masks increase in BIM adoption

Results from the 2015 NBS BIM survey that suggested BIM adoption in the UK had fallen back – with 48% of respondents saying they had used BIM on a project in the past 12 months, compared to 54% last year – seem to have been affected by a shift in those taking part.

The fifth annual BIM report follows a sequence of four previous surveys that have suggested BIM adoption is increasing in the UK construction industry year-on-year.

But in the commentary to the 2015 survey, the NBS backs away from the assertion that BIM adoption had dipped, saying that “detailed analysis of the data suggests that there has been a small, but statistically significant, shift in those who have taken part in the survey, particularly by the design software used.

"If we adjust the analysis to compensate for this, we do see an increase in BIM adoption.”

However, the report does not attempt to quantify the increase. 

The “small but statistically significant shift” was illustrated in the answer to the question: "when producing drawings, which of the following tools do you mainly use?"

Niche product Nemetschek Vectorworks proved the most popular, favoured by 29% of the survey’s 900 respondents. Autodesk’s Revit, generally seen as the market leader, was nominated by 25% of the sample.


The report was published at 10am last Friday (17 April), and was not made available to Construction Manager/BIM+ in advance under embargo, with our earlier coverage based on a press release. 

Information in the press release also showed that architects comprised 44% of the survey sample, followed by architectural technologists at 13%. BIM managers were 5% of the group, quantity surveyors 4% and contractors made up just 2%.

There was a slight decline in the number of respondents: 900 for the 2015 report compared with 1,000 last year, and 1,350 in the 2013 survey.

Other findings of the NBS BIM report 2015 include:

  • a decline in the use of COBIe on projects, with 18% of respondents reporting they used it compared to 23% last year.
  • 71% of respondents had adopted the RIBA Plan of Work 2013.
  • but only 13% said they had adopted BSRIA Soft Landings or Government Soft Landings.
  • 23% said they had used the CIC BIM Protocol.
  • 6% said that their organisation had reached Level 3 BIM, compared to 7% last year.
  • 59% said their organisation had reached Level 2 BIM, compared to 51% last year.
  • Use of IFC in models had increased, at 49% compared to 45% last year.
  • On the question of sourcing BIM objects, 69% said they produced them in-house; 60% said they used manufacturers’ BIM objects; 46% used the NBS BIM Library and 28% said they used other BIM libraries.
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