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BIM and the small construction firm: a critical perspective

Dainty, A., Leiringer, R., Fernie, S. and Harty, C. (2017) BIM and the small construction firm: a critical perspective. Building Research & Information, 45 (6). pp. 696-709. ISSN 0961-3218

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/09613218.2017.1293940


The need for technological and administrative innovation is a recurrent theme in the UK construction-reform agenda, but generic improvement recipes are beginning to give way to a more focused prescription: building information modelling (BIM). The current strategy is to mandate the use of BIM for government projects as a way of integrating the design, construction and operation of publicly procured buildings. This aspiration represents a partial turn away from a focus on managerialist agendas towards a belief in the power of digital practices to achieve the aspiration of integrated working, collaboration and innovation, a trend that is being reflected globally in relation to both national and firm-level policy interventions. This paper subjects this so-called ‘BIM revolution’ to critical scrutiny. By drawing on theories of the digital divide, a critical discourse is developed around the ways in which political reform agendas centred on BIM might not stimulate innovation on a wider scale, but could act to disenfranchise small firms that are unable (or unwilling) to engage with them. This critical analysis presents important new research questions around the technocratic optimism that pervades the current reform discourse, the trajectory of industry development that it creates and the policy process itself.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Organisation, People and Technology group
ID Code:71305
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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