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4 key points from the NBS National BIM Report 2015

 

May 07, 2015

Here, we round up some of the key points from this year’s study ...

1. The 2025 Government Construction Strategy is on the ‘right track’ and BIM has a vital role to play

For the UK Government there are four demanding targets for the construction sector, described in the 2025 Construction Strategy, notably:

  1. a 33% reduction in the initial cost of construction and the whole-life cost of built assets
  2. a 50% reduction in the overall time, from inception to completion, for new-build and refurbished assets
  3. a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the built environment
  4. a 50% reduction in the trade gap between total exports and total imports for construction products and materials.

The requirement for BIM adoption is there because the Government sees it as integral to meeting these targets. We wanted to test whether people felt that it was true that BIM would help us to achieve them and encouragingly the majority of respondents believe that it is “on the right track” and that BIM will help reduce both costs and time, whilst 41% see it as a tool to aid a reduction in carbon emissions.

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2. BIM awareness and usage plateaus

Until this year, the story of BIM usage and awareness has been straightforward. Year on year, the total usage and awareness has increased, as has the proportion of those using BIM.

This year the story has become more nuanced. Last year we saw a majority telling us they had adopted BIM on at least one project they had worked on in the preceding twelve months. This year we have seen no growth in BIM usage. Indeed, we see a very small drop (6%, from 54% to 48%).

Increased workloads limiting the time available to implement new working practices, reaching the midpoint of the BIM adoption curve, and a small statistical shift in those responding to the survey are possible reasons for these results rather than being evidence that we are reaching BIM’s peak.

3. BIM is the future and should be embraced

In 2010, BIM was very much a minority process – and one that less than 15% of the design community engaged in - although, encouragingly, 58% of respondents to our survey back then cited some level of BIM-awareness. In the intervening five years much has been done to develop the tools, information and standards needed for BIM to deliver for designers and clients alike.

Respondents believe BIM will become the ‘de facto’ standard for the design process within three years – 92% expect to be using BIM within that timespan – and 95% within five years. A third of BIM practitioners have reached Level 1 BIM. Practices reaching Level 2 BIM requirements have grown to 59%, up from 51% the previous year.

4. Attitudes towards BIM remain mostly positive, though there is more to do

The perception that BIM is the future of construction information remains, with four fifths of people agreeing that it is. Small and medium practices are part of this future too, with only a quarter agreeing that BIM is ‘just for larger organisations’. There is still work for the industry to do in order to provide clarity for BIM, two thirds (67%) agreeing that ‘the industry is not clear enough on what BIM is yet’. Aligned to this lack of clarity is a lack of trust. Only a quarter tell us that they ‘trust what I hear about BIM’, down a little from last year.

Those who have adopted BIM are more likely to be positive about it than those who have yet to. Users and non-users both agree that adopting BIM requires changes in workflow, practices and procedures and while business change can be difficult only 4% wish they hadn’t adopted BIM. Of those who have adopted BIM 59% see cost efficiencies, 56% improved client outcomes, 51% increased speed of delivery and 48% increased profitability.

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