BIM usage survey - what can help non-users get with the programme?

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This year’s BIM usage and attitudes survey by NBS reveals continued progress in the use of the technology. But 26% in the industry are still non-users

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BIM is on the rise – still. Its use across the UK construction industry continues to increase, despite persistent worries that the government is failing to follow through on its 2016 BIM mandate, according to the latest annual report by construction technical information provider NBS.

Of the 808 people who responded to the survey, which was conducted in the first quarter of 2018, 74% said they were using BIM – an increase of 12 percentage points since last year. This is the highest year-on-year growth since 2014 and reflects a dramatically different construction industry to 2011, when NBS started collecting this information and just 13% of respondents said they were using BIM. 

“No matter how you define BIM, adoption rates have steadily increased,” says Stephen Hamil, director of research and innovation at NBS. “This is a fantastic story and the UK industry is a leader in influencing global standards.” According to the report, NBS expects that more than 90% of the sector will be using BIM within the next three to five years.  

Last year’s survey contained something of a shock: a year after the government made BIM Level 2 compulsory on all its projects, there were signs that it was not living up to its own expectations – 51% of respondents said that government departments were not enforcing the 2016 mandate compared with a mere 9% who believed they were. If anything, the situation now seems worse – 62% said the government was not enforcing the mandate and only 47% agreed with the statement, “I think the government is on the right track with BIM”, compared with 51% last year. Only 41% of respondents think the government’s 2016 BIM mandate initiative has been successful and less than one-fifth (19%) agreed with the statement “the construction industry is now delivering on the government’s 2016 BIM mandate”. It’s not that the industry feels the aims of the initiative are wrong, but rather that not enough is being done to promote, enforce and embed BIM across these public projects. 

“There is need for the industry to do more in terms of educating others about the benefits and sharing experiences and lessons learned”

Edonis Jesus, Lendlease

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