Subbies struggling to engage with BIM

Subcontractors are struggling to engage with BIM, according to the UK BIM Alliance’s (UKBIMA) State of the Nation Survey 2021.

The survey, conducted in March, generated more than 1,100 responses. One of the key findings was that 11% of the respondents who identified as subcontractors were unaware of BIM. More positively, more than a third of subcontractors (39%) were aware and implementing BIM.

Other key headlines from the survey include:

  • 65% of respondents said their organisations are implementing BIM;
  • the difficulty of cultural/behavioural change is seen as the main barrier to implementing BIM; and
  • more than half of clients who responded are implementing BIM.

Of the 65% who are aware of and implementing BIM, 60% of them stated that more half of their organisation’s projects/asset upgrades are implementing BIM. In real terms, this equates to more than 450 companies that adopt BIM in more than half of their projects.

The survey confirms the industry’s accepted wisdom that structural engineering is ahead on BIM: 89% of the structural engineers who responded said their organisation is implementing BIM – a greater level of implementation than in any other sector. For example, 75% of architects and 76% of main contractors are implementing BIM.

Asked if BIM will become business as usual within their organisation, nearly a third of the respondents (32%) said it already was while another 37% said it would; of the latter, the majority thought BIM would be business as usual within five years.

The most frequently cited benefit of BIM was improved information coordination and communication (30% of respondents) followed by better quality information production (19%) and the mitigation of rework and unnecessary waste and cost (16%).

Dr Anne Kemp OBE, chair of the UKBIMA, said: “The journey to rolling out BIM as business as usual across the UK’s built environment sector has been a long one, which while projected to be largely achieved by 2020 has continued to be a long time coming.

“Now, with a tumultuous 2020 behind us, we find ourselves still on that journey. So rather than trying to give another unrealistic target, the UKBIMA wants to provide the industry a means to measure year on year uptake. This is in part our motivation for starting this annual survey. But it is also a means for us to discover and test the needs of the industry in enabling practical implementation, and to act on this.”

She continued: “We have found the findings insightful and challenging. It confirms that we have a lot still to do. There is no room for complacency. But rather than being demoralised, this gives us further impetus to continue our work. While we have an amazing team of volunteers, we continue to welcome anyone who can help us in supporting our industry in moving forward on its digital transformation journey.

“But let us remember why we are doing this. Information management for its own sake is not what incentivises us. Realising value not only for our industry, but also for the wider economy, for the environment and for society at large, most certainly is.”

Read the survey:

Image: 65670036 © 2day929 |

Story for BIM+? Get in touch via email: [email protected]

Latest articles in News