NBS's National BIM Survey reveals latest adoption figures
8 February 2012
78% say that BIM is the "future of project information" but is it the present?
Results from an annual industry-wide survey undertaken by NBS have provided the most comprehensive and accurate picture of UK BIM (Building Information Modelling) and its growing influence within the built environment industry.
Unquestionably one of the hottest topics in construction, the adoption of BIM has recently been described as "unstoppable" by Paul Morrell, the government's chief construction adviser, who has reiterated over the last 12 months the intention to make BIM compulsory for public projects.
NBS's National BIM Survey was completed in late 2011 by nearly 1,000 construction professionals representing a range of business sizes and disciplines from across the industry including architecture, engineering and surveying.
The key findings of the NBS National BIM Survey are:
- Almost a third (31%) of construction professionals are now using BIM – up from 13% in 2010
- The number of those unaware of BIM and its benefits has halved with just over a fifth (21%) saying they were unaware of the technology and not using it compared to 43% in 2010
- Three quarters of those construction professionals currently aware of BIM predict they will be using it on some projects by the end of 2012, and almost 19 out of 20 people expect to be using it in five years' time
- 74% of those using BIM believe clients will increasingly insist on BIM adoption
- More than 80% agreed BIM increases the coordination of construction documents, with 65% of those using the technology saying BIM delivered cost efficiencies.
The survey revealed that the perceived expense and time commitments involved in adopting BIM technology remain the main barriers to greater industry-wide adoption in the current economic climate, particularly for smaller businesses. Almost two-thirds (63%) agreed that BIM is too expensive to consider at the moment, with nearly half (48%) saying they needed to get through the downturn before looking at BIM.
Despite 78% saying that BIM is the "future of project information", the survey also revealed that, in terms of understanding how BIM works, there is still much progress to be made with 4 out of 5 agreeing that the industry is not yet clear enough of what BIM actually is.
On a positive note, a high percentage (74%) see BIM as not just as a synonym for 3D CAD drawings and the majority (46%) agreed that unless specifications are linked to the CAD model, it's not BIM.
Commenting on the survey, Dr Stephen Hamil, Director of Design and Innovation and Head of BIM at RIBA Enterprises, said:
"The survey clearly shows that in the UK the question is no longer will BIM be adopted but how quickly? The fact that three quarters of those aware of BIM predict they will be using it on projects by the end of the year shows the speed with which things are moving.
It is the job of the construction industry data providers and software companies, such as NBS, to provide the tools necessary to make the adoption of BIM an easy process. Whether it's specification information, technical guidance, manufacturer product information or geometric objects, the digital information that is produced must be structured to work in the BIM environment."
The 2011 National BIM Survey represents the latest stage in NBS's campaign to promote debate on BIM, and guide the industry in its understanding and adoption of the process.
Specialist providers of technical information for construction industry professionals, NBS is focussed on providing the information needed to improve decision making at each stage of the construction and operation process, as well as developing libraries of data that will support this information revolution.
Its new specification tool, NBS Create, has been designed to make life much easier for design and construction teams enabling an entire project team to work on a single, integrated specification that develops from outline stage through to an "as built" record of the building.
NBS and RIBA Enterprises are members of the BIM Technologies Alliance supporting the UK Government's Construction Strategy BIM Working Group.
The full National BIM Survey will be available at www.thenbs.com from 8 February 2012.
Notes to editors
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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 groundbreaking 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.