All about the future of BIM

The challenges facing BIM

The entire article is supported by the latest editions of the reports mentioned below.

Despite all the benefits of BIM, there is still some hesitation in adopting this new working method. It is known that this sector exhibits a characteristic skepticism regarding the application of new technologies in the work environment and a resistance to the change of mentality.

The first and perhaps most important challenge facing the implementation of the BIM methodology involves the human factor in changing the mindset of professionals in the sector and in creating, not always easy, effective and collaborative teams that put into practice all the ideology associated with this new Work method. Companies struggle to implement an information sharing culture due to lack of definitions and consistency. This change requires time, persistence and investment in training people. It is, for example, wrong to assume that all stakeholders are expected to retain knowledge of all work activities and all associated information despite the premise of integrated and shared work. What is expected with the implementation of BIM is that everyone will gain a greater appreciation of their needs and how their behavior will affect others. Another incorrect idea is that in a Project where BIM is to be implemented, all the intervenients must, obligatorily, work in this dynamic. If, for example, the architect chooses to work using the traditional method of supporting information on paper and the contractor already wants to take advantage of BIM, he will “build” the model from the available information, to later use it in the construction planning , budgeting, coordination. Despite the possible complexity, errors, omissions, costs and additional time that creating the model after designing the building entails, the contractor continues to derive value from the BIM process. In addition to these preconceived misconceptions, there is a lack of education and curiosity on the part of professionals to know and learn new work tools available on the market and the notion that BIM tools are often mistakenly associated with 3D CAD tools or the application of a single software.

The BIM methodology envisions the constant possibility that multiple users, regardless of their locations or roles in the Project, can work on the same document at the same time, which is a huge advantage. However, despite the theoretical advantages present in this collaborative work, in practice, this ability is one of the main hesitations and criticisms pointed out to BIM. There is some difficulty in distinguishing and holding a particular person accountable throughout all the updates and modifications made to the Project, which entails implications for the individual responsibility of each professional. However, it is necessary to understand that the constant exchange and sharing of information promotes total transparency in the construction process, in which all professionals on that team will know who is responsible.

This difficulty reinforces the need, before starting any project, to define protocols for the management and edition of data and which methods to be used in the proper sharing of documents and information among all members. It is evident the importance of naming a person right at the beginning of the BIM Project meeting who is responsible for managing all the information, for the data exchange process and compliance with the defined processes. In a BIM collaborative environment, since the information will be reused multiple times and possibly for several years, it is imperative that it is accurate and correct and this must be ensured by the provider of that same information. However, the need arises to have someone verify the veracity and reliability of these data, whose responsibility lies again with the BIM Coordinator.

Using the “NBS National BIM Report” (NBS, 2019), it is possible to assess the main difficulties pointed out by professionals in the United Kingdom in adopting the BIM methodology, the four most mentioned being the following:

  • 65% of respondents refers to little demand from the customer for this type of service;
  • 63% points to a lack of internal knowledge;
  • 59% blames the lack of…