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BIM in Russia: becoming a global reference is the main challenge

BIM in Russia: becoming a global reference is the main challenge

Russia wants to be a global reference for BIM implementation, the stakes are developing countries’ rich markets

Russia aims at becoming the  leading authority for BIM in the construction industry and is planning to export their skills and expertise all over the world.

According to the report by Allied Market Research entitled “Building Information Modeling (BIM) Market by Solution, End User and vertical markets – Opportunities and forecasts for 2022” the BIM market will reach 11.7 billion dollars by 2022, with an annual growth rate of + 21.6%.

Particularly, the request for BIM services in Asia and in the Caucasian countries is expected to grow rapidly, thanks to the constantly expanding construction industry activities. A market opportunity that Russia does not want to lose.

BIM current level of adoption in Russia

As in many other countries, BIM adoption in Russia is growing but still slowly. Large companies have made significant progress, they have committed themselves to investing in training, promoting the “BIM culture” and technologies, learning from the pilot projects already started (mostly residential, industrial and hospital buildings).

BIM in Russia: becoming a global reference is the main challenge


Russian big contractors have, for some time, followed the example of the main leading nations in this sector, like the United Kingdom, learning how to best use BIM and how to develop it further. Now Russia has all the tools to be able to independently implement BIM at a faster pace than in the past.

Medium / large companies have also benefited from some specific BIM skills through large projects, and international design teams that are working, or have worked in Russia.

On the contrary, design studios, contractors and smaller companies still have little experience working with BIM. They still have many doubts and even some scepticism. It will be up to institutions to promote and spread the advantages of BIM application.

BIM policies in Russia

In mid-2015, the former Russian Construction Ministry recognized the importance of the British government’s work on BIM and identified 25 Russian pilot projects. These included:

  • the Krasnoyarsk regional clinical hospital in the eastern part of the country,
  • a center for Palliative Care in Kolpino near St. Petersburg
  • an emergency unit for the Alexander City hospital in St. Petersburg.

In addition, the Russian authorities have also decided to create a unified classification system that will encode more than 70,000 prefabricated products and construction materials.

The evolution towards more efficient digital processes has also already been acquired by the academic world. In fact, the main Russian universities have included BIM in their educational programs.

BIM in Russia: becoming a global reference is the main challenge


The learning acquired from these pilot projects, and from others, have been used for the revision of the Russian construction legislation in order to assimilate the use of BIM; a process completed in 2017.

More recently, the Ministry has followed the UK approach and has encouraged the use of BIM in Russian government projects. There has also been significant progress in developing a specific BIM standard in the country.

The Russian Government is attracted by BIM, both for its efficiency and for the potential economic savings resulting from it, and because it sees the importance of exporting BIM expertise to other nations, thus helping to grow the economy of those countries depending on Russia’s support.

Spartak stadium, a BIM project

Russia’s largest and most advanced organizations are already moving in this direction, helped by the growing pace of globalization, which has brought the various construction markets closer together by connecting them.

Much of the Russian terminology, regulations and standards have almost automatically become a reference for some Caucasian countries, or former URSS.

Being able to support the turning point offered by BIM, and being the largest geographical country in the world, Russia has the great ambition to be one of the global guides in the BIM sector.