In an article, Use of BIM, at AECcafe.com, Susan Smith writes about the difficulty in assessing how widely Building Information Modelling (BIM) is used. She says:
“Many vendors would have the public believe that BIM is used in an enormous number of occasions…” but “It is difficult for vendors to qualify where BIM is being used and where it isn’t …. Part of the reason for this is that A/E firms already have numerous seats of a 2D CAD software in place, with users who have upgraded to 3D but are not necessarily using BIM. … Many firms create models, but not necessarily BIM models. HOK … estimates that perhaps 10% of their projects are full BIM projects. Some of the confusion lies in the fact that 3D is a big part of a BIM model, but not the only factor in a BIM model. ‘BIM is about ¾ 3D model, and the other ¼ is additional information,’ Mario Guttman, firmware CAD director, HOK, pointed out.”
At CADD Manager, Mark W. Kiker, in Extent of BIM tool use in the industry, has been thinking about the same topic. After doing some number-crunching based on the number of US architect users of Autodesk Revit, he suggest the take-up is only around 13% or one-in-eight. He concludes:
“the penetration of Revit and BIM is over estimated in the popular thinking. Not many are using BIM on active projects. Not all firms that have Revit are using them on all projects. Most are using them on a small portion of their overall workload, say 10 to 20 percent of projects.”
“it will take some time to … gather in the data on how many projects are using a full BIM model for the execution of their projects, as opposed to using only a part of a BIM model, and how well any of these processes are working for them. Many vendors are working on this research right now.”
There is certainly growing interest in BIM on both sides of the Atlantic, and as Smith’s article mentions, interoperability is becoming an issue in discussions about the future of BIM. I have been contacted about a couple of interesting UK events in this area during April:
- IAI UK is hosting the third buildingSMART international conference in London on 18 April 2007 (UK collaboration vendor Asite is listed as a supporting sponsor – Asite is being discussed in one of the case study sessions, by speaker Mark Oliver, a former BuildOnline MD who joined contractor Laing O’Rourke in early 2004).
- The following week, the SCRI Forum and Construct IT for Business are holding a seminar at the University of Salford on 24 April, chaired by IAI’s Nick Nisbet.
I will be interested to hear how widely speakers claim BIM is being adopted at these events.