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Overcoming the Barriers to BIM Adoption in AEC industry

Breaking the barriers to BIM adoption

Published: 26/04/2019

We all now are aware about what (Building Information Modeling) BIM exactly signifies!

There’s a buzz about BIM everywhere in the AEC industry. But the very next question that arises in their minds is “Do we really need BIM?”

As a part of my role at Matrix3D as BIM Analyst, when I am conversing with Architects, Design firms, Design teams, Engineers who are not currently on the BIM platform, but perceive some BIM information, often are curious to know though BIM heard of being such a valued technology/concept, what is that stopping or hindering its successful adoption & implementation across the AEC industry.

This article intends to take a look at some of the barriers to BIM adoption & how to possibly overcome them.

Barriers to BIM adoption

Project Size:

The notion that BIM is useful only for big/complex projects and we are not so big to adopt BIM causes to stop the firm from adoption of BIM.

Client Demand:

The clients with whom we deal not necessarily demand BIM also gives the firms/organizations an excuse to evade BIM adoption.

High cost involved in Training & Software:

BIM implementation accounts me for high investments on things like Software as well as training. Also, our existing work will get hampered. Similar conceptions of the firms/organizations also hold them back from BIM adoption.


Resistance to change is human nature stopping the users/organization to step out from their comfort zones & embrace new technology, thus, resulting in a “NO” to BIM adoption.

Comparing CAD to BIM:

Comparing CAD to BIM is also one of the primary reasons restraining BIM adoption in organizations. Here, the approach of the individual is, for instance, “Why do we need BIM when we can acquire 3D models from our existing software?”

There might be yet many more reasons/excuses obstructing BIM adoption and implementation overall, but we’ll try looking at overcoming the above ones.

Firstly, let us understand the key factors on which successful BIM adoption in any organization depend upon. These factors can easily help to solve the above concerns obstructing BIM adoption.


Source: CHALMERS, Master’s Thesis

Yes, People, Process & Technology.

Focusing on 1. People:

Efficient knowledge of BIM to the people/team to clear the misconceptions about BIM and showcasing the outcomes that BIM will help them achieve once adopted should be conveyed to the people i.e. the team.

The BIM awareness created in the organization/firm may vary as per the hierarchy for ex.  The decision makers may not be interested to know the technology used or tools used irrespective of the cost for BIM adoption but the processed involved & the long term gain and benefits of their investment, however, the design team would be keen to understand the tools and the benefits of BIM that would align to their deliverables making their work easier addressing their pain points.

Also, undertaking a training program with professionals, sharing of related case studies could also be helpful to set free the reluctant mindset of the team.

Focusing on 2. Process:

The organization/design team needs to be aware & accept the fact that moving to a BIM platform demands workflow process to change/alter. This does not limit the use of BIM only to complex projects. The process change may differ from organization to organization based on the business objectives.

Process changes in BIM adoption can be in two ways- Revolutionary or Evolutionary.

Revolutionary change represents starting off from scratch and invent a completely new process, whereas, evolutionary change means developing on the good parts of the existing traditional processes and replacing/altering the ones no longer required. 

Taking up pilot projects by identifying a project to work upon along with training makes sure that the team is enthusiastic and keen to learn the tool and apply it in actual working.

Also, the team would not come up with most of the questions during training program as they will during their first live project.


Source: CHALMERS, Master’s Thesis

Focusing on 3. Technology:

Updating the IT infrastructure, dedicated high speed internet connection, along with introduction of new software tools that suits best the organization needs supporting the business goals and collaborative technologies form a primary part of the technology c

Organizations can discuss and create BIM awareness amongst the clients- that using BIM on their projects can help them achieve benefits/gains in long run against initial investments required. Analyzing the client’s objectives mutually and developing the business case wherein BIM can be effective can help them achieve a competitive advantage leading to investing in BIM now, rather than waiting for the clients to demand it later.


Thus, People, Process & Technology are inter-related change factos responisble for BIM adoption in an organization which indeed help in overcoming the barriers to BIM adoption.
There is no doubt in BIM having its inevitable benefits like:

Time Saving 
Increase in productivity
Lifecycle Data
Predictable Costs
Collaborative &Faster Design Process
Reduced Wastage
Integrated & Accelerated Project Delivery 
And so on...

You may also refer my previous articles to get elaborated information of the BIM potentials

Go Green with BIM

Empowering BIM with VR

BIM Cloud Collaboration

In closing, I would say that it is important to understand that BIM adoption is not a very simple or quick process and it involves patience, readiness for a change and investments initially.

As we discussed earlier, changes in existing process, mindset and technology of the organization is very essential towards meeting the business goals with BIM. Once adopted and implemented successfully, BIM aids in increasing productivity, on-time delivery and controlling costs.

BIM is the future of AEC industry and has a long way to go concerning its optimum utilization!

So, for the AEC industry, it is either Adopt BIM and reap in the rewards or remain left behind in the competition.

You may initially decide on Outsourcing BIM services to the BIM Service providers available to save the initial costs/investments incurred and realize the power/potential of BIM to help you take an informed decision. 

You can also browse through the case studies & success stories available on BIM adoption & implementation which will help you decide on your journey with BIM!

-BIM will make it easy!!

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