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Survey results: use of BIM falls

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The proportion of construction firms using BIM has dropped by six percentage points over the past 12 months, according to this year’s NBS National BIM Survey

The report showed that 48 per cent of design and construction professionals surveyed said that they had used BIM on at least one project they had worked on during the year, compared to 54 per cent last year.

Almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of participants said that lack of client demand is the main reason for not adopting BIM, with 43 per cent claiming that the projects they work on are too small.

Richard Waterhouse, chief executive of NBS and RIBA Enterprises, said: ‘Time, levels of expertise and cost remain barriers to BIM adoption. There is still a lack of clarity in the industry, and many are sceptical of the claims made for BIM, by some.

‘In this report we see that BIM adoption is moving from being led by innovators and early adopters, towards being a more mature market, where the more mainstream are investigating and assessing the benefits of doing so.’

The report also said that growing workloads following the recession could be reducing the ability of firms to invest in new processes and software.

But it added that the drop could also be understood in the context of the Everett Rogers ‘standard adoption curve’, an academic model developed in the late 1950s, which describes the adoption or acceptance new products and innovations.

The model shows adoption slowing once half of a community adopts a technology, while the rest eventually join in.

‘Whilst not always finding these terms fitting, we suspect that we are at the midpoint of the adoption curve, and will see more rapid adoption in the coming years, as and when BIM demonstrates its real-world value,’ according to the authors.

In addition, the report said there had been a small shift in the make-up of those taking part in the survey, and if the analysis is adjusted then there has been an increase in BIM adoption.

Encouragingly, 92 per cent of respondents expect to  be using BIM within three years, and 95 per cent within five, the report said.

More than 80 per cent of respondents to this year’s survey believed that BIM would become compulsory on public sector projects.

David Philp, head of BIM for the UK BIM Task Group, said: ‘We must continue to make it clear that BIM, and associated technologies that enable and support collaborative working, are of benefit to everyone, not just to central government.’

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