Since their issue, the International Organization for Standardization has designated IFCs as being the "construction information standard" for BIM applications (Lyon, 2009, p. 40). Because the same types of needs have been identified in other sectors, the need for standardization in the BIM realm was also well recognized. For instance, according to Lyon (2009, p. 40), "Like CAD, BIM will need standardization to share complex information between organizations." According to Twati (2008, p. 2), though, this key driver is languishing behind adoption levels in other countries. In this regard, Twati (2008) advises that, "While finances were not a problem for the wealthy country of Libya, it has historically used far less than its available computing capacity. The use of technology in Libya is minimal, regardless of it being one of the wealthiest countries in Africa" (p. 1).
Building Information Modeling Implementations in Different Countries
Based on its proven efficacy in facilitating design sharing and generating cost savings n the process, there has been growing pressures within the architectural profession in a number of different countries to adopt and implement BIM applications (Arayici et al., n.d.). According to Arayici et al. (n.d., p. 2), "This information management technology has existed in some form for over 20 years. However during last few years, building owners are becoming aware that BIM promises to make the design, construction and operation of buildings much more streamlined and efficient." The BIM adoption trend extends to Western nations such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia (Arayici et al., n.d.). In this regard, these authorities (Arayici et al., n.d., p. 2) point out that, "Owners are starting to enforce that architects and other design professionals, construction managers and construction companies adopt BIM. This trend gained enormous momentum when the General Services Administration (GSA) of USA announced that it would require all schematic design submittals to be in BIM format starting in 2006." In addition, a number of European countries have also adopted and implemented BIM applications in recent years (Arayici et al., n.d.).
A recent example concerning the uptake of BIM in the United Kingdom is a public-private initiative intended to facilitate the design and development process using building information modeling applications. The project has been implemented at Niven Architects in a joint effort with Teesside University to promote developments in the use of BIM for building design and construction (Laing, 2012). According to this reporter, "Niven Architects has begun a two-year knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) with the university on building information modelling (BIM) as part of a Government and private sector scheme to improve businesses" (Laing, 2012, p. 32). In this case, Niven Architects is developing an innovative approach to modeling building information using these applications to help all stakeholders better understand what part they play in the process and what is expected from them in terms of support. In this regard, Laing (2012, p. 32) advises that, "When it comes to construction, instead of trying to interpret generic 2D drawings, the contractor has access to all of the information they need about every part of the project from the BIM model. We want all our consultants to move forward with us in BIM and will help them with their BIM implementation strategies as part of the KTP, which will support design and construction in the region." Of particular interest was the technique described by the architectural firm in which they expect to develop a virtual rendering of buildings that would provide clientele with the ability to actually walk through third-dimensionally projected buildings to get a better feel for what the space and built environment will look like when completed. According to Laing (2012, p. 32), Nivens "hopes to use Teesside University's 'Cave', a high-quality, immersive virtual environment and gaming facility, which would allow clients to physically 'walk into' and experience their new building before it is built." The project leader, Professor Nashwan Dawood, director of Teesside University's Technology Futures research institute, enthused that, "BIM can save time, energy and money. One of the problems in construction is the element of having to 'suck it and see'. You start to do the work and then suddenly there are problems" (2012, p.32).
In sharp contract, the introduction of the BIM applications has provided practitioners with the ability to render buildings in ways that allow every nook and cranny to be examined in detail, and in cost effective ways. In sum, "We can simulate the processes in advance on a computer screen in 3D, work out how things are going to be done and communicate this with the supply chain. It enables companies to virtually iron out problems before they happen" (Laing, 2012 at p. 32). These highly desirable attributes make BIM applications indispensable tools in modern construction projects, including the Libyan construction sector which is discussed further below.
Validation of the Strategy for Construction and Infrastructure Sector Organisations in the Libya Construction Sector