Launching the Digital BIM Guidance (DigiGuide) Project


Andrew Field
Principal – Asset & Digital Advisory at Beca
(on secondment at Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency)
Member of the BIMinNZ Steering Group


The use of digital tools and processes throughout the entire lifecycle of an asset fosters enhanced productivity, improves accuracy, increases collaboration and clarifies communication. There is growing interest in the use of digital as seen at the recent ‘Building our Digital Community’ or #DigiComNZ2023 conference.

Internationally, more companies are adopting these digital processes such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), Digital Engineering and Digital Twins. There is a need in Aotearoa for updated guidelines and resources to make sure we are all on the same page.

New Zealand Institute of Building and the BIMinNZ Steering Group are launching a Digital BIM Guidance (DigiGuide) Project. The project will bring together key stakeholders to form an inclusive network of subject matter specialists lead this project. The Construction Sector Accord is providing funding through its Innovation workstream.

Leading this project are members of the BIMinNZ steering group: Andrew Field, Melanie Tristram and Glenn Jowett, along with Pamela Bell and Hannah Keir-Smith from the NZ Institute of Building. 

Andrew Field explains what the group aim to achieve through this work and why it is necessary. 

What are we doing:

The Digital BIM Guidance Project will focus on three streams of work. 

  1. Research the BIM Value Case to understand why it is important to update the existing guidance now, what is holding back the BIM/digital uptake in Aotearoa, and what are the potential benefits of greater uptake. 
  2. Review and update the current BIM handbook to ensure it is current with the relevant international standards, considers any industry led process changes and includes new terminology such as digital engineering.
  3. Develop a suite of procurement related templates and guidance which will support alignment with relevant international standards and imminent updates to New Zealand industry standards and guidelines.

The NZ BIM handbook:

The NZ BIM Handbook will be getting an update to capture emerging practices for digital collaboration and information management that have evolved since the 2019 release of the Handbook. At an operational level, the NZ BIM Handbook provides guidance to help clients and the broader supply chain understand how to get the most from, and manage, the information that is produced for their assets when they undertake a project.

This update has been signalled for some time and we are proud to announce that this work will be delivered by industry in partnership with the Construction Sector Accord and the NZIOB.Our work fits into a broader framework of activities driven by the Construction Sector Accord to leverage digitalisation to help drive shifts in capability that will move the sector forward.

We are developing an overall paper to contextualise the excellent work happening in New Zealand, to share notable examples of client leadership, and to describe the shift in culture and capability we can expect to see in the next three to five years.

Strategic context:

  • The construction industry is experiencing several challenges including:
  • uncertain economic conditions and increased financial risks
  • resource constraints, supply chain disruption from global events and natural hazards
  • impacts to productivity and to the mental health and well-being of our people
  • low levels of diversity, inclusion and belonging
  • unacceptable levels of harm to workers

These challenges, along with an inconsistent uptake of digital processes are arguably holding the sector back from achieving its full potential. We want to see the sector become a place where its people and businesses thrive, projects are delivered safely and confidently, and emerging talent is encouraged to participate in the sector by filling exciting, inclusive, digitally-enabled roles.

Download a one pager on the project. 

Thank you to all our sponsors for their generous support

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