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BIM in Europe: Diffusion and adoption - Part 1

BIM in Europe: Diffusion and adoption – Part 1

The level of adoption of BIM in Europe has been analyzed during the European BIM Summit 2019: the general framework is encouraging and several progresses have been achieved.

On occasion of the European BIM summit event in Barcelona which took place in April, the most important representatives of the construction sector gathered with the common objective of spreading good practices in the use of BIM. The director of BIM Academy, Ignasi Perèz Arnal, illustrated the levels of BIM adoption in each European country.


In this first part of a series of articles that we are going to publish, we will present the current state of the art of BIM in the following countries:

  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland

In the next articles we are going to focus on: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, Sweden.

BIM in France






In France the PTNB (Plan Transition Numèrique dans le Bàtiment) launched in 2014 and completed in 2017 with a financial support of 20 million euros to national policies for the digital development of the construction sector.

The aim of the policy plan was to permit a “switchover” in the sector. Institutions, companies and new BIM based working methodologies are involved, without however considering legal requirements in its use.


The Ignasi Perèz Arnal speech on BIM in France, during the European BIM summit event in Barcelona

Therefore, a series of big projects, infrastructures and public works in which the BIM potentialities have been applied, were launched. The adoption of this ambitious plan has also allowed the construction of 500.000 new homes, designed and realized with BIM tools.

Among all these projects, the “Grand Paris express” is outstanding. We are dealing with the biggest European BIM based project which will be developed on approximately 200 km highspeed metro and railway network, with 68 new metro stations realized in the Ile de France of Paris area.

The BIM French strategy was supported through the national project MINnD (Modélisation des INformations INteropérables pour les INfrastructures Durables) coordinated by  IREX including about 60 national partners spilt over companies, institutions, universities etc.

The next big public project with the BIM adoption, is the “Europa City” plan which is going to be developed in Paris on a surface of 800.000 square meters with:

  • 500 shops and commercial areas
  • Hotels
  • Parks and green areas
  • Leisure parks and sports areas

The completion of the works has been scheduled for 2021.

This huge plan, which aims at attracting about 30 million visitors per year, will be the biggest touristic European destination. It costed about 2 billion dollars and it will allow the creation of 17.500 jobs.

For further details on BIM in France, check the link to our previous article on BibLus: Previous article on BibLus.

BIM in Germany





Germany has promoted innovation in the construction sector through a bottom-up approach. Starting from the associations and local working groups, a national strategy named “Stufenplan Digital Planen und Bauen“ has been developed.


The Ignasi Perèz Arnal speech on BIM in Germany, during the European BIM summit event in Barcelona.

The strategy is based on pilot projects used to test the benefits of a BIM environment within 2020. Only after this date, a legislation will be published to mandate the use of 5D BIM in public works.

Futurium Berlin is one of these pilot projects, an essential reference for understanding the level of diffusion/adoption of BIM in Germany.

Promoted by a public-private partnership, the plan covers an area of ​​8,000 m² and has a budget of 58 million euros: works began in 2017 and will be completed by the end of 2019.

The largest plan for using BIM is the Rastatt tunnel that serves as a railway connection between Karlsruhe and Basel. It constists of two tunnels, one for each direction of travel, it will have a total length of 4.7 km, a diameter of 11 meters, and a budget of 450 million euros. Work started in 2016 and will be completed in 2022.

Currently, in Germany the use of BIM for public projects with investments exceeding 5 million euros is now a consolidated practice. The country is ready to make the use of such digital tools mandatory for the design and construction of all public projects.

For further details on BIM in Germany, check the link: previous article on BibLus.

BIM in Ireland





Despite the absence of regulatory obligations on BIM in Ireland, the need for digital and sustainable innovation in the construction sector is a priority for the government.

The BIM reality is already well-established in the Irish academic world and universities thanks to financing of specific training courses and research of techniques and work processes in the AEC sector.

BIM in-Europe_diffusion_and_adoption_bim-ireland-Ingasi-Perez-Arnal-

The Ignasi Perèz Arnal speech on BIM in Ireland, during the European BIM summit event in Barcelona

Regarding public plans, it should be noted that since 2014, the Construction 2020 strategy, published by Enterprise Ireland, has funded BIM based construction plans with 200 million euros, including:


  • 50 million euros for the improvement of regional and local road projects
  • 50 million euros for social housing allowing the creation of 60,000 new jobs


NBC Ireland is the strategic council that will coordinate, plan and prepare new policies aimed at developing digital design and achieving BIM Level 2 (Here is a link to learn more about BIM Maturity levels ).

The NHC-New Children Hospital is the largest and the most significant BIM project ever undertaken in the Irish healthcare sector. The BIM model / project allowed to better design spaces, optimize the use of underutilized areas and allow rapid and practical sharing of data and information between the entire technical team.

Another important project for the development of BIM in Ireland was the tunnel for the “Corrib Onshore Gas Pipeline Compound”, an energy infrastructure that covers the total country’s energy needs for the next 20 years: a work started in 2011 and completed in 2016. The project was also awarded as the best Engineering Project in the world in 2016.

In the next articles we will analyze files relating to other European countries.


Ignasi Perèz Arnal

Ignasi Pérez Arnal is the founder of BIM Academy and one of the main promoter of the European BIM Summit in Barcelona. He is a member of several organizations including:


Comisión Construir el Futuro (CCF)

Comisión de la Estrategia Nacional Española esBIM

buildingSMART Spain

GBCe-GreenBuilding Council Spain

eg-ice/European Group for Intelligent Computing in Engineering


He was a speaker at the EUBIM 2013 and 2014 conferences and he is the director of:

  • BIM PCM Master of the University of Cantabria
  • Master BIM Applications in Historical Heritage of the University of Burgos
  • Urban Master of the Ecole des Ingenieurs de la Ville in Paris in its Spanish edition.

He is also “Senior Visiting Professor” of the Department of Architecture and Planning of the University of Sassari.