Understanding and facilitating BIM adoption in the AEC industry

Ning Gu, Kerry London

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

615 Citations (Scopus)


Building Information Modelling (BIM) is one of the important areas in current Virtual Reality (VR) research. VR research considers not only the technological development, a very important part of the research also concerns the application of the technologies and their adoption by the practices. This paper firstly presents an analysis of the current state of BIM in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry and a re-assessment of its role and potential contribution in the near future. The paper analyses the readiness of the industry with respect to the (1) product, (2) processes and (3) people, to position BIM adoption in terms of current status and expectations across disciplines. The findings indicate that there were both technical and non-technical issues that need consideration. The evidence also suggests that there are varying levels of adoption and therefore the need for a specific tool to facilitate BIM adoption. The study revealed that even the market leaders who are early technology adopters in the Australian industry in many cases have varying degrees of practical experiential knowledge of BIM and hence at times different understandings and different levels of confidence regarding the future diffusion of BIM technology throughout the industry. There have been numerous factors affecting BIM adoption, which can be grouped into two main areas: technical tool functional requirements and needs, and non-technical strategic issues. There are varying levels of adoption and understanding within countries - from discipline to discipline and client to client. There are also varying levels of adoption from country to country and although many researchers and practitioners espouse collaborative working environments there are still challenges to be met in many parts of the world, particularly, in relation to a fully integrated collaborative multidisciplinary mode of operation. The challenges for the research community lie not only in addressing the technical solutions or addressing human centred issues but it is also in creating the enabling environment of a decision framework, which integrates both the technical and non-technical challenges. The need for guidance on where to start, what tools are available and how to work through the legal, procurement and cultural challenges was evidenced in the exploratory study. Therefore the Collaborative BIM Decision Framework has been initiated to facilitate the BIM adoption in the AEC industry, based upon these industry concerns, which consists of four interrelated key elements. The findings are drawn from a major research project funded by the Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Construction Innovation (CRC-CI), with a focus on the Australian context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)988-999
Number of pages12
JournalAutomation in Construction
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Building Information Modelling
  • Collaborative BIM Decision Framework
  • Focused group interviews
  • Industry adoption


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