Kevin Rudden, President of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Ireland, has announced the Construction Industry Council of Ireland’s (CIC) vision for a new digital future for the Irish construction industry.

Six Irish trade bodies, the Royal Institute of Architects in Ireland, the Association of Consulting Engineers, Engineers Ireland, the Construction Industry Federation, and the Society of Chartered Surveyors and the Building Materials Federation in Ireland will look to guide Ireland’s move towards the digitisation of the construction industry.

Speaking at the launch of Digital Construction Week, Mr Rudden said the CIC ’embraces’ the BIM enabled world. He said: ‘The CIC actively encourages the Irish construction and built environment sector to continue to take full advantages of current and emerging information and communication technologies and to remain at the forefront of the industry in Europe.

‘We see BS and PAS 1192 as important routes towards standardising BIM implementation.’

Mr Rudden said that the huge amount of overseas investment in Ireland, with the United States having invested $277Bn since 1990, has helped to drive BIM capability in Ireland.

He said: ‘The United States has been the world’s earliest adopters of BIM and in recent years, Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Amazon and Google have demanded BIM on all their development projects in Ireland.’

Intel’s $4BN investment in a new processor plant in Leixlip was also a key step, according to Mr Rudden. The project represented Ireland’s largest BIM project to date and involved a significant level of training in BIM across Ireland and had over 300 designers working simultaneously on the project at its peak.

Mr Rudden praised the UK government’s leadership on mandating BIM saying that it had ‘incentivised’ the Irish construction industry to meet the challenge of BIM implementation. He said: ‘Since 2010, Irish exports of design services have increased by about 500% and a good portion of these services are true BIM. There’s also Irish government support for BIM to the Government 2020 strategy. It makes clear recommendations to support companies advancing to Level 2 BIM capability.’

Mr Rudden also used the occasion to announce the first national survey to benchmark the level of BIM adoption in Ireland.

The survey reveals that 67% of the top architects, engineers and contractors are confident in their BIM skills and knowledge. The figure for engineers was even higher at 90%.

Only 6% reported having no confidence, with the remaining 27% expressing a general knowledge of BIM and a gradual improvement in BIM skills.

75% of the respondents reported an increase demand for BIM in Ireland.

The survey also showed that there was a marginal majority in favour of Ireland following the UK in mandating BIM on public sector projects.