Building Information Modelling has been one of the most talked about topics of 2012. The movement from fragmented information, held by different people at different points in the construction lifecycle, to a persistent, shared model is much talked about. Indeed, the government is committed to the adoption of BIM, seeing it as the method of increasing efficiency and reducing cost and carbon in the construction and maintenance of buildings and infrastructure.

At NBS we want to know what's really going on. And we want to share that knowledge freely with the construction industry. Is there actually a BIM revolution going on in the UK? Are firms getting real improvements in their working methods? Is BIM increasing the amount of work they can deliver and the profitability of that work? Or is BIM the preserve of a few large practices and contractors? Are small practices being excluded from this revolution? Or is this all just hype from the software vendors, the construction media, and those with vested interests?

The National BIM survey brings some clarity in this area. First carried in out in 2011, a time when 43% of respondents were neither aware nor using BIM, the survey tracks trends in BIM adoption and tells us how adopting BIM has affected the professional life of those in the construction industry. The 2012 survey was completed by over 1,000 respondents and was replicated internationally. You can see last year's report (.pdf, 0.4Mb) download now. Highlights included:

  • 78% agree the BIM is the future of project information, though how that future will look is uncertain, with four out of five agreeing that the industry is not yet clear enough of what BIM actually is
  • Almost a third (31%) of construction professionals are now using BIM – up from 13% 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
  • More than 80% agreed BIM increases the coordination of construction documents, with 65% of those using the technology saying BIM delivered cost efficiencies.

Well, a year has passed and the construction industry remains in recession. Have the expectations expressed last year come about?

This year we're hoping to find out:

  • Whether people feel the government is on the right track with BIM
  • The adoption of BIM
  • Where people have adopted BIM, what level of adoption have they reached
  • Whether people are using open standards for construction information
  • What tools people are using.

Dr Stephen Hamil, Head of BIM at NBS commented,

"Around the world people are looking with real interest at how BIM adoption is taking off in the UK. Each year our National BIM Survey gives an amazing insight into this. As this will be the third year we are running the survey we expect to see some fascinating trends. As always we really appreciate people giving up a few minutes of their time to help us with this research."

Could you help us paint an accurate picture of BIM by taking part in the survey? It takes about ten minutes to complete and we'll publish the results in 2013. You can take part at [LINK REMOVED AS NO LONGER ACTIVE].