The built environment is seeing real progress towards adopting a national standard for Building Information Modelling (BIM) in South Africa, says Richard Matchett, Digital lead at infrastructure engineering and advisory practice, Zutari. “The industry is blaming the lack of a national standard for the lack of BIM adoption. The great aspect of the BIM CODESA series of workshops ishow we are starting to see some real movement towards getting a standard in place.” 

 BIM community 

Matchett co-hosted the second BIM CODESA, an industry-wide workshop organised by the BIM Community Africa (BCA) on 13 July 2023. BCA advocates that BIM holds tremendous potential to boost delivery during all project phases to benefit stakeholders and the end users of built assets. While the industry is poised and ready for wholesale adoption of this transforming approach to development, it lacks a national policy to create an enabling environment for all stakeholders. 

 Policy development 

The Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) has started developing a national BIM policy for South Africa, aiming to have it gazetted by the end of 2025. The development of the policy will be supported by the BCA’s network of stakeholders, broadening the source of contributions from interested parties in the built environment. 

 The ongoing process is likely to be influenced by legislation and economics, resulting in both a systems and a value chain perspective. 

 Training and access 

Another key stakeholder is higher education and training, specifically around curricula, training, skills development and accreditation, and how adopting BIM will bring about the need for a different skillset in the industry. 

“We are also looking at ensuring that the entry barrier is lowered by focussing on the information requirements rather than the software type, so it is cost-effective and scalable for all players,” says Matchett. 

 BIM adoption locally 

Autodesk recently reported that South Africa is in fact not lagging far behind the rest of the world when it comes to BIM adoption. 

“We are not as advanced as Europe, which has a decade’s head start on us. This means South Africa has an opportunity to observe what is being done elsewhere successfully, keep track of the outcome and then implement what is likely to work best for our built environment,” concludes Matchett. 

“This policy will impact everyone in the built environment. Its adoption needs to consider the value that all these different parties can derive from it and, in turn, bring to the table.” – Richard Matchett 


For more information, contact Zutari: 

Tel: +27 12 427 2000 



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