Fewer than one third of firms using BIM

With so much coverage of the topic you would be forgiven for thinking that take up had been immense. But a survey by Building magazine has recently found that less than one-third of companies in the construction sector – just 32% – are using Building Information Modelling (BIM) Level 2. Since the previous year’s result indicated that 31% were using the technology, it suggests that there has been minimal growth in its adoption.

For the uninitiated, BIM technology aims to foster collaboration and efficiency through all parties in the project team working on a shared 3D digital model. The finding is particularly significant because of the government’s requirement that firms working on centrally procured public sector contracts use BIM Level 2 when it comes into force on 4 April 2016. It will also raise eyebrows considering the extent to which BIM is talked about at industry events and within its media. A key question therefore may be the private sector’s stance on the issue.

More encouragingly, the survey revealed that the proportion of people who had used any form of BIM increased from 52% the previous year to 66%. In addition, the survey found that more firms were convinced that BIM delivers benefits. Last year a majority of respondents said they believed BIM was ‘over-hyped’, whereas this year only one-third deemed BIM over-hyped.

We find BIM extremely useful – both for helping the client and whole project team understand and visualise projects from an early stage and to make the entire process smoother and more efficient. But it’s not for everyone. Some projects simply don’t justify the expense and, here, we are just as happy to continue without. It’s a useful tool but not essential to delivering outstanding work.