Home > What is BIM? > The BIM plebiscite around the world

A sector experiencing a digital revolution

The construction sector is at the center of economic, societal, and environmental challenges. With BIM, the sector has entered its “digital revolution” and has launched a new strategic stage in its development.

How can we measure the progression of the adoption rate of BIM in construction and renovation projects today?
Large-scale official statistics do not currently exist. We must therefore consider this question from another angle.

Adoption or recommendation of BIM in the public sectors

Since the mid-2010s, it has been interesting to analyze the decisions of public authorities regarding the promotion of BIM.

In some countries, the authorities have not hesitated to make BIM mandatory in public projects. In other countries or regions, the public sector invests significantly in actions to promote and recommend BIM tools.

Across Europe, since 2017, the European Union has recognized the strategic importance of BIM for the construction industry.

BIM is on the move and the public sector, both as an originator and as a prescriber, is an important player in promoting the use of BIM.

Countries that require or recommend BIM

In Great Britain, from the start of the 2010s, the government of the day promoted BIM in the construction public procurement sector. The aim is to reduce the cost of large infrastructure and construction projects by 20%. Since 2016, BIM Level 2 has even become mandatory for all public buildings.

Since 2012, the Netherlands has made BIM mandatory for all large public projects, for the design, construction, and management & maintenance phases of constructed buildings.

Scandinavian countries are also pioneers in the adoption of BIM. These include Norway, Finland, and Denmark where 3D BIM models are mandatory in public projects for the entire lifecycle of buildings. The private sector is following suit and has also been integrating BIM since 2010.

Singapore is known to be a forerunner in digital, and in particular e-government. BIM is also used for planning permit applications and 3D models are submitted in digital permit applications. The government has imposed BIM, which enables significant productivity gains of around 25%.

All European countries have an ongoing BIM program and most have made BIM mandatory for large construction projects.

BIM: a strategic tool for the European Union

Construction represents 9% of the Gross Domestic Product of European Union countries and the sector employs 18 million people.

The construction sector is considered to be an important player in the management of challenges such as climate change, the efficient use of resources, urbanization and the fight against aging infrastructure.

For the European Union, BIM is a source of significant productivity gains. It is a strategic tool for reducing costs, improving efficiency, productivity, and operations. BIM increases the quality of infrastructure and is also a way to improve environmental performance.

As early as 2017, European Commissioner Bienkowska in charge of the internal market, industry, entrepreneurship, and SMEs wanted public contracts in all the countries of the Union to be able to require the use of BIM for projects. construction, renovation, and infrastructure. According to the Commissioner.

“Public procurement, which accounts for the majority of construction spending, and policymakers can play a key role in encouraging increased use of BIM in support of innovation and sustainable growth, while actively involving our SMEs and improving the value for money for European taxpayers.”
Elżbieta Bieńkowska

Studies by Mc Kinsey and BCG predict that wider adoption of BIM will unlock 15-25% savings in the global infrastructure market.

This is the technological change with the highest probability of having a major impact on the construction sector. The adoption of BIM in Europe would save the construction industry € 130 billion annually. This direct impact estimate even appears to be low when compared to the positive indirect (social and environmental) impacts that could benefit climate change and resource efficiency programs.

The European Union has invested for several years in educational and training tools to help the public sector to introduce and deploy BIM in its construction and infrastructure projects. The aim of deploying BIM in the Union is to build with the private sector a competitive and open digital construction market, to become a global benchmark.

Why governments recommend adoption of BIM

Several studies have shown that the public sector has played an important role in the credibility of BIM, by creating a feeling of confidence in the process of adopting BIM and its benefits:

  • Better climate management, by optimizing the design of buildings to reduce carbon emissions.
  • A more competitive sector, with construction projects completed faster, at lower costs.
  • Buildings and infrastructures of better quality, offering greater comfort of use, but also reduced management and maintenance costs.

Through their action as a prescriber, the public authorities are showing the way forward for the entire construction sector, for their own projects (public sector), but also globally at the political level.

Adoption of BIM in the private sector in Belgium

Belgium does not have specific legislation promoting the use of BIM in public procurement, an approach which has until now been mainly the responsibility of companies in the private sector.

Thus, a large number of general construction companies, generally class 8, have already initiated a BIM dynamic for the management of their national or international projects.

These large Belgian companies represent around 15% of the construction market. Other companies involved in the construction / renovation process or in the management of buildings and infrastructure have also initiated the same transformation.
These are architectural and design offices, materials manufacturers, specialized construction companies, real estate promotion and management companies, etc. They called on industrial partners or the support of specialized companies like TASE to deploy BIM in their business.

Digital transformation in Belgium

Professional federations and organizations, such as the Confederation of Construction, BBRI, ADEB, IFMA, G30, etc. support this digital transformation of the sector.

Among these, the Scientific and Technical Center for Construction (CSTC) has initiated an important BIM dynamic to stimulate and coordinate its use in Belgium. It consequently created the BIM & ICT Technical Committee.

TASE also participates in the work of this committee, whose members have the task of representing the profession from which they come. They also ensure that research, development, information, training, and standardization actions are in line with the needs they meet.

However, even if the public authorities are not directly involved in the deployment of BIM in Belgium, they facilitate its use in construction projects by granting public funds to innovative projects.