Can BIM revive building industry in the Netherlands?

The economic crisis has led to shrinking construction industry in the Netherlands, mainly due to low levels of investments and falling housing prices. On the other hand, demands and requirements in terms of sustainability and energy efficiency increased. In order to improve quality, continuity and international competiveness of the Dutch building industry, the Dutch Building Information Council (BIR) has executed a program for implementing building information modeling (BIM) to the entire construction sector in the Netherlands. Rijkswaterstaat, the Dutch public works and water management agency, is taking the lead in this initiative. To further stimulate the initiative, a BIM gateway (“BIM Loket”) was established in April this year. BIM Loket is a national direction and coordination platform for the development and management of open BIM standards, including relevant geo standards in the country. A few open BIM standards have been successfully adopted til date, including COINS, VISI and CB-NL. The ongoing largest road reconstruction program in the country, Schiphol-Amsterdam-Almere (SAA), is fully-implemented with BIM involving a total budget of €4 billion for the period of 2012-2020. Supported by strong open government and open data policy, the success of Dutch BIM program relies heavily now on industry’s willingness to embrace the new technology. 

Sarah Hisham