Digital technology is changing the way we plan, build, maintain and use our social and economic infrastructure. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is already transforming the UK construction industry, using information management processes to gain efficiencies in the design and construction processes. Over the next decade this technology will combine with digital twins and the Internet of Things – sensors, advanced data analytics, data-driven manufacturing and the digital economy – enabling us to plan infrastructure more effectively, to build it at lower cost and to operate and maintain it for better performance over a longer lifespan.
The Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) is a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the University of Cambridge, established by HM Government in the 2017 Autumn Budget as the home of the UK BIM and Digital Built Britain Programmes. It seeks to deliver a smart digital economy for infrastructure and construction, and to transform the UK construction industry’s approach to the way we plan, build, maintain and use our social and economic infrastructure for the future.
CDBB is a member of the Construction Innovation Hub, alongside the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), and we collaborate with other partners in the Transforming Construction Sector Deal. It is also home to a number of UK government programmes including the UK BIM Programme, National Digital Twin Programme and parts of the Global Infrastructure Programme. The National Digital Twin Programme (NDTP), launched by HM Treasury in July 2018 to deliver key recommendations of the National Infrastructure Commission (2017) 'Data for the Public Good' report.
Our work toward a digital built Britain seeks to digitise the entire life-cycle of our built assets finding innovative ways of delivering more capacity out of our existing social and economic infrastructure, dramatically improving the way these assets deliver social services to deliver improved capacity and better public services. Above all, it will enable citizens to make better use of the infrastructure we already have.
The mission of CDBB is to develop and demonstrate policy and practical insights that will enable the exploitation of new and emerging technologies, data and analytics to enhance the natural and built environment, thereby driving up commercial competitiveness and productivity, as well as citizen quality of life and well-being.
- Digital Framework Task Group (DFTG) The DFTG was launched by HM Treasury in July 2018 to steer and guide the successful development and adoption of the Information Management Framework for the Built Environment. The framework will establish the building blocks to enable effective information management across the built environment and will pave the way for the development of the national digital twin. The DFTG is made up of senior leaders from industry, government and academia.
- Home Nations Working Group The Home Nations Working Group (HNWG) ensures that the benefits of effective information management are shared across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Formed in 2018, it brings together the four UK national BIM programmes to develop a consistent approach and to promote our vision of a digital built Britain. The HNWG provides a platform to:
- Enable the sharing of BIM knowledge and good practice between nations;
- Support the implementation of the UK BIM Framework (including ISO19650) across the UK and develop tools to facilitate this including a Home Nations Working Group Government Soft Landings Configurator
- Manage the interface between CDBB and the various devolved UK Government BIM and digital built environment programmes.
- Buildings Client Group The Buildings Client Group is a cross-sector leadership community working together to stimulate effective changes across the built environment. We aim to connect individuals who are leading digital adoption within their organisation. We provide a secure forum for discussion and creating the future – demonstrating good practice and sharing real-world case studies to inform and lead the way. Representatives are owners and operators of buildings; sectors represented include: government, housing, education and commercial property.
- Local Authorities (LA) Working Group The LA Working Group was set up as a special interest group (SIG) in 2019, comprising local authorities, Home Nation Reps, the UK BIM Alliance and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). Its membership grew to include more local authorities, government departments and agencies. The LA Working Group’s remit is to champion BIM adoption by producing information tools and guidance to help local councils embrace the transition.
- Public Sector ISO Transition Working Group (PSITWG) The Public Sector ISO Transition Working Group (PSITWG) first met in June 2019 and was hosted by CDBB until April 2021 with its aim to build on Public Sector BIM adoption to date and allowing Departments and Agencies to collectively plan a consistent transition to the new BS EN ISO 19650 standards to improve information management in Government construction and asset management.
- BIM Interoperability Expert Group Interoperability is vital to ensure that BIM continues to thrive and deliver key benefits – the BIM Interoperability Expert Group was hosted by CDBB until April 2021 and worked with stakeholders from a wide range of expertise and experience to support UK BIM adoption.