Building Information Modelling (BIM) has transformed the building industry, improving productivity profitability and project quality. However, transitioning to BIM is not always as easy as it sounds and there are some existing challenges that may hold back BIM on the level of national programs, project disciplines, and even individual companies.
The financial challenges to BIM implementation are self-evident. Implementing new technologies and working methods will incur an initial cost. This may make some companies hesitant to make the BIM leap early. Consequently, it is often larger companies with more financial resources that are leading the way in moving to BIM.
Related to the financial questions is the importance of awareness of BIM benefits. If companies and individuals do not have a clear understanding of the benefits of transitioning to BIM, they are less inclined to change their established ways of working. With concrete evidence of the benefits, it is easier to justify an investment into BIM.
There are also clear differences in the rate of adoption between different disciplines. Architects and MEP designers have been faster to implement BIM methods, whereas BIM use in the construction and facility management phases is not quite as common yet. Increased demand for BIM workflows throughout the building project would encourage other disciplines to ramp up the speed of their BIM transitions and enable building lifecycle benefits.
Technical Director Pauli Keinonen at MagiCAD Group identifies two key areas to address: Convincing building owners of the benefits of BIM and getting more contractors involved. “Although each participant in a building project is of course free to adopt BIM for their specific needs, it is building owners who are able to establish a demand for project-wide BIM use and who also stand to gain most from the lifecycle benefits it produces,” Keinonen notes. He continues that although “BIM has become well-established for the design phase […] its benefits could be extended into construction by involving the main contractor in an early phase and having the design be optimized for construction.”
One of the biggest advantages in working with BIM methods is increased opportunities for cooperation and collaboration. Similarly, addressing the existing challenges in BIM adoption may require cooperation by multiple industry players. However, the promise of BIM is that the eventual benefits of this transition will also extend to everyone.
Read more about overcoming the challenges in BIM adoption in our latest white paper: BIM adoption in Europe – Current state, challenges, and vision of tomorrow.