It’s time to celebrate ISO19650 🎉🎉🎉

Whilst you have to be a bit naive to believe the UK construction industry love, cherish or even use the standards available to us, ISO19650 is an achievement we should be proud of, and be ready to take advantage of.  

Before you set off reading this to find out what’s changed between this new standard and the predecessor, this isn’t the post you’re looking for.  Those involved in making this new standard happen are busy publishing articles, delivering workshops and webinars on that very subject and there’s no merit in muddying the waters; so here’s a couple of links that should help.




The progression of UK Information Management standards to ISO confirms what many of us have believed for a number of years; that our investment in defining best practice for managing information over the whole life-cycle of a built asset using building information modelling has been world leading.  Other countries do have valid claims for adopting BIM technology quicker than us, or getting more from OpenBIM, but when it comes to the collaborative processes we are rightly considered as leaders. 

This position of leadership didn’t happen by fortune. Even before the highly influential AVANTI programme in 2002 set a high bar for the potential of technology in construction, the UK had been investing in collaborative research into how technology could add value to the implementation of the recommendations of the Latham report,  (rest in peace Sir Michael Latham, your work lives on).  Constructing Excellence, AVANTI, the BIM Task Group, The UK BIM Alliance and other formal approaches have been fortified by the presence of what is most likely the most effective social media movement in construction history, the #ukBIMcrew in delivering a huge swell of people power and knowledge sharing behind the adoption of BIM in the UK.  It’s been quite incredible. 

Although from a birdseye view this looks like a huge success, many who are at the coal face of BIM have become understandably frustrated that the Level 2 BIM standards aren’t as well adopted as they deserve to be, and that apathy towards the mandate is still readily accepted on projects which set out with aspirations of achieving the benefits of good information managements alongside the use of 3D modelling techniques.   The changes in terminology in the ISO seems to have cemented the frustrations for some, leading to a mixed reception to the ISO.

It’s not perfect yet, but perhaps some of the frustration can be alleviated by taking a different view of the scenario…

The mandate, the Level 2 suite of documents and toolkits, Open standards, the technology, and even the ISO are all still early theory of what a digital construction industry could be.  All of this work and effort has taken us from an industry that didn’t trust the internet which thrived on paper and adversary, to a position where we have a rigorous hypothesis for how we move forward as an international aligned force for delivering whole life-cycle built assets.  We did this together, we have a new standard in multiple languages that lets us move on with testing the theory across the globe; it’s taken over 20years to get to this point so I think it’s about time we’ve gave ourselves some credit. 


We have been leaders in some incredible wide-ranging R&D, which is slowly but surely becoming reality. Now is a great time to be celebrating this success and commit to staying at the forefront of digital construction.