State of BIM adoption worldwide.
In our series of articles, we have been going over the many benefits that Building Information Methodology offers for both professionals and companies across a variety of industries and applications. From design to construction to facility management, and even demolition, all stages in the development of a project have practically been taken over by the ease of use and advantages that the methodology provides.
The adoption of BIM has experienced a significant increase in recent years, and it has been considered a veritable technological shift within the Architecture, Engineering and Construction sector. However, its adoption has not been entirely consistent when compared among countries. Its implementation in the public sector and by industry associations can be construed as an indicator of the likelihood of its continued acceptance within the private sector. But the heterogeneous adoption of the methodology at worldwide level may ultimately respond to the dissimilar state of technological development among regions. Let’s have a look at a selection of countries to see where they stand.
The United States is one of the first countries to pioneer the adoption of BIM, with many public sector bodies having set up BIM programs, objectives, and implementation roadmaps, as well as publishing standards specific to the methodology. Established by the United States Congress in 2007, the National BIM Standard-United States® (NBIMS-US™) provides standards that help the construction industry maintain its competitiveness and government agencies remain efficient. This state-led initiative is followed by an ample implementation in the private sector of about 80%—over 98% of the large architecture firms and over 30% of small firms have adopted the methodology to align and streamline their processes.
The UK BIM framework highlights Design, Build, Operate and Integrate as some of the advantages of BIM. Source: https://www.ukbimframework.org/about/
“BIM Maturity Levels” are used in the UK to assess the degree of BIM adoption of a certain project, while also allowing comparing markets of different maturity. In this way, Level 0 would include ordinary CAD drawings that do not offer the ability to work collaboratively. Level 1, although offering more structured data and information exchanges that occur on a digital format, is not yet fully collaborative. Level 2, on the other hand, allows specialists to interact with the model using their own different programs that allow checking for collisions and test scenarios. This level was mandated on 2016 for all public projects but was superseded by the UK BIM Framework in 2018. BIM Level 3 supposes network-based data integration that is managed by a collaborative server that integrates models across the entire lifecycle. According to the 2017 National Building Specification (NBS) BIM survey, 62% of building professionals are currently aware of and use BIM (NBS, 2017), up from just 13% in 2011, following a regular adoption curve.
Source: “BIM and Beyond. Design technology in architecture - 2021 report” by the Australian Institute of Architects and NBS.
BIM has gained significant traction within the Australian construction industry. In a 2021 report and survey by the NBS and the Australian Institute of Architects, BIM adoption in Australia is considered “mature” and those not using the methodology report falling behind in terms of productivity. While the survey only yielded 33% of respondents who are actively using the methodology (again, in a report from 2021), over 55% of respondents believed that BIM would be used on all projects in just 5 years’ time. Most major government infrastructure projects are expected to transition to BIM implementation by 2023. It is worthy of note that as of October 2022, there are 42 government projects valued at $50 million or more using BIM, and 18 government projects valued at less than $50 million.
The construction sector in UAE has seen a rapid expansion. The UAE has led the adoption and implementation of BIM in the region, Dubai Municipality being the first to mandate the use of BIM in the Middle East (years ahead of the UK’s 2016 mandate), and creating a new online permissions system that requires all building projects submitted for approval be in BIM format. However, the country’s capital, Abu Dhabi, has yet to mandate the use of BIM, although it has been applied in major projects such as Abu Dhabi International Airport. Due to a lack of accepted standards and protocols, BIM is still in the early stages, and only around 10% of the construction sector in UAE is aware of the full extent of benefits that the methodology brings. There is also an uneven uptake of BIM among the various stages of early design, with Feasibility at 13%, Concept Development at 40% and Design Development at 40%.
As in the UAE, BIM in Brazil is considered to be more efficient in the design phase, and lacking in the construction phase, improving the management of information in the former, and its interface with the latter. The path to BIM adoption is long and depends on aspects such as training personnel, availability of technology, and implementing industry policies. In 2018, the Brazilian Government established the BIM BR Strategy as a national 2018–2028 plan for the dissemination of BIM. Currently, only some practices employ some level of BIM, which varies among the different regions in the country (for example, it at about 38,30% in Sao Paulo), while Northern states register lower figures.