Smart Market Report – The Business Value of BIM for Construction in the Major Global Markets: How Contractors Around the World Are Driving Innovation with Building Information Modeling

How many of you find this report misleading?

BIM is the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology.

Are 71% of US/North America respondents are practicing BIM”?   Is this true?  Or has someone in the organization purchased 3D visualization software and/or worked with someone who has?   3D visualization is not BIM.

Does anyone out there really believe that “BIM is reaching maturity among contractors in Europe and North America”?

Many/most respondent don’t have the tools to practice BIM or even understand the critical “best practices” or processes to achieve BIM.

Like many reports and discussions of BIM, this survey apparently fails to clearly define BIM to survey participants.  Isn’t it time to get smarter about BIM?


3D, 4D, 5D BIM Growth — UK

BIM Life-cycle Managment of the Built Environment Supported by Digital Technology

A recent study by NBS provides a snapshot of  BIM (Building Information Modelling) implementation within the UK’s construction industry.


Conducted between December 2012 and February 2013, a cross section of 1,350 professionals spanning a range of business sizes and disciplines from across the industry including architecture, engineering and surveying were included.

71%  of respondents to the NBS survey agreed that BIM represents the ‘future of project information’.

39% confirmed that they were now actually using BIM.

Fewer than half of respondents are aware of the different levels of BIM, despite Level 2 being    mandatory on all Government projects by the end of 2016.

74% agreeing that ‘the industry is ‘not clear enough on what BIM is yet’.

Only one-third of those questioned claim to be ‘very’ or ‘quite’ confident in their BIM knowledge and skills.

Despite the uncertainty around the subject, the survey once again supported the view that the greater use of BIM is unstoppable with 73% agreeing that clients will increasingly insist on its use, 66% saying the same about contractors and 51% confirming that the Government ‘is on the right track with BIM’.

Of those who have adopted BIM, more than half believe that the introduction of BIM has resulted in greater cost efficiencies whilst three-quarters report increased coordination of construction documents. Improved productivity due to easy retrieval of information and better quality visualisations were other gains.


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Where will BIM / Efficient Life-cycle Management Supported by Digital Technology Be in Five Years

A workshop with members from the BIM Academy, NBS, and various other was recently held to postulate on this topic.

As one might expect topics encompassed;  design, procurement, policy and standards, technology, education and culture, success to date, areas for innovation, challenges, and barriers to adoption.

As facilities costs are second only to personal/labor costs for most organizations, the need for breadth, consistency and transparency of BUILDING INFORMATION to understand, articulate, prioritize, and act upon requirements is readily apparent.    Information must be timely, accurate, transparent, actionable,  traceable, and shared collaboratively.

Change management is a requirement, and those adapt will excel, those that do not will fall behind.

A core, yet perhaps obvious observation was that ” There is a growing realization of the importance of data structure, quality and transferability, rather than geometry alone. We need to stop talking less about “the model” and more about “the data”.
“One participant noted a recent US comparative diagram mapping CAD adoption in the 1980s and recent BIM adoption. The trajectory has been much more rapid for BIM, however from recent discussions with US practitioners it appears the US is advanced in geometric, spatial and visual BIM uses but progress in the productive use of structured data, particularly into the operational phase, seems to be falling behind the UK.”

BIM management is misunderstood by some clients who regard it as purely a technological challenge which can be simply be solved by a software purchase and training, others are intimidated by a perceived complex restructuring of management processes. The truth lies somewhere between and follow the principles of Latham – get the process right before you think of the technology.

The role of IPD (Integrated Project Design) and JOC (Job Order Contracting) will become even more important.  It was also noted that collaborative working doesn’t necessarily demand multidisciplinary organizations. There is a balance to be struck between the efficiency gained from freshness and innovation often achieved from different organizations coming to together on a project basis and working collaboratively, however traditional  disjointed methods of procurement common in industry, such as design-bid-build or even design-build or CMAR do not fully encourage this.  IPD and JOC, the later a form of IPD for facility renovation, repair, and construction are proven methods of developing long term,  win-win multi-party relationships. “It’s crucial to get the right people involved early enough and understanding what outcomes they need from the start.”, and both IPD and JOC enforce this behavior.

Perhaps most importantly the topic of education rose front and center:

“It was agreed that this community also needs to escape from its silos. Some universities are starting to adopt a multidisciplinary curriculum supported by BIM, but this needs to become the standard not the exception. “Why not have a combined construction degree with final years dedicated to a specific discipline and practical work experience in between?””

Why BIM has a LONG way to go.

BIM is the life-cycle management of the built environment supported by digital technology.  BIM is not exclusively design, nor does it require 3D modeling.  BIM does require information modeling.

A recent BIM adoption survey in Canada highlights some of the major educational and cultural issues yet to be overcome.

The BIM uptake in Canada survey results were published by the Institute for BIM in Canada (IBC), which is home to buildingSMART Canada. The aim of the survey was to collect data on the use of BIM in the Canadian construction sector, identify bottlenecks in the adoption process and flag any issues arising.
The survey findings were released in early 2012:

1. Around 70% of the organizations using BIM had realized benefits in the form of better end-products, enhanced productivity, competitive advantage and improved documentation. – GOOD

2. Some 80% believed that model ownership should be vested primarily with the architect. – NOT GOOD.  BIM required collaboration of all parties and ownership of the model should always reside with the OWNER.  Granted for various projects, temporary ownership from a management perspective can be allocated to any appropriate authority.

3. More than 50% said that sharing BIM models might cause legal issues. – NOT GOOD.  An appropriate collaborative construction delivery model …aka IPD or JOC should address any potential issues.

4. The survey showed that BIM implementation is a slow process, with many users still seeing BIM predominantly as a 3D modelling system. – VERY BAD Our industry should be well beyond this in 2011 or 2012.  Are people not keeping up with business and technology trends?

5. The survey suggested that one way to speed up adoption would be to make BIM a
mandatory requirement for public projects.  – GOOD  However, only if the definition of BIM is clear and detailed.