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SMEs being ignored by BIM designers, say researchers

5 May 2020

Construction’s SMEs are in danger of missing out on the benefits of BIM and lean construction, which will in turn jeopardise the potential success of modern methods of construction across the sector, says a new academic study. 

Researchers at the University of Huddersfield’s School of Art, Design and Architecture, in collaboration with colleagues at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology in Ireland, say SMEs’ role is not being taken into account by BIM designers and main contractors.

Dr Algan Tezel, senior lecturer in construction project management at Huddersfield’s Department of Architecture and 3D Design, says that when he and colleagues made an in-depth study of published research that had been carried out into the adoption of BIM and lean construction in the building sector, they found that there was a dearth of material dealing with SMEs.

De Tezel said: “This is a problem because these two concepts – BIM and lean construction – have the potential to change the dynamics of the construction industry. But if you can’t get them into those smaller and medium-sized players, which make up the majority of the industry, then that promise will not materialise. And it is not possible to realise the rhetorical promises of BIM and lean construction without giving sufficient consideration to SMEs.”