NBS National BIM Survey demonstrates business case for BIM

Press Release
17 April 2014

70% of those using BIM believe it has given them a competitive advantage according to the fourth annual NBS National BIM Survey. The study found that awareness of BIM is now almost universal at 95% and adoption rates are accelerating with more than half of respondents (54%) now using it, up 15% on last year, and 93% predicting adoption by 2016, the Government’s deadline for BIM use on publicly funded projects.

More than 1,000 people from across the construction industry including architects, engineers, surveyors and contractors took part in this year’s survey making it the largest independent piece of research into usage of and attitudes to BIM in the UK.

Improvements in productivity, increased efficiencies, better coordination of construction information and higher profitability are among the benefits cited by adopters of BIM, with a mere 4% wishing they hadn’t begun the journey.

But while the construction industry feels more confident in its own knowledge of BIM (up from 35% in 2012 to 46% in 2013), there is still much scepticism around the wealth of information now available on the subject, with only 27% of respondents saying they “trusted what they hear about BIM”.

In addition, there is a clear need for greater standardisation with only one-quarter saying that the current levels are adequate. Further, there is still a widespread belief that the industry is still not clear about what BIM is, the figure of 73% barely a reduction on last year.

There is a clear divide between the awareness and adoption of BIM between small practices (defined as those with between one and five staff) and larger firms. In all measures, smaller practices are lagging behind their larger counterparts by around two years, with cost still being seen as a major barrier to adoption.

Given the Government’s mandate on BIM for publicly funded work, there is a risk that smaller organisations may be excluded from significant sources of revenue, however the survey does not suggest there is any great resistance to the Government’s BIM strategy with 58% agreeing that the Government ‘is on the right track with BIM’.

The survey also reveals a far more detailed understanding of BIM throughout the industry, with almost three-quarters now being aware of the different levels, up from only half last year.

51% reported having achieved Level 2 BIM on at least one project during the last 12 months, with usage of IFC – a platform neutral, open file format which allows models to be shared among the design team irrespective of software used – and COBie showing marked increases.

It is the latter, which allows the design team to use a Building Information Model to embed and then deliver the information that supports the use and maintenance of a building, which enables perhaps the greatest cost savings for the client.

“What this report clearly shows is an industry in transition from the stage when the early adopters are taking the lead to a position where BIM is becoming the norm.

“In the UK, through BIM, we are at the forefront of a significant change in how buildings are conceived, designed, built and maintained. This change has the potential to bring improved efficiencies and profitability to the construction sector, and better buildings to clients, something current users of BIM have reported in this survey.

“There remain significant challenges and investment of both capital and time are needed. However, there is a wide appreciation of the benefits BIM will bring and the projections of BIM adoption tell us that the UK can be world leaders in this.”

Richard Waterhouse, Chief Executive, RIBA Enterprises

The full NBS National BIM Survey will be released at BIM SHOW LIVE on 23 April 2014 and will be available on theNBS.com from 24 April 2014.

About NBS

NBS, specialist providers of technical information for construction industry professionals, offers essential, innovative products and services, highly valued by those working in architecture, construction, design and engineering.

The premier source of construction-related information, NBS has produced the recognised national standard specification system for the UK for over 35 years. It provides solutions for a broad range of new build, refurbishment, retrofit, landscaping and domestic projects for construction professionals. Delivered within a powerful software package, NBS’s specification products continue to develop, leading an evolution of the specification and procurement process for buildings in the UK and overseas. NBS also provides solutions for contract administration and project information management.

NBS produces a range of information delivery products, including The Construction Information Service, a joint venture with IHS. Since 2005, NBS has published the Building Regulations’ Approved Documents for England and Wales. NBS TV provides specialist learning services for individuals and organisations working in the architecture, design and construction industry, offering unique high quality video content.

NBS Create is a ground-breaking new specification tool that ensures all documentation works together intelligently throughout the entire project timeline, from concept stage to completion and beyond, to save time and money.

More than 5,000 offices across the UK subscribe to NBS products, including 96 of the top 100 AJ practices. NBS is part of RIBA Enterprises Ltd, the commercial arm of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). RIBA Enterprises employs 250 staff and has offices in London, Newcastle upon Tyne and Newark.