Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The first ever GCC wide survey on 'Building Information Modeling' (BIM), conducted by buildingSMART ME, was released at this year's buildSMART annual conference.
The survey findings provide unique insight into the current state of BIM usage, as well as providing valuable indicators of how the industry can prepare for and facilitate increased BIM activity.
The findings suggest that BIM penetration in the industry is moderate (around 25%) however the level of competency is underdeveloped compared to regions such as Western Europe and the US. Face to face interviews conducted as part of the survey process indicated that most firms engaged with BIM were in an 'early adoption' phase and were typically using BIM in its most basic capacity - as a tool for visualisation, coordination, drawing extraction and in a few cases, for construction planning.
"The region's construction industry is at a decisive crossroad, and the purpose of the survey is to provide perspective on how companies which are implementing BIM within their organizations, and those that are looking to implement BIM, can gain tangible business benefits as a result," said Mr. Tahir Sharif, President, buildingSMART ME. "buildingSMART ME as an organization is dedicated to assist in the planning and development of BIM programmes and infrastructure across the region," added Tahir.
The survey included respondents from key construction industry sectors operating in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Jordan. The findings are reflective of the opinions of industry professionals with prior exposure to and/or experience with BIM.
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The survey uncovered concerns that the (lack of) availability of skilled staff and training may hinder the adoption of BIM in the future. Such concerns are supported by the findings on current capabilities and skills level. Of the respondents who had received BIM training, 46% indicated that they were self-taught. Those that were self- taught were less likely to be regular BIM users than that those with formal training (64% compared to 84% respectively).
Overall the findings represent a market that is optimistic and aware, but inexperienced in Building Information Modelling. Real benefits are recognised, but not necessarily seen as achievable (ROI was identified as one of the least recognised benefits). Concerns regarding the need for training and skilled staff are well-founded and there is a clear call to industry bodies and decision-makers to bridge the divide and lead the industry forward.
Governments, Owners and Developers are in a position to benefit most significantly from Building Information modelling, and at the same time accelerate the penetration into the market through the mandating of BIM in development approvals, certification processes, as well as in prequalification and tender documents.