BIM is now established as mainstream technology at major design firms, although smaller practices remain slow to adopt it, five years after the government’s BIM mandate.
Construction software firm NBS asked more than 900 construction professionals their views on BIM.
It found that 99% of workers at practices with 51+ people have now adopted BIM. At smaller practices, however, only 57% are using BIM and 5% say they will never use BIM. Adoption rates are at about 70%, which is similar to last year, NBS said.
An architect at a large multidisciplinary practice told the survey: “Digital transformation, BIM and new technologies are the future and here to stay."
In contrast, an architect at a medium-sized practice said “Until we are asked consistently for BIM data we will not fully adopt as default.”
Forthcoming building safety legislation requires a digital ‘golden thread’ of information, an up-to-date digital record of all data from design, through to construction and operation.
Overall, 70% of survey respondents said that they need BIM to make the golden thread a reality, yet only half (51%) are clear how they will do this.
The golden thread process is made easier with the data available through a digital twin, NBS said. In addition, having a digital twin enables access to all of the essential information in one place and allows for constant monitoring and maintenance of the asset. Only 14% of respondents had used a digital twin on a project in the past year. Usage was highest among clients (18%) – perhaps unsurprisingly, as they can use the digital twins to understand how an asset is performing in use and apply that learning to ongoing maintenance or new buildings.
The survey also found that 81% of specifiers want manufacturers of construction products to provide information as BIM or digital objects. Around 80% of manufacturers are already providing BIM/digital objects for at least some of their product lines.