Just a few days ago I wrote about how, like the World Cup soccer games, BIM presented a lot of excitement for many proponents. Turning to another competitive analogy, there continues to be many in the construction industry who simply refuse to go "all-in" with their poker chips.  According to a recent McGraw-Hill Construction report, I may be wrong.  The report concludes that half the industry is behind BIM technology.

Are You All-In | Building Information Modeling

The SmartMarket report is titled The Business Value of BIM: Getting Building Information Modeling to the Bottom Line, and was produced with Autodesk and 26 other industry players like HOK, Turner, PB, US Army Corp of Engineers, AIA, DBIA, AGC, SMACNA and others.

The purpose of the survey and report was to find "who’s using BIM" and "where are they getting the real business value?" After surveying thousands of AEC participants, here are some key findings:

  • Almost 50% of the industry is now using BIM.
  • All BIM users plan significant increases in their use.
  • The majority of users are experiences real business benefits directly attributable to BIM.

The 52-page report is packed with very detailed findings on numerous issues, such as using BIM to gain a competitive advantage, increasing productivity and investing in your team.  Another interesting finding was that two-thirds of the non-users say that concerns about legal liability have little to no impact on their consideration of BIM.  

What are some key recommendations? For beginners, the value of BIM is on the horizon.  In other words, new users see limited value at the start, but additional opportunities materialize with experience.  For non-users, do not delay your decision to embrace technology.  According to the report, "BIM users are seeing positive returns today and expect those benefits to grow over time." For owners, the lesson is to take charge and demand that your design team use BIM.

What did the report conclude?  While the preliminary findings focused on who is using BIM, the real focus addressed the overall value proposition of BIM.  In this environment, the pressing question for AEC players is whether the return on investment is real.  Among others, here are some key finding about ROI: (1) most users see a positive ROI in their use of BIM; (2) those returns tended to improve with experience; and (3) owners and contractors see the highest returns on BIM.

If you have time, the report is definitely worth a read.  It also contains a number of case studies that provide great illustrative examples of the business value of BIM.

Image: Jam Adams