Geo Week News

July 13, 2023

Overcoming the Barriers to BIM Adoption in the AEC Industry

While there's no doubt that BIM is the future of the AEC industry, many firms still have barriers to overcome.

Contributed by Microsol Resources

There's no doubt that BIM (Building Information Modeling) is the future of the AEC industry. However, there are still many firms that haven't made the switch to BIM due to various barriers. These are some common barriers to BIM adoption and how to overcome them.

BIM is a process that uses digital models to store and manage information about a construction project. The data stored in the model can include everything from architectural plans and schedules to material specifications and costing information. Using BIM, architects, engineers, and other construction professionals can collaborate on a project more effectively, ensuring that everyone is working from the same set of data. 

The AEC industry is one of the most critical industries in the world. It is responsible for designing, constructing, and operating buildings and other structures. Historically, the industry has traditionally been fragmented, with each stakeholder working in isolation. This has led to problems such as poor communication, coordination, and collaboration, that utilizing BIM can help to address.

In addition, BIM can be used to simulate different construction scenarios, helping to identify potential problems before they occur. As a result, BIM has become an essential tool for construction professionals around the world.

While BIM is relatively new, it is increasingly being used in the construction industry. BIM software allows architects and engineers to create three-dimensional models of buildings, incorporating all of the essential information about the structure into one place. 

This can be extremely helpful during the construction process, as it provides a clear and concise view of the building that all team members can easily access. BIM software can also help identify potential design problems before construction begins, saving time and money in the long run. As more businesses adopt BIM software, it will likely become the industry standard for construction projects.

Common Barriers to BIM Adoption in AEC Industry

Despite its many potential benefits, the AEC industry has been somewhat slow to adopt Building Information Modeling (BIM). One primary reason for this is the high cost of applications that support BIM. BIM software can be expensive to purchase and maintain and requires a significant investment of time and resources to learn. 

Another barrier to BIM adoption is the lack of skilled personnel. While the demand for qualified BIM professionals is growing, the supply has not yet caught up. This shortage means that companies are often reluctant to invest in BIM, as they cannot be sure that they will be able to find the staff necessary to implement it. 

Finally, the lack of a national standard for BIM also presents a challenge. Without a unified set of guidelines, it can be difficult for companies to know how to utilize BIM within their workflow best. As a result, many firms remain hesitant to commit to the technology fully.

How To Overcome the Barriers to BIM Adoption

There are ways to offset these costs. One option is to take advantage of free or low-cost trials offered by many BIM software providers. This can allow you to test the software and see if it's a good fit for your company before making a financial investment. Another option is to look for open-source BIM software options with lower upfront costs.  

One way to overcome the skills gap barrier is by investing in employee training. Many colleges and universities now offer training programs for BIM that can help reduce the cost of training employees. Some software providers also provide training courses and user workshops that can help your employees gain the skills they need to be successful. Additionally, there are now many online courses and tutorials available that can provide employees with an introduction to BIM concepts and principles.

When it comes to standards, the industry has to work together to overcome this challenge. While there are several efforts underway to standardize BIM and AEC workflows, there are areas where input is still needed. For example, you can reach out to professional organizations such as The American Institute of Architects (AIA) or The National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) for guidance on developing standards for BIM usage within your industry. 

Key Factors to a Successful BIM Implementation

Despite its many benefits, successful BIM implementation can be a challenge. Three critical factors to a successful BIM: are effective leadership, availability of qualified staff, and availability of information and technology.

Leadership is critical to successful BIM implementation. The project manager must be committed to BIM and willing to invest the time and resources necessary for its success. They must also be able to effectively communicate the benefits of BIM to the project team and stakeholders. Without buy-in from the top, getting everyone on board with BIM won't be easy.

The availability of qualified staff is another critical factor. Not everyone on the project team needs to be a BIM expert, but there must be enough people with the skills and knowledge necessary to use the software and maintain the models. In addition, training may be required to get everyone up to speed on how to use BIM effectively.

Finally, the availability of information and technology is essential for successful BIM. The models created during the design phase need to be accurate and complete, which requires access to good-quality data. 

Furthermore, the project team needs access to powerful computer hardware and software to create and manipulate the models. Without these things, it will be challenging to reap all of the benefits of BIM.

While there are certainly some challenges to overcome, the potential benefits of BIM adoption for the AEC industry are clear. By working together to develop a national standard and investing in training and education, we can help ensure that all businesses in this industry can reap the benefits of using BIM technology.

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