Building information modeling (BIM) has quickly evolved from a pipe dream to a desirable design reality. Since its inception in the late 1960s, BIM’s 3D-model-based software has evolved to integrate aspects of physical design across all disciplines.

The industry’s embrace of BIM has occurred rather rapidly. According to NBS’ BIM Report 2019, BIM awareness and adoption has grown from a little more than 10% in 2011 to around 70% in 2019. The year 2018 saw the biggest year-on-year growth on BIM usage and awareness since 2014, and that trend doesn’t appear to be relaxing any time soon.

Today, more and more engineers are utilizing BIM to help sand the edges off a once fragmented and poorly coordinated design and construction process.

But, just how many firms are using BIM, and how exactly do they feel about it? Is there a definitive return on investment? Is BIM viewed as a necessity or more of a novelty? We uncovered some answers courtesy of two recently released industry surveys.


NBS Survey

NBS surveyed 988 construction industry professionals in its 2019 BIM survey. The results showed that nearly all respondents are aware of BIM. In fact, only 2% said they were unaware of it, and less than 1% weren’t sure. A total of 69% said their organizations had adopted BIM for projects they’ve been involved with. And that number is on the rise, as 91% believe they’ll be utilizing BIM in less than one year’s time.

NBS survey respondents ranked cost efficiencies (60%), increased speed of delivery (55%), and a rise in profitability (48%) as BIM’s top benefits; and the greatest barriers to implementation include no client demand (65%), lack of in-house expertise (63%), lack of training (59%), and cost (51%).

“For the advocates, 60% of those who have used BIM have seen improvements in efficiencies whilst 22% of those yet to use BIM have indicated they would rather not adopt it,” said Richard Waterhouse, CEO, NBS. “In addition, the demand from clients on both private and government projects is mixed.”


Sellhousefast survey

Much like NBS’s report, a recent study published by confirms professionals in the built environment are benefiting from BIM. Through a survey of 602 architects, engineers, and construction professionals, more than 75% of respondents view reduced rework through improved coordination and clash detection as BIM’s biggest advantage. Using BIM, internal and external stakeholders can access a shared model to see where possible clashes may occur (e.g. pipework running through steel beam, etc.) and then coordinate between them to rectify the issue before construction even begins.

More than 70% feel the enhanced visualization from BIM enables them to positively elevate the planning and design process, and 47% appreciate the capabilities of BIM to recognize hazards in the preconstruction phase, which they believe minimizes health and safety risks.

“BIM is rapidly becoming more and more prominent,” said Robby Du Toit, managing director, Sellhousefast. “The technology is letting organizations construct buildings virtually before they are physically completed. As a result, BIM unlocks the opportunity to seek out more efficient approaches toward the planning, designing, and construction phases of different projects. This research certainly shows that BIM has left an encouraging impression on professionals who have used the technology. The benefits highlighted by them demonstrate the huge potential BIM has, and as understanding of the technology improves, it will continue to revolutionize the property industry.”


Yay or nay?

Is your firm utilizing BIM? What impact is it having on your organization? What positive and/or negative experiences have you had? Share your experiences with the staff here at Engineered Systems, and we’ll aim to publish your responses in a subsequent issue.

Register for our free webinars at, where users can also view any webinar from the last year on demand in our archive. Here is a look at what’s up next on our webinar calendar.


Oct. 1

Ensuring Total Power Backup System Availability – Maintenance and Testing

Presented by Julius Neudorfer, chief technology officer for North American Access Technologies Inc., and sponsored by Kohler.

Sept. 17-19

Healthcare Facilities Symposium & Expo



SEPT. 25-27

AEE World

Washington, D.C.


Sept. 29 to Oct. 2


Park City, Utah