Debunking the Myths Around ISO 19650 in APAC

3 minute read

BIM is booming.

And with it comes the ISO 19650 standards to manage information over the whole lifecycle of a built asset using building information modeling (BIM).

Despite this boom, unlike their counterparts in the UK, Asia-Pacific have yet to truly embrace and mandate BIM. According to McKinsey, construction organizations who embrace digital and construction tech could stand to improve productivity by 14% to 15%, with a cost-saving of between 4% to 6% on a typical project.   

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While BIM has started to be implemented on high profile government projects throughout the region, many organizations—both big and small—are not embracing all that BIM and ISO 19650 have to offer.

So, the question is: what is holding the construction industry in Asia-Pacific back?

BIM and ISO 19650 are new ways of working. And for many, this alone is cause for concern. Apprehensions around cost, risk, and misconceptions surrounding the standards and their use prevent many in the industry from reaping the rewards BIM and ISO 19650 can bring.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Let’s debunk some of the myths surrounding ISO 19650 in Asia-Pacific:

BIM is Just for High-Tech Designers


Very few projects in Asia-Pacific utilize BIM to its full potential. This is down to multiple reasons, one of which is the idea BIM is a high-tech tool that projects struggle to implement.

Becoming ISO 19650 compliant is not only for large-scale construction companies or megaprojects. Nor is it just a high-tech tool only designers can use.

AECO organizations of all shapes and sizes—from government and state organizations to transport authorities, housebuilders, even SMEs—can stand to benefit from implementing and utilizing this innovative suite of standards.

ISO 19650 is Nothing More Than an Extra Cost


The majority of those working in the construction industry in APAC would view ISO 19650 and BIM as simply an extra cost. Implementing new ways of working is simply not in the budget.

While there is a cost to implement the standards, the benefits outweigh the initial investment.

Consider this stat: according to a recent KMPG report, between £5.10 and £6 of direct labor productivity gains could be made for every £1 invested in information management.

This could mean saving A$11 for those in Australia, NZ$11 in New Zealand, S$11 in Singapore, and HK$64 in Hong Kong.

Operations and Asset Owners Don’t Need BIM


On projects throughout the region, operations and asset managers don’t require BIM. Will Joske, Director (ANZ) for BIM Academy, suggests one reason could be the benefactor sitting outside the supply chain, meaning incentive to invest is harder to justify commercially.

By not using ISO 19650 standards, asset owners are missing a trick.

ISO 19650 provides recommendations for managing information throughout the whole asset lifecycle—including operation. The ISO 19650 standard states it’s the client who sets the tone for the information requirements.

Here, the client—the asset owner—influences the digital collaboration and the quality of deliverables. This means they control how they want information delivered.

By knowing the information you require for the operation of an asset from the get go asset owners can save time and money. They can also enhance efficiency, user experience, and health and safety throughout the operational phase of the built asset.

BIM and ISO 19650 Don’t Introduce Any Real, Tangible Benefits


ISO 19650 introduces a suite of standards detailing the best practices for information management within the AECO. And with this suite of standards comes some sweet benefits.

It minimizes risk, ensures the right people have the right information at the right time, saves time and money, and helps users avoid costly errors.

Time-wasting activities—searching for relevant documents, sending documents manually, waiting for the right information to be delivered, and resolving errors—are costing your project millions.

Here, ISO 19650 comes to the rescue. According to the McKinsey Global Institute Report, refining design and engineering practices can improve productivity by 8%-10%, with a cost-saving of between 7%-10%.

What Are the Next Steps?

Becoming ISO 19650 compliant is not only for large-scale construction companies or megaprojects. AECO organizations of all shapes and sizes—from government and state organizations to transport authorities, housebuilders, even SMEs—can stand to benefit.

To become ISO 19650 compliant, organizations need to implement a Common Data Environment (CDE) alongside a series of standardized processes. This may sound scary, but with the right team behind you the processes needn’t be too arduous.

Think it’s time to embrace BIM and the ISO 19650 standards? Click here now to learn more about the framework and improve how you manage your information.


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