State of BIM adoption across Europe (Maps)
Here is shot at illustrating the degree of state of BIM maturity across European countries.
A simple question. A tough answer.
Answering the question “What does the European BIM landscape look like?” ought to be simple. But it isn’t – primarily due to the lack of comparable data. Consequently, the question of BIM adoption fuels long discussions – for many reasons. Here are the top 3 reasons from our perspective; 1. BIM has no clear definition 2. BIM is a buzzword that any stakeholder in the construction industry must consider strategically 3. Many people with different perspectives are very passionate about BIM Being as curious as our customers and peers, we resorted to analysing search engine behaviour which we believe offers the best availability of comparable data across countries. Fully aware of the limitations of this approach. We could have asked e.g. software distributors – but would the answers be reliable, consistent and comparable (if we get an answer at all)? Our analytical approach does not provide definite answers and is associated with uncertainty. But it does provide indications. We don’t claim that the conclusions to be scientific – please consider this when reading.
State of BIM: adoption map
With those comments in mind, the map above is our shot at illustrating the degree of BIM maturity across European countries. Not surprisingly, western/northern countries appear to be BIM leaders, while the southern and eastern countries (except for the outliers Russia and Turkey) are adopting BIM at a slower rate. Looking at the relative strength of CAD/2D or BIM in each country draws a similar picture to the previous map. In fact, combining the two maps may provide a very good picture of the European BIM map. In this context, CAD/2D domination doesn’t mean no use of BIM in the construction industry (and the other way around). All countries use CAD/2D and BIM, the map indicates whether CAD/2D has greater or less focus compared to BIM.
Government initiatives driving BIM adoption
What causes the differences in BIM adoption? One would expect government initiatives to be a key driver in a country’s BIM adoption. But our analysis doesn’t indicate a clear cause-and-effect relationship although some of the most state of BIM mature countries have proactive government initiatives in place. Is that due to public construction being a minor share of total construction, or lengthy implementation of government initiatives? Maybe industry factors (e.g. cost and availability of labour) are part of the explanation? We do not aim at answering those questions in this article.
From the perspective of manufacturers of construction materials
A country’s BIM maturity is interesting to the manufacturer of construction materials but the use of different BIM softwares are of greater importance when making strategic choices. “What does the European BIM software map look like?” is therefore a relevant question that we are asked frequently when working as BIM advisor and BIM content provider for manufacturers of construction materials. Revit and ArchiCAD pop up in most minds when asking that question. But what about alternatives like Vectorworks, Allplan and MagicCAD? Not to mention Tekla Structures, AECOsim and Plancal Nova. Not supporting the right BIM software may undermine the otherwise good marketing intentions of the manufacturers of construction materials.