NBS National BIM Report 2019: Latest Industry Trends in the United Kingdom
The National Building Specification (NBS) have been investigating BIM awareness and adoption in the UK for almost a decade, and their latest annual report outlines the current state of the industry.
The report is underpinned by a comprehensive BIM survey, and this year’s edition gathered the viewpoints of 988 construction industry professionals.
Our latest blog post dives into the statistics on offer and their implications for BIM adoption moving forward.
The Growth of BIM Awareness
The first NBS BIM survey was conducted in 2011, and little more than 10 per cent of respondents were aware of Building Information Modelling at that time. Fast forward to 2019, and awareness levels in the UK industry are around 70 per cent. This marked increase is testament to the value of BIM, but the road to greater implementation of the collaborative process hasn’t always been smooth.
The 2019 survey suggests that those who have adopted BIM processes have been vindicated. 60 per cent of those surveyed believe BIM has brought about cost efficiencies, 81 per cent note that coordination of construction documents has improved and 55 per cent believe project delivery speeds are up thanks to BIM.
The United Kingdom is regarded as a world leader in BIM promotion, with the federal government mandating the use of BIM Level 2 for all centrally-funded projects since early 2016. Despite this, respondents in the 2019 survey don’t believe that this momentum has been maintained at government level since. Two-thirds of all participants stated that the government’s subsequent efforts have been ‘not that successful’ or ‘not at all successful’.
While the 2016 BIM mandate moved the needle, it’s clear that further work is needed to solidify the use of BIM across the industry.
Roadblocks to Adoption
One of the most notable takeaways from this year’s report is that despite the fact most of those surveyed intend to adopt BIM, actual adoption numbers have not risen. 69 per cent of respondents claim to be currently using BIM in their practice, as compared to 71 per cent in 2018.
These figures suggest that there are barriers to BIM implementation in the UK, which are being keenly felt by small practices in particular. Determining these barriers was a key focus in the survey, and a majority of respondents listed no client demand (65%), lack of in-house expertise (63%), lack of training (59%) and cost (51%) as current issues. Despite this, a vast majority of respondents stated that their practices would be implementing BIM within the next five years. 93 per cent of UK small practices (1-15 employees), 98 per cent of medium practices (16-50 employees) and 99 per cent of large practices (51+ employees) will be using BIM come 2024.
It’s also worth noting that the ISO 19650 series of international standards for BIM, introduced in January 2019, is already being readily implemented. 16 per cent of respondents have already used 19650-1, which can be seen as a strong endorsement for high-quality standardisation. We discussed the new ISO standards in a recent blog post.
In summarising the National BIM Report 2019, NBS CEO Richard Waterhouse had this to say on the transformative nature of new digital processes in construction.
“Overall, there can be no doubt that digital processes and technologies are changing the industry. Use of the cloud is enabling collaboration, giving the industry the opportunity to break down the silos and form a new approach to information development and distribution. In addition, the latest International Standards are giving us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to standardize processes across the global industry. This is an exciting time, and we must now take advantage of it to help create a step-change in productivity, transparency and quality within our industry.”
You can download the NBS National BIM Report 2019 in its entirety from this link.
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