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New study compares Building Information Modeling in Western Europe and North America


A little over a third (36 per cent) of Western European construction professionals are now using Building Information Modeling (BIM), according to McGraw-Hill Construction’s latest SmartMarket Report, The Business Value of BIM in Europe. Produced in collaboration with Autodesk, the National Institute of Building Sciences/buildingSMART alliance, and 11 industry associations in Europe, the first-ever report compares BIM adoption rates in France, Germany and the U.K. with those in North America, where 49 per cent of contractors, architects and engineers report BIM usage, according to McGraw-Hill Construction’s 2009 report, The Business Value of BIM.

“While the overall adoption rate in Western Europe is lower than in North America, those that have adopted BIM have been using it longer and have developed a higher level of expertise,” said Steve Jones, senior director, McGraw-Hill Construction. “These long-term adopters are also seeing higher value from their BIM investments, and we expect usage to surge in the coming years, especially among contractors.”

McGraw-Hill Construction’s new report reveals meaningful differences between the North American and European BIM markets and further affirms that firms with greater experience and expertise in BIM frequently achieve a significant return on their BIM investment. Over a third of Western European BIM users (34 per cent) have more than five years of experience using BIM, versus only 18 per cent in North America; and nearly three-quarters of Western European BIM users (74 per cent) report a positive perceived return on their overall investment in BIM, compared with 63 per cent of North American BIM users.

“BIM is transforming the global construction industry and is fast becoming the foundation of a new workflow process,” said Jay Bhatt, senior vice president of Autodesk AEC Solutions. “The resulting consistent, coordinated information is delivering tangible benefits to all stakeholders, as is evident in the new McGraw Hill Construction study.”

The Business Value of BIM in Europe report provides significant insights into BIM implementation and tangible business benefits. Respondents are broken into two groups, BIM users and non-users, and the report examines non-users’ reasons for not implementing BIM, as well as extensive data from BIM users about their length of usage, levels of expertise, BIM investments, and the return on those investments. Additional highlights include:

  • Compared to North America, where BIM adoption has surged among contractors to 50 per cent, BIM has only been embraced by 24 per cent of Western European contractors. However, contractors anticipate the most aggressive increase in implementation, with the frequent user population expected to grow from 11 per cent today to 54 per cent by 2012. Thus, as in North America, it is likely that the use of BIM by contractors will surge in the coming years.
  • 82 per cent of BIM users who formally measure ROI are seeing positive returns. 46 per cent of BIM users in Western Europe who formally measure ROI are seeing returns of 25 per cent or more on their investments versus 32 per cent of users in North America.
  • Users in Western Europe and North America agree that interoperability of software used by team members is an important factor in determining BIM’s overall value on construction projects.



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