Do the requirements towards manufacturers differ per country when it's comes to BIM?

Building Information Modeling (BIM) has been a hot topic for several years now. That is why we have been tracking this trends in the European architectural barometer (based on 6,400 interviews with architects in 8 countries) in the last 6 years. The speed of the adoption was relatively slow at first, except in the UK and the Netherlands. In the last 2 years we have seen spikes in both the familiarity with BIM and the usage of BIM. However, the speed of the adoption differs greatly per country. For example, in France we have seen a huge surge in both the familiarity and adoption, whilst Germany is still lagging behind.

These different levels of adoption also means different requirements the architects have.

In Europe in general, architects expect from manufacturers that they make their BIM product information available in open source libraries, followed by providing 3D BIM object information for their assortment and providing technical product information/ specifications for BIM.

However, the differences per country can be quite significant. In order to demonstrate this, the image in this post compares the UK to Poland when it comes to the expectations architects have towards manufacturers of building materials.  The reason why this particular comparison is so interesting, is because of the different levels of adoption in the two countries. Poland is lagging behind (familiarity of 59%, usage of 16%) and the UK (familiarity of 94%, usage of  36%) is up front.

In the UK, BIM is used throughout the entire process, from development to planning and exploitation. In Poland this is much less developed, the majority of the time BIM is used it’s in the design fase.

What consequences does this have for the requirements of architects towards manufacturers of building materials? For one,  a third of the Polish architects expect that the manufactures provide trainings  (33%). In the UK, that figure is just over 1%. The second major requirement of  Polish architects is that manufacturers should make their BIM product information available in open source libraries.

In the UK, making the BIM product information available in open source libraries is important as well (20%), but not as important as in Poland. Most important aspect for them is  that manufacturers provide technical product information/ specifications for BIM (39%).  Furthermore, the demands of the English architects is much more diffuse, with 5 aspects scoring over 15%.

It should be noted that architects are divided about which BIM objects they expect from manufacturers regarding building components. Taking all countries into account, general construction is most expected as BIM objects, followed by windows and doors. In Spain, Italy and Poland BIM objects from manufacturers are by far most expected for general construction while in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands the architects would like to have BIM objects available mainly for windows and doors.

These and many other results and trends of the developments of the European construction market can be found in the European Architectural Barometer, an international market research conducted among 1,600 architects in Europe. This study is conducted in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland by Arch-Vision four times a year. The research covers the developments of architectural turnover, order volumes and the impact of the crisis. Besides these economic statistics, a specific topic is highlighted each quarter. The topic in Q4 2015 was “Building Information Modeling (BIM)”. Architects can be used not only as a reliable source for future building volumes information, but their role is very important as they have great influence on how projects are built and which materials are used.

For more information or questions please feel free to contact me directly at hoogenboom@usp-mc.nl