Familiarity with BIM has increased among HVAC installers in Europe
More HVAC installers are aware of BIM in 2018 than compared to 2015. The increase of HVAC installers that are aware of BIM is the highest in Belgium, France and Germany. The awareness and usage of BIM is the highest in the Netherlands. It’s clear that, when BIM is used, this is primarily done in larger non-residential projects. Awareness and usage is the highest at larger installation companies. For the smaller installation companies, there is still not much demand and the high costs and complexity are major barriers against adoption. These results are based on 1,002 interviews with HVAC installers & plumbers in six countries.
2018 vs. 2015
Compared to 2015, the awareness of BIM among HVAC installers has increased significantly in most of the investigated countries in 2018. The increase is the highest in Belgium (+12%), France (+12%) and Germany (+17%), where the share of HVAC installers that is aware of BIM has (almost) doubled in 3 years.
The frontrunners with regards to familiarity with BIM are the UK and the Netherlands. It has increased from 61% to 67% in the Netherlands and from 37% to 40% in the UK. One of the reasons for this increase is that Dutch and UK installers are confronted the most with requests from the market. Only 18% of the Dutch installers use BIM, but this is still the highest of Europe. This is in line with the BIM usage and awareness amongst contractors and architects. Almost all architects in the Netherlands are familiar with BIM and 63% of the Dutch architects use BIM.
Around 30% of the HVAC installers have heard of BIM in Belgium and Germany. In both countries there is a large increase of more than 10% compared with 2015. The usage however is not that high in Belgium and Germany, but this will increase when e.g. there will be more demand from the market.
Although the Polish and the French HVAC installers seem to be aware of BIM the least, the share of installers that is aware of BIM has doubled in France. Probably this has to do with the new legislation dictating that public projects need to be conducted in BIM.
Awareness is the first step to usage
Awareness of HVAC installers and plumbers is the first step for HVAC installers and plumbers towards BIM usage. Although the awareness of BIM has increased in the past few years, a large share of the HVAC installers and plumbers hasn’t been aware of BIM yet until now. When the awareness of BIM and the demand from the market will increase, it is expected that BIM will become more and more important in the daily activities of the installer in the future. However, in the current situation the usage of BIM is still low, with the Netherlands being the only exception.
Some HVAC installation companies in the frontrunner countries (the UK and the Netherlands) clearly mention that BIM has been a requirement for winning a project. New-build projects will often include BIM solutions in the future; that is why HVAC installation companies that are BIM-ready are more likely to join in on such a project when they are specialised in BIM. Especially larger installation companies are currently more open towards BIM, but installation companies with BIM-ready solutions could become the preferred partners in the value chain.
The main conclusion is that there is still a long way to go for a full adoption of BIM in the installation sector, because not all installers are aware of BIM yet. Besides the low awareness, cost and the place in the value chain of BIM are key barriers for BIM adoption. However as can be seen with the adoption rate of BIM by architects and contractors, BIM will become increasingly important in the future (especially in in non-residential new build projects).
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