By Steve Rizer
Expect the global market for building information modeling (BIM) software and services to soar over the next eight years, more than tripling over that period, according to a report that Pike Research recently released. The Boulder, Colo.-based research firm believes that annual worldwide revenue for BIM products and services solutions will rise from about $1.8 billion this year to nearly $6.5 billion in 2020.
Relatively strong growth is expected for the next several years in those regions of the world where BIM adoption has taken hold, including North America, Western Europe, and the Asia Pacific. Although North America and Western Europe are leading the market, Pike foresees a higher rate of growth in the Asia Pacific region. “Much of this is due to the fact that the Asia Pacific region has a large building stock as well as a significant amount of building and construction taking place.
“Growth rates in the Asia Pacific region can potentially be significantly higher if this region becomes more active in mandating the use of BIM for construction and facilities management. Other regions in the world, such as Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, will not see an increase in BIM adoption rates until later in the forecast period of this report, which spans the years of 2012 through 2020. As the leading regions sort out the initial growing pains of BIM adoption and start to show and realize the benefits of BIM, it will slowly become standard practice in those regions that are lagging behind as well.”
The worldwide compound annual growth rate should total 17.3 percent for BIM products and services over the eight-year period, Pike predicted. This figure encompasses both BIM software revenue and revenue from BIM-related services such as training/support and project management/collaboration. “Growth in the early years of the forecast period will be relatively higher in the leading regions as more firms adopt the tools and practices. In the regions that lag behind, higher growth rates will not be seen for another 4-5 years, but those areas will eventually move more and more toward using BIM.”
Pike characterized the global BIM market as “nascent” but “evolving rapidly” as new innovations in tools, techniques, and methods allow practitioners to work together in a more collaborative manner. “Some countries are taking an active role in BIM adoption by mandating its use in both public and private projects. As is the case in other industries, the lagging countries are taking a wait-and- see approach as the BIM market evolves. Nonetheless, building efficiency is at the forefront of conversations everywhere regarding energy and water use, waste, and cost of operations. As energy conservation and carbon emissions become increasingly important on a global basis, the adoption of BIM tools and practices will become a higher priority since it can significantly affect the efficient use of valuable and scarce resources.”
The research firm asserted that early adopters of BIM tools and practices can gain a “significant advantage” over their competitors.
Pike’s report, entitled “Building Information Modeling,” covers the market landscape of BIM, market drivers, technology issues, key industry players, regional forecasts, and other areas.
In an email interview with ConstructionPro Week (CPW), Pike Senior Analyst Eric Bloom provided the following additional information:
CPW: What types of professionals in the design and construction community are expected to use this report, and in what ways will they use it? How will the report help them?
Bloom: The report is aimed at companies developing BIM software and services or integrating BIM into their engineering and energy-efficiency service platforms. This includes top-tier vendors (Autodesk, Bentley, etc.) as well as engineering services and construction firms. They will use it to inform their strategies regarding the integration of BIM solutions into their existing practices.
CPW: Last month, it was reported that oil prices are expected to reach $200 per barrel within the next 5-10 years, presumably making energy policies and adoption of BIM tools more important. To what extent were predictions like this incorporated into your forecast? What key, specific assumptions were made in arriving at the estimate that BIM products and services solutions will approach $6.5 billion in 2020?
Bloom: Rising energy costs and the shifting focus toward optimizing building performance is noted as one of the key drivers of the BIM market in the report. The forecast also integrates a number of other key benefits/drivers of the BIM market, including:
- Increased productivity of designers and contractors.
- Reduced life-cycle costs of constructing and operating buildings.
- Higher-quality construction documents.
- Enhanced project predictability in terms of timing, aesthetics, and energy efficiency.
- Increasing shift of construction management to the cloud.
- These are some of the key drivers of the BIM market.
CPW: To what extent, if any, are local/state/federal governments in the United States expected to require BIM for public projects?
Bloom: Most of the public-sector requirements are at the federal level. For example, all major projects conducted by the U.S. General Services Administration, the federal government’s real-estate management arm, require spatial program BIMs as a minimum requirement for approval by the federal Office of the Chief Architect. Other public-sector U.S. government organizations that are developing programs and mandates regarding BIM include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
CPW: Are mergers and acquisitions in the BIM industry expected to continue the way they have been? What other industry trends do you foresee occurring?
Bloom: Yes, the nascent nature of the BIM market means that acquisitions will continue as they have for a few years still. Software developers that target specific niches within BIM will attract acquisitions by larger ones.
CPW: Besides BIM to Field solutions, cloud-based solutions, and mobile capabilities, in what other areas may there be advancement in BIM technology?
Bloom: One constant area for innovation is BIM data storage, including solutions for compressing BIM data, making it more rapidly accessible, and protecting it from cyber threats. Beyond the technology itself, we expect to see a growing service opportunity consisting of service providers that help architects, engineers, and construction firms bridge the gap to BIM through outsourcing of BIM document development and training courses for in-house employees.
CPW: Which findings in your company’s research of the BIM market surprised you the most and why?
Bloom: We were interested to find such a broad industry for BIM that goes well beyond Autodesk and Bentley, the two main software players in the market. Many small engineering and construction firms consider themselves ‘BIM-based’ at this point, so there’s a true shift happening within the construction industry.
CPW: Other comments?
Bloom: Building information modeling represents one of the most important paradigm shifts in the last 10-20 years in the way construction services are delivered. The construction industry is notoriously slow-moving, so the rapid development of BIM solutions in recent years has been remarkable.