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The Importance of the BIM4M2 Curve


The Importance of the BIM4M2 Curve

A year after the UK's BIM level 2 mandate, how much has really changed in our industry. In a guest feature from last year, Matt Crunden, of Legrand Electric Ltd, addresses the importance of the BIM4M2 curve. How closely have we followed that curve? Do you think we've kept an eye on the compass or have we wandered off the pathway towards full BIM integration?  

Manufacturers have often been left to ‘go it alone’ on their BIM journeys leading to uncertainty and a degree of confusion. In early 2014, the BIM for Manufacturers and Manufacturing group, BIM4M2 was launched with the support of the Construction Products Association (CPA), but now independent from it, to help manufacturers learn about BIM and to assist and educate with BIM implementation.

In July 2015 the BIM4M2 Curve was launched. Developed by manufacturers & the manufacturing industry to help give support and advice, the Curve is aimed at the manufacturer either making their first foray into the world of BIM or those seasoned manufacturers looking for further support and resource.

The Curve is a free to use web-based tool which can be used to assess the likely impact of BIM upon a manufacturers business and to help them on their way to create, implement and measure a BIM business plan.

The Curve (as in Learning Curve) is a set of three tools: ‘The Compass’ comes first, followed by ‘How Do I Do It?’ and finally ‘Learn More’.


The Compass allows the user to answer certain questions related to their business and market conditions such as product types, sectors, exports and market developments & the Compass ‘points the way’ by returning an indicator of BIM guidance based upon the user’s business. This guidance is individual to the user based upon their answers and will suggest how significantly the user may be impacted if they choose not to act by returning a ‘what is at risk’ calculation.


This part of The Curve uses the latest data from Barbour ABI to provide an assessment of BIM adoption across sectors particular to the user.

After completing ‘The Compass’, the next phase entitled ‘How Do I Do It?’ consists of a three step process: Plan, Implement and Review. These are then structured into organized sections using a simple drop down headings to answer specific questions which make up the resulting BIM business plan.

In the ‘Plan’ section the user navigates through the information contained within the drop down headings to discover what benefits the manufacturer should aim for, what type of solution would be appropriate and what impact this may have on processes and organization for example.

‘Implement’ takes the user through subjects covering data structures and what method of BIM development one should choose. Implement also helps the user to define their chosen solution, validate it and then implement performance indicators.

In the ‘Review’ phase, the user finds out how to conduct a formal review process and gives an indication of the right questions to ask.

The final phase, ‘Learn More’ consists of a master collection of useful BIM related information and documentation. It is again structured into a three step process which a user might find mandatory, useful or nice to know.

With various surveys in circulation, it’s clear that BIM understanding is growing within the manufacturing community, however, uptake is perhaps somewhat slow.


The BIM4M2 Compass, built by the industry for the industry, can be a key driver in delivering the knowledge and know-how into the arena. With the ambitious targets set by the Government construction strategy, manufacturers and manufacturing are fundamental to building an innovative construction industry. By mandating the use of BIM in publically funded projects from 2016, this is a real indicator to manufacturers and manufacturing that BIM is not a fad, not going to disappear, not just something for the future. It’s here for us to work with right now.


Construction projects can be modeled in the virtual world with generic objects but in order to build these projects, construction needs manufacturer specific parts with real-world data. The Curve gives a great insight into how to make these requirements real and how to potentially become included earlier in the specification which traditionally has often been a difficult issue for the manufacturing community.

Why Manufacturers Need to be Engaged in BIM

As much of the industry is now aware, by 2016, all publicly-funded work in the UK must be completed with a maturity level 2 BIM standard which, put simply, means the provision of structured data that meets the PAS 1192 – 2: 2013 standards. Demand for this data already exists within the marketplace amongst designers, consultants and contractors, as well as facilities managers.

Manufacturers should be acting now and utilising the tools which are available to them, such as The Compass.

All-in-all this can only be of benefit to the whole industry and is perhaps the key to driving both the creation and the adoption of a structured approach for our industry.

“With various surveys in circulation, it’s clear that BIM understanding is growing within the manufacturing community, however uptake is perhaps somewhat slow.”


Author Profile

Matt Crunden
Training and BIM Manager at Legrand Electric Ltd

BIOGRAPHY: Matt is the Training and BIM Manager for Legrand Electric Ltd UK and Ireland and has been an active member of BIM4M2 since its conception, working on the Data Templates & Education groups.

Matt has been involved in BIM for the past 5 years, learning the ropes with the provision of Legrand’s structured data & 3D intelligent objects into the Process, Power & Marine (PP&M) markets back in 2011.

Matt is responsible for driving the company’s BIM strategy and implementation plan in the UK and is also involved in the company’s global strategies.