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BIM in Europe: Diffusion and adoption – PART 2

BIM Europe: adoption and implementation levels – PART 2

The state of the art of BIM in Europe illustrated by the BIM academy director during the European BIM summit 2019 in Barcelona

In this follow up article we’ll be illustrating the degree of BIM maturity across European countries as addressed during the EBS 2019 in Barcelona by Ignasi Perèz Arnal (BIM Academy director and one of the main organizers of the event).


Following on from our previous article where we have explored the levels of BIM adoption in France, Germany and Ireland, let’s take a look at BIM implementation in:

  • Italy
  • Finland
  • United Kingdom

Whereas our next article will focus on Denmark, Island, Spain and Sweden.

BIM in Italy

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The Italian strategy for the progressive adoption of BIM began with the approval and publication of UNI 11337 and the “BIM Decree” (DM 560/2017 – Baratono Decree) which provides for the mandatory application of BIM methodology starting from 2019.

UNI 11337

UNI 11337 standards – Building and civil engineering works – Digital management of construction information processes, introduced in 2013, represent the backbone of the national strategy for the digitization of buildings; they are divided into 10 parts, each one concerning a specific aspect of BIM.

The BIM decree

The Minister of Infrastructure and Transport signed the “BIM Baratono Decree” on December 1, 2018. With this decree, Italy aims to make the use of BIM mandatory for all new public buildings and large-scale infrastructure projects.

The decree provides for a progressive adoption of BIM, which is already mandatory from 1 January 2019 for construction works with an amount equal to or greater than 100 million euros, while it will gradually apply to amounts less than 1 million euros after 2019.

From 2025 BIM should be used, according to the provisions of the decree, for almost all Italian public works.

BIM Europe

Speech at the BIM Summit on the use of BIM in Italy

The most relevant BIM projects in Italy include:

  • the Bulgari Manufactury facilities: the project covers a total area of 15,000 m² and it is composed of two buildings with completely different architectural features. The goal is to create an ideal link between innovation and tradition
  • Gulf Terminal of La Spezia: the building that should be completed by 2022, will cover a total area of 120,000 m² and a budget of 85 million euros is foreseen.

BIM in Finland

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Finland is an emblematic case for the digitization of the construction industry within the European panorama.

In fact, although there is no official plan or national strategy (as in the UK, France, Denmark, Germany, etc.) the Finnish construction industry has reached a very high level of efficiency thanks to digital innovation and interoperability construction / design processes.

Furthermore, between 2001 and 2006 a series of pilot projects were launched in the country and have exponentially grown in recent years. This is why today the use of BIM in Finland is a tested and common practice both in larger infrastructure and small residential projects.

Even the academic, university and research worlds have understood the importance of the new BIM-based tools for the construction sector: most of the Finnish universities have long been offering masters and degree courses in BIM technologies.

BIM Europe

The speech on the Finnish case at the BIM Summit

Among the main projects, which have included the use of BIM, we should certainly include:

  • the “Mall of Tripla“: a $ 1 billion commercial project that saw cooperation between international and Finnish companies. The building with shops, restaurants and hotels covers 355,000 m² and will be completed in 2021.
  • the “West metro“: the largest infrastructure project in the country, is a 21-kilometer metro network that will join the Helsinki metro with the city of Espoo. The project, costing 800 million euros, includes two separate tunnels, partly underground, and 8 new stations. Work started in 2013 and should be completed by 2020.

BIM in the United Kingdom

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Since 2011, the United Kingdom has become the leading country of BIM processes in Europe and it represents a world reference for the use of this work methodology.

One of the cornerstones of the British policies, which was then shared in most of the BIM rules in different countries, was born in the UK and is represented by BIM Levels chart by Mark Bew.

BIM Europe

BIM maturity levels

This process in the United Kingdom was formally launched in March 2011 when the BIS – Department for Business, Innovation and launched a governmental plan for the gradual adoption of BIM in construction processes.

The document established a 5-year period to structure a strategy for the improvement of four objectives:

  1. cost of construction
  2. delivery time,
  3. increase in exports
  4. reduction of CO2 emissions.

In 2013, the Construction 2025 Strategy report was also published, which is the basic and key tool for developing the use of BIM in the country and it included:

  • the achievement of Level 2 in 2016 well in advance
  • the achievement of Level 3, ie BIM fully integrated to the building life cycle, by 2020.
BIM Europe

BIM in UK according to Ignasi Perèz Arnal

Among the projects in the UK that involved the application of the Building Information Modelling, it is worth to mention:

  • the MCC- Manchester City Council: a project started in 2010 and finished in 2014 that included the redesign of the extension of its municipality and central library
  • Crossrail“: a 118-km railway line that crosses the London underground. It includes 38 railway stations of which nine are underground
  • HS2-High speed 2: the government has launched a second large high-speed project to connect London to Birmigham and Manchester with Leeds. The construction work has created 25,000 jobs and generated economic investments of 103 billion pounds with positive implications for the whole country.

In our next insights we will analyze the state of BIM relating to other European countries.