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Rise in use of BIM, but costs questioned by SMEs

The number of construction professionals using BIM has more than doubled in two years - but 4 out of 5 people believe the industry doesn’t yet understand its meaning.

National Building Specification’s 2012 survey has revealed that 31 per cent of respondents are using BIM, up from 13 per cent in 2010.

In a report to be published next week, the NBS reveals that three quarters of those aware of BIM believe they will be using it in 2012 and almost 100 per cent believe they will use BIM in five years’ time.

However the perception that BIM it too costly to integrate remains high, particularly for smaller businesses - with 63 per cent agreeing that BIM is too expensive to consider at the moment.

RIBA Enterprises head of BIM Dr Stephen Hamil said: “The survey clearly shows that in the UK the question is no longer will BIM be adopted but how quickly? The fact that three quarters of those aware of BIM predict they will be using it on projects by the end of the year shows the speed with which things are moving.”

Some key findings from the 2012 survey show that:

Almost a third (31 per cent) of construction professionals are now using BIM- up from 13 per cent in 2010.

The number of those unaware of BIM has halved - with just over a fifth (21 per cent) still unfamiliar with the technology compared to 43 per cent in 2010.

More than 80 per cent agreed BIM improves the coordination of construction documents - with 65 per cent of those using the technology saying BIM delivered cost efficiencies.

The survey was completed in late 2011 by nearly 1,000 construction professionals representing a range of business sizes and disciplines from across the industry including architecture, engineering and surveying.

NBS and RIBA Enterprises are members of the BIM Technologies Alliance supporting the UK government’s Construction Strategy BIM working group.

The full National BIM Survey will be available at from 9 February.