date, in fact, the references to the only legislation in force seem to be missing in the decree: the UNI 11337 standard.
Although the New Procurement Code speaks of an ad hoc ministerial decree, which has the task of specifying ways and times and a strategy for digitization in the construction sector, the choice undertaken seems to have been to set aside any concrete reference, without providing those facing the world of BIM or clear and explicit guidelines, or timely information.
This, as has also happened in other countries without specific rules on the subject, could generate great chaos in Italy from the beginning.
Since there is not a correctly defined orientation, the trend could be to resort to foreign regulations such as those of the United Kingdom and the United States - which to date are the most complete (non-Italian and calibrated on references and standards different from ours), or application of the indefinite and therefore heterogeneous method with respect to individual projects, contributing to create further confusion for those who must necessarily pass to BIM.
What we need today, therefore, is to raise awareness among public administrations, to make clear that the deviation from such an important normative reference, and moreover already available (UNI 11337), will leave behind not only the Italy, but will also provoke a move away from the same objectives set by the decree.
In addition to this, it will also be essential to rely on experts in the field. Professional studies, large companies and members of the academic world, holders of a consolidated experience on the uses and tools of BIM will not have to work in isolation. Rather they will have to work together so that they can also be configured as a “guide” in a landscape where the “BIM revolution” has already been triggered and change is now unavoidable. Even in this case, however, attention must be paid to who to refer to. Being the argument of BIM today on the lips of all, we must use specific criteria to recognize who really is expert in the field or not.