BIM usage amongst electrical installers; Dutch installers ahead
The European Electrical Installation Monitor of USP Marketing Consultancy shows that about 60% of the electrical installers in the Netherlands have heard of BIM. The awareness of BIM is also relatively high in the UK. The electrical installers in Germany, Poland and Spain have heard of BIM the least. The fact that the Netherlands and the UK are the frontrunners is in line with the awareness and usage of BIM among architects and HVAC installers. The fact that electrical installers are aware of BIM in some way does not necessarily mean that they use BIM in their daily activities. Only 13% of the electrical installation companies in the UK use BIM. The full adoption of BIM in the installation sector will take some time. The results are based on 1,075 interviews with electrical installers in the European Electrical Installation Monitor with the theme ‘the usage of calculation tools & BIM’ which is part of the digital transformation of installers.
Awareness of BIM is the highest in the Netherlands and the UK
The frontrunners with regards to familiarity with BIM are the UK and the Netherlands. Already 60% in the Netherlands and 46% in the UK are aware of BIM. The share of electrical installers that really use BIM is much lower: only 17% of the Dutch installers use BIM and 13% use BIM in the UK. Dutch electrical installers and electrical installers in the UK are thus the most familiar with BIM and this is also visible in the highest usage of BIM.
The awareness of BIM in other countries is far lower than in the UK and the Netherlands. The lower awareness of BIM has also its influence on the share of electrical installers that use BIM. Less than one third of the Belgian and French electrical installers for example heard about BIM.
French installers are more aware of BIM than their colleagues in Germany, Poland and Spain. One of the reasons why French electrical installers are more aware of BIM is partly because the legislation that BIM is obligated in large (public) projects, where the government is involved. This does not mean that electrical installers in France use more often BIM software in their daily activities, however it does increase the potential usage for the future. There are still some steps necessary in order to stimulate electrical installers to use BIM in the future.
Other countries like Germany, Poland and Spain seem to be even more more traditional, because the awareness of BIM is the lowest in those countries, which also affects the BIM usage among electrical installers in these countries. Electrical installation companies in Germany, Poland and Spain do not think that they will implement BIM in their daily activities in the next five years.
Why is this important?
Awareness of BIM is the first step towards BIM usage. When the awareness of BIM and the demand from the market will increase, it is expected that BIM will become increasingly important in the daily activities of the installer in the future. The larger electrical installation companies are more open towards using BIM than the smaller installation companies.
Although electrical installers see advantages in using BIM, this does not have a big influence on the usage of BIM yet. Electrical installers that use BIM recognize the fact that the designs and plans could be made more quickly and a better planning can be made when using BIM.
One of the conclusions is that there is still a long way that BIM is fully adopted in the installation sector, because not all installers are aware of BIM yet. The electrical installers in Germany, Poland and Spain are not really aware of BIM yet, so this needs to develop in the future for the countries in which the awareness is the highest (the Netherlands & the UK) it is clear that the larger installation companies are more open towards BIM.
Another conclusion is that there are some major barriers for electrical installers to implement BIM, like the place in the value chain. Electrical installers are not the first in line when it comes to designing and planning in BIM software. When the demand of the market to use BIM increases, this will also affect the extent to which BIM is adopted in the installation sector.
Following the second conclusion, the high costs of adoption are a major barrier for electrical installation companies. This does not only include the high costs of installing and implementing BIM software in the strategy. The time that is necessary to train employees to get further acquainted with the high complexity is a major barrier for electrical installation companies.
The final conclusion is that BIM is used more often in larger projects, which are non-residential. Electrical installers that work mostly residential will not easily use BIM as often as electrical installers that work non-residential. We expect however an increase of BIM awareness and usage in the future, especially in the non-residential market. The full adoption of BIM in the installation sector will be a slow process.
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