Australia’s peak body for the air conditioning and mechanical services industry has called for a raft of measures to foster the adoption of BIM by the engineering and construction sectors, including mandatory usage on government projects.

A submission made by the Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors’ Association (AMCA) in response to Victoria’s Future Industries Construction Technologies Discussion Paper highlights both the benefits of BIM usage as well as a range of factors serve as roadblocks to its broader adoption by industry.

According to the AMCA submission the absence of industry standards is impeding the adoption of BIM by small and medium sized enterprises in Australia, given the exorbitant costs of developing such capabilities in the absence of acknowledged benchmarks.

AMCA recommends that the government to help competing member of industry overcome this dilemma by playing a greater role in the creation of benchmark standards.

“The fragmented and highly competitive nature of the sector has limited cooperation on standard development,” said the submission. “Government is uniquely placed to facilitate the creation of industry standards by providing funding, endorsement, coordination services and industry leadership.

“Agreed industry standards will lower the costs of transition to BIM-enabled project delivery and promote more efficient and competitive markets.”

The submission also points to the need for the government to foster the development of a network of BIM users within industry in order to lend sufficient momentum to its ongoing adoption by firms.

According to AMCA the absence of pre-existing network of BIM users can stymie its further adoption by companies, since the benefits conferred by the technology are directly proportional to the extent to which it’s deployed throughout an industry.

In order to demonstrate the benefits of BIM to the private sector and assist in the creation of such a network of users, AMCA recommends its mandated adoption on government projects.

AMCA believes that the benefits in terms of efficiency, costs and final outcomes will translate to the private sector “due to an increase in the stock of knowledge pertaining to BIM project delivery, and the subsequent transfer of skills across the building network.”

“A mandate is a preferred option because, as a major procurer of building and construction services, Government is able to influence the behavior of industry via procurement processes to encourage broader adoption of BIM.”