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Benefits of diffusing BIM technology and workflows in AECO projects.

Updated: Jun 27, 2019


There are several benefits of diffusing BIM technologies, processes with a set of protocols followed while delivering Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Operation (hereinafter AECO) projects. Few of the uses while diffusing BIM while delivering building projects (well known as BIM Uses) are improved visualization, enhanced planning, accurate cost estimation, model-based simulation and analysis, construction tracking, safety planning, etc. BIM Uses are the project deliverables that can be expected from the process of generating, collaborating and linking the building models to external databases. In simple words, the BIM Use represents the interactions between a user and a modeling system to generate building model-based deliverables (Source: The BIMe Dictionary).

For the BIM project to be successful, it is well known for the Global AECO industry that, BIM project and its deliverables are the end products which needs to be delivered by the AEC organizations to the owner organizations as expected. And, it is essential to confirm that: which are the BIM uses expected by the client? What BIM tools need to be adopted while delivering expected BIM uses? Who are the stakeholders need to be involved while delivering each of these BIM Uses? Which stage of the project life cycle does these BIM Uses delivery occur? How to deliver these BIM Uses as per client expectations? And many more questions arise that needs to be answered during the BIM project delivery. To understand BIM Uses and how to deliver it in BIM projects, we had performed BIM Uses related literature review. This literature review reveals us that there are currently nine BIM Uses publications available (see table 1). Initial work towards BIM Uses was in the year 2010 and more recently i.e. from last two years there are several publications that discuss BIM uses and how to deliver it to the client’s expectations. From table 1, one can gain an understanding of available BIM Uses publications, year of development, country of origin and number of BIM uses that has been explored in each of these literature.

Table 1. Existing publications on BIM Uses.

And, the BIM Uses associated research by Badrinath et al. (2016) reveals that the BIM researchers had discussed on benefits achieved in building’s project life cycle with the use of BIM. BIM researchers had documented the BIM Uses within different phases of a project (CIC 2011; McGraw-Hill Construction 2014; Kreider & Messner 2015; BIM ThinkSpace 2015). Few client organizations such as Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM), Mass port authority (MPA), Harvard University Construction Management Council (Harvard UCMC) and Penn state university (PSU) are expecting BIM uses delivery in their projects with a standard process applied by the contractor organizations. To date, several construction projects which have integrated BIM in their project’s process have reported the benefits from the use of BIM technology, and BIM is recommended as the solution for project performance and productivity issues (Mihindu & Arayici 2008; Eastman et al. 2011; Li et al. 2014).

Globally, several AEC organizations are delivering projects with the adoption of BIM tools & techniques in the design and construction process. It is very much clear that, there exists a well-defined BIM project requirement from the client organizations and with distinctly available BIM uses for the AECO projects. It is essential for the AEC organizations to realize: what benefits of BIM have been expected from the owner organizations? And, what level of BIM in the project has been delivered by AEC organizations? Gaining an understanding of these questions, profits both the AEC and Owner organizations.

To gain further understanding towards existing BIM Uses and available database (BIM uses publications), we had compared BIM Uses in the existing six out of nine BIM uses framework, standards and guidelines, i.e. from Bilal's BIM Use framework, Massachusetts port authority BIM guide, DCAMM BIM guide, Harvard University BIM use guide, PSU-BIM uses classification and, the port authority of NY & NJ-BIM standard (see table 2 for sample view).

Table 2. Mapping of BIM uses in existing BIM uses framework, standards, and guidelines.

NOTE: In the process of mapping we had considered BIM uses from Succar’s framework as the initial list of BIM uses and then mapped them with BIM uses of other framework, standards and guidelines. This table in here showcases only five BIM uses mapping as a sample list. This mapping process is based on the brainstorming sessions performed by the authors and further discussions with domain experts for validation purpose.

Detailed analysis of the BIM uses in these BIM frameworks, standards and guidelines revealed that there are currently 75 BIM uses defined. We had also performed the process of mapping similar/repeating BIM uses in all the six publications, we found that: (1) 34 BIM uses were found common in all the six publications; (2) 22 BIM uses were found common in five publications; (3) 6 BIM uses in 4 publications; (4) 5 BIM uses in 3 publications; (5) 4 BIM uses in 2 publications; And, 4 BIM uses were found only in one publication. It is our belief that, 34 BIM uses that were found in all the six BIM uses publications can be considered as most commonly used BIM uses in AECO projects.


Badrinath, A. C., Chang, Y. T., & Hsieh, S. H. (2016a). An Overview of Global Research Trends in BIM from Analysis of BIM Publications. In Proceedings of 16th International Conference on Computing in Civil and Building Engineering (ICCCBE 2016), July 6-8th, Osaka, Japan.

BIM ThinkSpace. (2015). Episode 24: Understanding Model Uses. Retrieved from BIM Think Space website:, accessed on September 10, 2015.

CIC. 2011. Computer Integrated Construction Research Program. “BIM Project Execution Planning Guide – Version 2.1.” May, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA. Retrieved from on April 17, 2016.

Construction, M. H. (2014). Smart Market report: the business value of BIM for construction in major global markets. Retrieved from McGraw-Hill Construction website: http://analyticsstore. construction. com/smartmarket-reports/GlobalBIMSMR14.html.

Eastman, C. M., Teicholz, P., & Sacks, R. (2011). BIM Handbook: A guide to building information modeling for owners, managers, designers, engineers, and contractors. John Wiley & Sons.

Kreider, R. & Messner, J. (2015). A Model Use Ontology. Proceedings of CIB 2015 World Building Congress.

Li, J., Wang, Y., Wang, X., Luo, H., Kang, S. C., Wang, J., ... & Jiao, Y. (2014). Benefits of building information modeling in the project lifecycle: construction projects in Asia. International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems, 11.

Mihindu, S., & Arayici, Y. (2008). Digital construction through BIM systems will drive the re-engineering of construction business practices. In Visualization, 2008 International Conference (pp. 29-34). IEEE.


I am thankful to Prof. Shang-Hsien Hsieh for his support throughout this research process. I would like to thank all the respondents of this survey for their efforts in providing inputs. And, I like to thank the active members of India BIM Association who put in their efforts for spreading BIM awareness among Indian AECO industry and academia and for their efforts in data collection.

About the Author

Dr. Amarnath Chegu Badrinath is a Change Agent for Digital Built and BIM Adoption in Indian AECO Sector. He is the Founder and President of the National BIM Society - India Building Information Modelling Association. Over the course of his career, he held positions as Researcher Assistant, Assistant Professor, Entrepreneur and Advisory in India, Taiwan, Spain and UK. He has research experience of nine years in the field of BIM and Digitalization at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, National Taiwan University, Imperial College London and University of Barcelona combined. He has participated in few international conferences published journal papers and book chapters in this area. His key research focus is on two directions i.e. Establishing BIM project strategies; and BIM education & training. And these two directions merge with what can be considered the main shortage in India Construction Policies: how BIM can help the huge amount of new infrastructure and building projects and how BIM would have to be introduce in the learning plans and syllabus of all AECO universities. He is an Advisory Member for EU BIM Observatory and BIMCrew. Country Editor (India) for BIM Dictionary – BIMe initiative. Member of CIOB, ASCE & RICS. Editorial team member for IJM&P journal and ISCCCBE technical committee member. Dr. Amarnath CB is playing an active role as an Advisory Member for several Digital Built India initiatives and he can be contacted through Linkedin, Facebook, ResearchGate, Skype:, Mob: +91 9686623376

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