By Steve Rizer
The share of construction professionals using building information modeling (BIM) in the United Kingdom has more than doubled since 2010, according to the results of a survey that NBS (a trading name of RIBA Enterprises LTD) released earlier this month. About one-third (31 percent) of surveyed construction professionals in the U.K. are using BIM, up from approximately 13 percent in 2010. The company completed its latest National BIM Survey late last year and collected responses from about 1,000 construction professionals, representing a range of business sizes and disciplines from across the industry, including architecture, engineering, and surveying.
Other findings include the following:
- The number of surveyed professionals who are unaware of BIM and its benefits has halved since the 2010 survey with slightly more than one-fifth (21 percent) of them indicating that they were unaware of the technology and are not using it compared to 43 percent in 2010.
- Three-quarters of those surveyed construction professionals who are aware of BIM predicted they will be using it on some projects by year’s end, and almost 19 out of 20 people expect to be using it in five years’ time.
- About three-quarters (74 percent) of respondents using BIM believe clients will increasingly insist on BIM adoption.
- More than 80 percent of respondents agreed that BIM increases the coordination of construction documents with 65 percent of survey participants who are using the technology reporting BIM delivered cost efficiencies.
The survey revealed that the perceived expense and time commitments involved in adopting BIM technology remain the primary barriers to greater industry-wide adoption in the current economic climate, particularly for smaller businesses. Almost two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents agreed that BIM is too expensive to consider at the moment with nearly half (48 percent) of them indicating they need to get through the downturn before looking at BIM.
Despite 78 percent of survey participants responding that BIM is the “future of project information,” the survey also suggested that, in terms of understanding how BIM works, there is still much progress to be made with four out of five respondents agreeing that the industry is not yet clear enough on what BIM actually is.
About three of every four respondents (74 percent) see BIM as not just as a synonym for 3D CAD drawings, and roughly 46 percent of them agreed that unless specifications are linked to the CAD model, it is not BIM.
“The survey clearly shows that in the U.K. the question is no longer will BIM be adopted but how quickly,” said Stephen Hamil, head of BIM at RIBA Enterprises. “The fact that three-quarters of those aware of BIM predict they will be using it on projects by the end of the year shows the speed with which things are moving.”
NBS stated that the 2011 National BIM Survey represents the latest stage in its campaign to promote debate on BIM and guide the industry in its understanding and adoption of the process.
An NBS spokesperson did not immediately respond toConstruction Project Controls and BIM Report's request for additional information.