The Adoption of Building Information Modeling


The Hemispheric at the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències in Valencia, Spain

According to a January 2013 McGraw-Hill Construction Report, Building Information Modeling (BIM) adoption expanded from 17% in 2007 to 71% in 2012. This represented a 317% increase over the five year period. BIM has had a significant impact on the North American construction industry, having demonstrated its intrinsic value and potential for redefining and improving workflows, boosting productivity, and offering the companies which have embraced the technology, opportunities to capture further market share within already mature markets.

According to Stephen Jones, Senior Director at McGraw-Hill Construction and Research Director of the report. "Results also point to the increased business benefits that all users derived from using BIM, such as better profits, more accurate documentation, less rework, reduced project duration, fewer claims and the ability to offer new services."

BIM now allows the construction industry globally, to plan and manage building projects more effectively through its use of detailed and accurate, parametric building models developed within dynamic, 3D software environments. It also offers up a number of additional benefits including the utilization of a single software tool or platform, greater collaboration and interoperability between design teams and disciplines (such as Architects, Structural Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Fabricators, Manufacturers, and Contractors), and integrated project management and delivery from conceptual design to construction. In some organizations, BIM has been shown to help teams be up to 33% faster on project delivery, whilst reducing overall costs by 10%, and improving overall quality and output.

Today, an increasing number of local companies and firms have been looking into the adoption of BIM. We at Ikigai, are presently working with one such firm to design, develop, and implement the necessary frameworks, policies, staff training, and systems which would allow their technical and engineering teams to rapidly and accurately produce 3D models for construction - thereby improving productivity and reducing errors. 

Many other firms have expressed concerns about some of the challenges to implementation of BIM, including the high cost of the required product licences, training costs, the potential return on investment, communication and coordination issues between multidisciplinary teams, accountability and ownership of the models and its information, and finally, the resistance to change from the traditional AutoCAD design environment. 

Despite the organizational, cultural, and financial challenges to the implementation of any new model of work, we believe that BIM is a significant source of competitive advantage for modern engineering, contracting, and architectural design companies - especially, as the technology is set to become the standard for building design and construction within the next decade.