BIM in Europe: the ECSO report findings on the European construction sector and an analysis on the state of digitalisation

ECSO (European Construction Sector Observatory) has published the report “Building Information Modelling in the EU construction sector” with findings relating to the state of BIM in Europe.

The document assesses the importance of BIM in the construction industry and the potential advantages deriving from a complete digitalisation of the AEC sector, up to the analysis of the implementation level for some Member Countries.

BIM in Europe: the ECSO report

 

Digitization of the European construction sector

The construction sector, and the activities linked to it, can strongly influence the economic, environmental and social development of a country. In fact, in the EU in 2016, the construction sector has provided as many as 18 million jobs and has contributed to almost 9% of GDP.

However, the sector’s growth rate is much lower than in other sectors. This is partly explained by the difficulties of the building sector in embracing digital innovations that could help improve both productivity and profitability.

However, the sector’s growth rate is much lower than in other sectors. This is partly explained by the difficulties of the building sector in embracing digital innovations that could help improve both productivity and profitability.

For example, it is estimated that large-scale digitalization in non-residential building would lead to annual savings of over half a trillion euros (one billion billion euros).

Given the importance of this sector, the European Commission supported, has promoted and developed various activities to encourage digitalisation in the construction sector (AEC), including the EUBIM TaskGroup

In this regard it becomes interesting to understand how the digitization of the construction industry is evolving throughout Europe, being increasingly recognized as a potential turning point. Northern European countries have paved the way in terms of implementing BIM methodology, to be slowly reached by Western European countries and, finally, followed by Eastern European countries.

BIM in Europe: the ECSO report

Overview of the policies on BIM and requirements

ECSO report on BIM in the European construction sector

The ECSO report examines the implementation of BIM in the EU, analyzes drivers, opportunities and challenges regarding its implementation and provides recommendations for EU political activity aimed at supporting and promoting BIM adoption.
The study does not really cover all 28 EU countries, but analyzes a representative sample:

  • Denmark for northern Europe;
  • France for Western Europe;
  • Poland for Eastern Europe.

BIM progress and adoption in Denmark

Denmark has introduced BIM requirements in its public procurement legislation since 2007, with over a decade of experience, it has become one of the European leaders in terms of implementing BIM.

In 2016, 78% of Danish design firms were aware of BIM and were using it to produce 3D visualizations, perform energy performance analyses and interference detection. Over 30% transmitted BIM models to those responsible for the management of the buildings, demonstrating that the implementation of the BIM also concerns the operation and maintenance phases (and not only the design phase).

BIM progress and adoption in France

In France the implementation of BIM has progressed significantly, in particular with the introduction in 2015 of the Digital Transition Plan for Buildings (PTNB), a strategic plan aimed at boosting the implementation of BIM.

The adoption rate of BIM reached 38% in France in 2017, while the awareness of BIM among companies in the construction and real estate sectors has increased from 22% to 35%, between 2016 and 2017.

Furthermore, 26% of building project owners have started to impose BIM on construction projects, although only 12% actually require a digital model. In practice, this led to the construction of 500,000 houses, using BIM, only in 2017.

It should be noted that France is the only country where the rate of adoption of engineers (44%) is slightly higher than that of architects (40%).

BIM progress and adoption in Poland

Poland is at an early stage of BIM adoption, in fact the Polish government has recently introduced policies and instruments to support the implementation of BIM in its construction sector.

The BIM adoption rate is relatively low, with only 12% of construction companies using BIM in their daily work.

This low adoption rate is partly explained by the lack of knowledge of the advantages of BIM, the absence of (systematic) BIM requirements in public procurement legislation and the high cost of the initial implementation of BIM.

However, the BIM implementation in the Polish market has strong potential with the Polish construction market partly driven by the new construction (rather than by renovations works).

 

 

Download the ECSO report on BIM in Europe