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BIM in Europe: level of adoption in different countries – PART 3

Latest review on the level of implementation of BIM in Europe outlining the current situation in: Denmark, Iceland, Spain and Sweden

Our final article on the state of BIM in Europe continues with the analysis by Ignasi Perèz Arnal (founding partner of the BIM Academy, creator and content director of the European BIM Summit) presented at the EBS event in Barcelona.

In our first article we have illustrated the level of BIM adoption in France, Germany and Ireland. In our second article, we have instead addressed the state-of-the-art BIM implementation in Italy, Finland and United Kingdom.

It’s now the turn of:

  • Denmark
  • Iceland
  • Spain
  • Sweden

BIM in Denmark

BIM in Europe: level of adoption in different countries


The first country to ever mandate BIM back in 2007 was Denmark, which is one of the most developed countries worldwide regarding the digital construction sector.

For over a decade, Denmark has mandated its state clients (from Ministeries to Universities) to adopt BIM practices both for new construction projects and restoration of already existing buildings.

Since 2011 BIM is mandatory for:

  • all local and regional projects costing more than EUR 2,7 milion
  • government buildings starting from a volume of EUR 677.000.


BIM in Europe: level of adoption in different countries - PART 3

BIM in Denmark

Some of the most important projects using BIM practices in Denmark, that are worth to be mentioned, are:

  • The New Hospital Bisperbjerg in the City of Copenhagen. The new structure is a major merger between the Frederiksberg Hospital and the already existing Bisperbjerg Hospital. The new super hospital, which is scheduled to be in use by 2023, must operate at full capacity during the whole construction works.
  • The Ringsted-Fehmarn rail link project was initiated by Denmark and Germany to connect the fixed link across the Fehmarnbelt by 2021. The Ringsted-Fehrman rail link is expected to improve the infrastructure linking Scandinavia to the rest of Europe and will reduce travel time between Copenhagen and Hamburg. The projest will be managed by the Danish state-owned railway company Banedanmark.

BIM in Iceland

BIM in Europe: level of adoption in different countries - PART 3


One of the main challanges that Iceland had to face through its construction digitization process, was to adapt BIM strategies to small, medium and large companies.

In 2008 the Government Construction Contracting Agency – GCCA signed the “Statement of Intention to support Building Information Modelling with open standards”. The Ministry of Finance has established that building projects by Ministries and government agencies should mandatory implement BIM processes in design and constructions since 2011.

BIM Iceland”, a council of public procurers, was later established to develop a common strategy and update the guidelines for the advancement of BIM in the public sector.


BIM in Europe: level of adoption in different countries

European BIM Summit 2019

Some infrastructure projects and large public projects have strongly influenced the Icelandic BIM strategies, such as the National University Hospital and the “Burfell II” hydroelectric plant.

The New National University Hospital, built between 2013 and 2015, began in 2010 with an open international architect competition. The project consists of 4 buildings:

  • the patient hostel of 4258 m²
  • the main hospital building of 65.476 m²
  • a research building and laboratories of 15.550 m²
  • an office building with a parking area for a total of 21.259 m².

Burfell II is an underground hydroelectric power station, costing 212 million euros, which is created as an extension of 100 MW of the alreday existing Burfell plant. It was one of the first infrastructural projects built using BIM in Iceland.

The project generated 42 BIM models and 4 point clouds for as built.

BIM in Spain

BIM in Europe: level of adoption in different countries


Spain has quickly integrated a high level of BIM adoption by technical agents and designers.

The Spanish national strategy on BIM is called esBIM. Starting from 2019 it foresees the total inclusion of Building Information Modelling in the construction sector aligned with the Digital Agenda of Public Administrations.

Recently, the inter-ministerial commission on BIM has been established with the aim of optimizing and speeding up the innovation process in this sector.

BIM in Europe: level of adoption in different countries

BIM in Spain

Major works implemented with BIM methodologies in Spain are:

  • The BBVA City is a complex construction tower project of 114.000 m², with 19 floors and 93 meters high, it has been designed by Herzog & De Meuron using BIM methodologies  and the LEED Gold environmental certification and ISO 14001.
  • The Espai Barça is a Barcelona Football Club’s project to redevelop Camp Nou and the surrounding facilities. The intervention is developed over an area of 40,000 m² for a total cost of 600 million euros.

BIM in Sweden

BIM in Europe: level of adoption in different countries


With very complex infrastructure projects (such as the E4 Stockholm Bypass) and some large scaled building projects (including the largest public / private hospital project in the world), Sweden shows many similarities with the Finnish model.

Even without a clear unified national policy, but thanks to the strong link with individual public administrations, construction companies have managed to make Sweden one of the most technologically advanced countries in the construction sector.

BIM in Europe: level of adoption in different countries

BIM in Sweden

In this regard, a very important project is the New Karolinska Solna Hospital (NKS), the largest public-private partnership in the hospital sector in the world, involving an overall investment of 3 billion dollars.

The contract, which mandated the use of BIM, was very complex because:

  • the project was extremely large
  • there were strict deadlines
  • the application of BIM was planned for the entire life cycle of the building
  • it expected creating a single data platform on which designers, contractors and facility managers could collaborate.

The project demonstrated how the BIM model and prefabrication can increase the speed and quality of construction as well as environmental sustainability.