11 May 2017

Top takeaways from this year's report

  • A majority of respondents (51%) think that the Government is on the right track with BIM and awareness is near-universal and adoption is up (62% of practices use BIM on some projects - up 8% year on year). Indeed, the year just gone has seen the most rapid BIM growth since 2014. 78% see BIM as the future of project information. There is, however, work to do - 65% said BIM can bring real benefit beyond the design stages but 72% believed clients don't understand these benefits.
  • There's still some way to go to realise a vision of the UK being world leader in BIM - only 19% of respondents thought that to be an accurate description. That said, with other countries looking to the UK to learn what we are planning, doing and have done, it is clear that, if not the leader, the UK is certainly a leader.
  • Government hopes that BIM will help in delivering projects for lower cost, more rapidly, with fewer greenhouse emissions and a better trade balance for construction projects. Our survey showed that 60% of respondents think that BIM will help bring time efficiencies, reducing time from inception to completion, 70% believe cost reduction in the design/build/maintain lifecycle will be realised. Those who responded were, however, less convinced on BIM's ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (44% agreed) or improve the trade gap (32% agreed).
  • A majority thought the Government was failing to enforce the mandate. A third of respondents stated they were not clear on what they had to do to comply with the BIM mandate. Many cited a lack of client education limiting the effect of the BIM mandate to fully reap the fullest rewards. Across the board nearly 18% of respondents said they used BIM on every project - 29% said they used BIM on more than 75% of projects. Our survey shows that once BIM is adopted it usually becomes the design methodology of choice.
  • Small practices (<15 staff) were less likely to have adopted BIM - though 48% had. Almost three quarters of medium and larger practices had adopted BIM.
  • Thinking about future use of BIM then 90% believe they will be using BIM next year and within three years almost 95% of practices believe they will. While intent does not always translate to reality a rise of 60% BIM adoption over a six year period makes reaching 95% within another five seem realistic.
  • For the first time a majority describe themselves as confident in BIM (55% - compared to 35% back in 2012) but 90% said BIM adoption requires changes in workflow, practices and procedures. Learning from colleagues (75%) and fellow professionals (62%) were cited as key ways people keep skills sharp. Professional bodies and expert organisations, such as NBS, the BIM Task Group, BSI and RIBA, were also deemed significant.

  • Thinking about BIM maturity most respondents said that Level 2 was the highest level reached on a project (70%). 7% said they were at BIM Level 3, 22% at Level 1. Our survey shows more than three quarters of organisations who have adopted BIM are at or beyond the level required by the BIM mandate.

  • Collaborative design work is standard practice - 71% of respondents produce 3D models which are shared internally by 59% and externally by 63% of respondents. There is, however, work to be done to embed this approach in later stages of the project lifecycle - only 45% use a model from start to end and 26% said they pass on a model for building management.
  • Our survey sheds light on the standards and publications organisations are using to inform their BIM processes but while a majority have adopted BIM, no one standard is yet used by a majority. Looking to the future information about and from standards will need to be embedded within a BIM giving rise to a need for automatic compliance checking (84%) and a link between standards and BIMs (79%).
  • Respondents were clear in their demand for manufacturers to provide BIM objects and well-structured generic objects. 45% said they use a BIM object library - 66% create objects as needed and a similar number create objects in-house and re-use them across multiple projects. Placing standards and specifications squarely in the BIM environment via BIM software tools was also seen as key.
  • While a majority use the IFC file format, 42% said they used COBie citing a lack of client demand and a number of respondents raising the issue that COBie generation requires time and expertise that has to be paid for.
  • 41% of respondents use Autodesk Revit, just 14% AutoCAD. Indeed, Autodesk dominates the UK market with 66% using an Autodesk product, that said Graphisoft, Nemetschek and Bentley have a significant user base. 35% manage specification references digitally using a free plug-in from NBS.

These summary findings are distilled from the full findings in the NBS National BIM Report for Manufacturers 2017 - download our full, free report today!