Around the World with BIM

There is no doubt that BIM adoption in the AEC industry has come a long way since the term was introduced in 2002—most of the larger firms are using BIM on many of their projects, and it has come part of the standard lexicon of the AEC industry. We would be hard-pressed to find anyone working in the industry who has not heard of BIM. But most of us have a rather myopic view of BIM; we are aware of what’s going on with BIM implementation in our own countries, but not that much about what is happening in other countries. This article attempts to capture the key developments in BIM implementation in different countries around the world, so that we have a better global perspective on BIM.


6 thoughts on “Around the World with BIM

  1. Informative article.

    We are a Dutch BIM company in Ahmedabad,India ( We started in 2007 and probably we were a pioneer as a hardcore BIM company. Initially, it was very difficult to explain and sell our services in the local market. Gradually, the local market recognised BIM and its importance. But I would still say that in the local context, one of your words fits well: “Myopic vision”

    I think it is still a transition phase with low pace; fortunately, the pace of AEC is booming in this country. As you mentioned in your article about a few countries and the involvement of their governments, here there no such initiatives by any authorities. Of course, professional bodies are pretty enthusiastic. EU countries are quite ahead and taking good advantages of BIM. In Nordic Countries, you missed the Dutch presence. I want to enhance your knowledge: in 2008, the Dutch government introduced the Building Brain program – a full time program for AEC. It lasted for fifteen months, hundreds of professionals across the country participated, and BIM was the integral part. Our parent Dutch company ( ) in Amsterdam was founded at the beginning of BIM, and it started with Nemetschek Allplan and Synchro 4D. We have registered a working method called Regiplan® Methode. I am sharing it to show our involvement and initiatives taken for BIM.

    Coming back to India, I think it will take years for traditional practice to move to BIM. I see that this is because of several reasons – current professional practice and remuneration, software-hardware cost and growth, awareness, education, population, construction technology and method, cheaper labor, local laws and liberty to disobey them, etc. I have seen the transition phase of drafting board to AutoCAD. So optimistically, it will happen, but by that time, the rest of the world will be following different advancements. However, there is lot of awareness of BIM due to out-sourcing work and the Internet. There is no doubt that India has brain power, usage of software, R and D, and so on, but implementation for bigger part of AEC is lacking and difficult.

  2. Excellent article, as always.

    I would have like to see a little about S-Korea, as they are putting a huge effort and $ into their BIM adoption.
    In Denmark, one of the Scandinavian countries, BIM was mandated by the goverment in 2007 for all public buildings with a budget over a certain amount.

  3. Many thanks to Deepak and Haraldur for their feedback posted here, and to several others who have written to me from different countries around the world with additional information and/or clarifications about what is happening with BIM in their respective countries. The way I see it, this article only represents my first attempt to research official BIM efforts that have been initiated in some key countries around the world. Thanks to the information provided by readers, I can now expand upon the original article and do a follow-up in which I can include information about BIM developments in the Netherlands, Germany, the Middle East, Japan, and India, as well as include some clarifications about the BIM effort in the UK.

    Thank you all once again for your interest and your contributions in helping us all better understand what is going on with BIM in different parts of the world.

  4. Lachmi, I agree with the others, great article. There is a lot happening out there. buildingSMART is determined to be a catalyst for change. We are thrilled that so many are now “doing BIM”, yet to many it is still an individual sport, yet we need to make it into a team sport and truly enter data one time and have the trust embedded so that others will be confident in using the information. We still need to break down the walls between design and construction so that construction contractors and sub-contractors do not have to re-build the models and that information actually flows. This same issue exists with the interface to fabrication and the interface with the facility manager. Both fabrication and facility management are well-developed areas that have historically not relied on accurate information from the designer, because it was simply not available. buildingSMART is all about changing that and I think more people are coming to understand the issues. To that end, we are releasing version 2 of the National BIM Standard-United States™ this Thursday May 17th. It is the first consensus standard for the industry. It will be the foundation for understanding and we encourage others to join with us in working on Version 3 for which the call for ballots will be announced soon. Our intent is to have other countries also pick up this effort and add content that we may be able to use in future rounds, thus expanding the standards base more quickly.

  5. Excellent article.

    I would point out the Norway effectively decreed a government mandate requiring BIM in 2005 through Statsbygg. As far as I’m aware, Finland also (2007) through Senate Properties. In Sweden, no mandate exists, the main drive being through the ‘big 3′ construction giants, though looks like Traffikverket may be on the brink of demanding BIM for infrastructure projects.

    WSP in collaboration with Kairos Future have recently released a study – ’10 truths about BIM’ which, amongst other things, presents a view of BIM around the world:

    This may be of interest if you’re considering a follow-up article.

  6. I also agree with the others — Excellent article.

    In March 2012, Finland has released an updated version of the BIM Requirements developed by Senate Properties (2007) but now a consortium of stakeholders have participated in writing the guidelines based on their experience in different areas. The publication series are titled the “Common BIM Requirements 2012” which is the result of a broad-based development project entitled COBIM.

    So far, the complete series are only available in Finnish but there are some chapters translated into English.

    Please contact me if you need more information.

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