Level of implementation of BIM in Turkey: the findings of a 2018 survey with challanges and opportunities
The survey published in December 2018 “Turkey BIM Report – General Trends and Expectations Research Report” has revealed the current situation regarding the level of adoption of BIM in Turkey.
The study is based on a questionnaire designed to understand challanges and expectations of the operators in this sector and outlines the level of innovation in the construction industry in Turkey in terms of BIM technology use.
The objective is to determine the most effective actions to raise awareness to the stakeholders on this issue and, above all, to initiate appropriate training courses.
The questionnaire was prepared on the Google Forms platform and was distributed to the participants in digital form. The order of the Turkish mechanical engineers and the association of electrical engineers provided institutional support for the study and distributed the questionnaire to their members.
The results of the survey
The field of application of BIM in Turkey
A first aspect to highlight is the field of application: most works involving BIM are concentrated in the sector of non-residential buildings.
By crossing this datum with the geographical distribution, it appears obvious the scarce interest towards BIM in areas far from the big centres, where construction is concentrated mainly in the private residential sector.
In the richer and more populous provinces, such as those in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir and Bursa, where even non-residential construction is more common, there is evidence of higher level of BIM adoption. This shows how BIM is currently more used for infrastructure, public and commercial building, rather than for residential construction.
Although results in big cities were already fairly obvious, showing greater levels of familiarity with BIM in Ankara and Istanbul, the survey finds that in other provinces where BIM projects have never been carried out, such as Çorum, Eskişehir, Erzurum and Balıkesir, there is however a certain interest regarding new technologies applied to construction by professionals.
Other areas, such as Kayseri and Gaziantep, where there is high potential for using BIM in different sectors, have shown little interest, and little openness, to non-traditional construction management.
Among all the Anatolian provinces, Kocaeli and Adana stand out in terms of interest in BIM technology.
Another very important fact shows how BIM projects in the commercial sector (offices, hotels, shopping centers, etc.) are concentrated where public infrastructure projects have already been carried out using BIM.
BIM distribution and adoption by professionals and companies in Turkey
54% of respondents claim to have used BIM in their projects, while those who do not intend to use it are only 1.58%. It can therefore be said that in Turkey there is already a general and very widespread awareness of the importance of these processes.
The survey shows that those who know and use BIM the most are architects, while civil and electrical engineers have shown much less interest.
Hence the need to activate and encourage vocational training courses that involve all technical experts and operators.
The majority of the technical experts interviewed, who claimed to already have experience with BIM, work in companies with 30 or more employees. In many cases these companies have been using BIM for several years.
Therefore, it looks clear that the implementation of BIM is also an internal organizational problem for companies and that BIM can be more easily implemented in large companies, practises and studios.
The following table summarizes the level of adoption of BIM in Turkey among the various stakeholders.
Barriers to BIM implementation
The major barriers to BIM processes in the Anatolian peninsula are the mistrust by the academic world, the inadequacy of vocational training in general and the scarcity of public sector funds for the promotion of BIM.
This is also due to the lack of specific rules on the subject, the lack of interest by institutions, and to the absence of any plan / obligation that provides for the gradual introduction of BIM within Turkish construction processes.
In fact, academic paths that would allow adequate BIM training for technical operators are almost completely absent, and the Turkish universities are very late in updating degree courses for technical professions.
It is also interesting to observe how, even if only 79.94% of the interviewees are aware that BIM reduces coordination problems of the various actors involved in a constructive process, 45.14% believes that BIM significantly reduces processes time. Data discrepancy is due to poor technical formation, which causes, according to the interviewees, longer productivity times and works slowdown.
Clearly, gradual integration of BIM processes within the Turkish construction sector is only possible with adequate institutional support, both in terms of academic training and awareness of the impact of innovation in this sector through specific regulatory support.