Architects clearly recognize advantages of BIM

Architects that are familiar with BIM, regardless whether they use it or not, see big advantages to use BIM. BIM enables architects to work more closely with stakeholders in their projects and it gives them the opportunity to exchange information easily. This all leads to a smoother and faster process, less errors in design and it makes sure the architects are in control of their projects. These are some of the success factors of BIM mentioned by European architect in the European Architectural Barometer Q4 2017 report. In the European Architectural Barometer USP Marketing Consultancy has asked 1,600 architects in eight European countries on their BIM behaviour.

BIM will lead to a smoother process in projects

One of the biggest advantages mentioned by European architects is the high exchangeability of data. Obviously this is one of the principles of building information modelling, but it is also recognized by architects. In Belgium, France and Italy this was the most mentioned advantage. Especially in France and to a lesser extent in Italy, it might not be a surprise that architects find it very important that they can easily exchange information with other stakeholders in the process. Governmental regulations are driving BIM penetration in these countries. The demand for BIM usage in large and complex governmental projects – often with many different stakeholders involved – explains the need for a structured process.

In the United Kingdom governmental involvement has led to an early adoption of BIM by architects. For years the UK has been at the forefront of BIM usage and again, for architects it is all about enabling a way to collaborate with their stakeholders in projects.

Enabling the exchange of information and better collaboration in projects eventually will lead to a smoother process. In the Netherlands architects indicate that the use of BIM will lead to less failure costs which has been a major issue in the past in larger construction projects. German architects mentioned that by using BIM they are able to work with tight plannings, something that Polish architects and Spanish architects acknowledge. In Spain gaining more insight in the process and control over the process was mentioned as the most important advantage, while Polish architects indicate that the use of BIM will lead to shorter lead times of their projects.  

Implementing BIM has some practical limitations still

Clearly there are advantages to using BIM in projects, but still many architects are not working with BIM yet in their projects. Overall, these are very practical limitations, but still they lead to a majority of architects not using BIM. The most important reasons are:

  • BIM is too complex
  • It takes more time
  • It requires training
  • It requires a financial investment

It seems, however, a matter of time before BIM will be widely used in projects throughout Europe. Limitations at this point are mainly mentioned by architects from Italy, Poland, Germany and Belgium while Dutch and British architects – countries at the forefront of BIM usage – mention remarkably less limitations. Manufacturers can play a role to make it easier to work with BIM by providing detailed information about products and materials ready to implement directly in BIM models. However, first architectural companies need to overcome the practical limitations that it is time consuming, and they need to find their way working with BIM.

BIM report:

The report gives more key insights in the usage and familiarity with BIM in Europe, the way of designing, the CAD software used, reasons why organisations start working with BIM or have not yet started with BIM and the extent to which several channels and methods of BIM are used. 

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of Dirk Hoogenboom

degruijl@usp-mc.nl
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