Bibliometrics survey for adoption of BIM in construction industry– A Safety Perspective

Introduction: The construction industry is multidisciplinary in nature and various operations are executed at the same time. One of the major resources for executing construction operations is the human workforce. Management of this workforce with effective safety provisions is a prime factor for reducing accidents on construction sites. Nowadays, technologies such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) offer the potential to manage safety on-site with their automatic safety checking capability. BIM is a model-based smart nD platform that offers tools for architecture, engineering, and construction proficient to plan, design, and manage construction activities more efficiently. Despite its growing use globally, BIM has not been adopted sufficiently in the Indian construction industry. This study presents a bibliometrics analysis of the adoption of BIM in the global construction and the Indian construction industry. It also reviews the adoption of BIM for safety in the global and Indian construction industry. The bibliometrics analysis is carried out in two phases, at first it reviews the adoption of BIM globally, and limits the findings to cover BIM adoption in the Indian construction industry. Secondly, it reviews the adoption of BIM for safety in global construction and limits the findings to cover BIM adoption for safety in India. For this survey, Scopus database has been used for surveying the research in the selected domain. Results obtained for Phase I and Phase II with selected set of keywords is illustrated in Table 1.

Table 1: Obtained results with selected keywords

Phase I: Bibliometrics Survey of BIM Adoption on Construction Sites

Scopus revealed the results of 6039 documents globally for part A (I), starting from the year 1991 through mid of the year 2020. Documents appeared from countries such as the United States, China, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Canada, South Korea, Italy, Malaysia, HK, Taiwan, Finland, and many more. Geographical attentiveness of 6039 documents of BIM adoption in the construction sector shows, a total of 96 different countries are involved globally (Figure 1), out of which 286 documents are observed from undefined countries.

Figure 1: Geographical location of BIM Researches in Global Construction Sector

Among the 96 countries observed globally, countries with publications more than 70, are illustrated in Figure 2. For part A of phase I, the top 5 countries having maximum documents published include, the United States of America, China, United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia. India is at the 17th position out of a total of 50 countries.

Figure 2: Documents by global countries- Phase I (Part A)

Indian construction industry is progressing slowly in implementing BIM due to various barriers to technology. Barriers such as Mind-set issues, difficulties in adapting to frequent design changes, unavailability of specialist consultants and skilled resources, compatibility between software, high cost of hardware and software, unavailability of guidelines for process implementation, No government mandate for BIM implementation are prevalent. However, the Indian government has adopted BIM in construction projects including personal rapid transit in Amritsar (in the year 2012), Bangalore Airport (2018), Nagpur Metro Rail (2017), Delhi Metro Rail (2018). As per the Ziggurat GIT, architectural companies are the largest consumers of BIM on the Indian market. There needs to be a change in the main stakeholder mentality. Implementation of BIM has many benefits and a push for government mandate can positively impact the level of research, adoption, and implementation.

· Leading Authors: Researchers play an important role in leading research and some have more prominence in a subject area than others. The top 10 global authors for phase I in Part A and Part B are listed in Figure 3 and Figure 4 in the descending order of the number of publications they have authored. However, this list does not consider the co-authorship between these publications.

Figure 3: Documents by global authors-Phase1 (left image) &

by Indian authors-Phase2 (right image)

Phase II: Bibliometrics Survey for Adoption of BIM for Safety on Construction Sites

The construction industry is highly exposed to accidents. On-site accidents can cause serious injuries or may cause the death of labour. Safety is one of the crucial factors for productivity improvement; it's still highly ignored area by the organization. Phase II of bibliometrics survey is carried for BIM adoption in construction, especially for 'safety'. Part A resulted in a total of 549 documents globally. Part B of phase II regarding BIM adoption for safety in Indian construction revealed a total nine documents. The bar chart in Figure 5 shows the top 15 countries having maximum publications globally.

Figure 5: Documents by Global Countries-Phase II (Part A)

Further, the United Kingdom has 47 documents. India has 9 documents in BIM, particularly in safety. Evidently, the adoption of BIM for safety is still in the embryonic state. There is clearly a need for more initiatives in the field of BIM adoption, particularly for construction safety, if the challenges cited earlier are to be addressed. This analysis also emphasizes on the scope of research in this domain. For safety management researches such as development of an automated models using BIM and safety, BIM-based fall hazard identification, BIM-based automated scaffolding, BIM-based risk identification, accident prevention through design are explored. Accident rates on Indian construction sites are still increasing and current safety management methods are insufficient. Only nine documents for BIM implementation in safety invites attention to the fact that the majority of the BIM uses are limited to design and engineering in India.

Leading Authors: The leading authors for phase II, Part A and Part B are listed in Fig 6 & 7.

Figure 4: Documents by global authors-phase2 (left image) & indian authors (right image)

Year Wise Data for Indian Publications for Phase I and II:

Considering BIM as a productive source for India, there was a need to find out its adoption year, fields of adoption, its adoption form, and the percentage of adoption in Indian construction. A line graph below shows yearly published documents in this field (Figure 8) from the year 2010 to 2020. Publications in the domain of adoption of BIM is increasing, where as its adoption for safety in particular is at initial stage. Research in the field of BIM adoption for safety in India are observed from the year 2011 to 2019.

Figure 8: Year wise data for Indian publications for both the phase

Conclusion: This paper is a part of a wider research study that focuses on “BIM for safety” in the Indian construction industry. The findings of this survey have aided in understanding that the adoption of BIM in India, is still at the embryonic stage. Clearly, there are some notable BIM ‘champions’ who have initiated BIM research in India. Given that the body of knowledge in BIM for safety in India has at its best been scant, there is a huge opportunity for researching into the adoption of BIM for safety in Indian construction industry.

The work of most active Indian authors is observed in the area of BIM implementation for parametric modeling, design process, BIM, and GIS for safety planning. It is also witnessed that majority of the studies in India have been limited to examining the barriers to or challenges for BIM adoption, and not necessarily on its implementation. This is indicative of the early stages of adoption. In countries that are leading in BIM adoption, much of the thrust has come from the government mandating its adoption. This has accelerated the adoption of BIM in these countries. No such mandate exists in India. That isn’t to say that its importance hasn’t been recognized. NGOs such as IBIMA, are committed to raising BIM awareness and developing a critical mass of projects and activities aimed at giving BIM the podium it deserves. IBIMA with its membership spread globally and nationally, has been a major force for pushing the BIM agenda and has contributed towards the digitalization in the Indian AECO-sector.

BIM has potential to reduce the cost overrun, time overrun, and to provide a quality outcome. Along with the application of digital representation of the structure, scheduling, clash detection, quantity takeoff, BIM, with its visualization capability could help identify common hazards and the risks they present. This could help contractors, labours to take preventive measures, and minimize or manage the hazards effectively. Given that BIM adoption in India is still in its infancy, it has not been used in Indian construction for safety purposes. BIM has the potential to gain noteworthy benefits for the Indian construction industry. Successful implementation of BIM requires a transformation in the process and practice of all involved stakeholders. It is important to comprehend that BIM, is not just software, but a process where all the stakeholders ultimately come together and manage construction processes effectively and efficiently. Only then can its benefits be truly realized.

The data obtained in the study is limited to Scopus database.


· Bibliometric data accessed from scopus database in June 2020. https://

· T. Gerrish, K. Ruikar, M. Cook, M. Johnson, M. Phillip, and C. Lowry, “BIM application to building energy performance visualisation and management Challenges and potential,” Energy Build., vol. 144, pp. 218–228, 2017, doi: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2017.03.032.

· R. Ahuja, M. Jain, A. Sawhney, and M. Arif, “Adoption of BIM by architectural firms in India: technology–organization–environment perspective,” Archit. Eng. Des. Manag., vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 311–330, 2016, doi: 10.1080/17452007.2016.1186589.

· D. A. Patel and K. N. Jha, “An estimate of fatal accidents in Indian construction,” Proc. 32nd Annu. ARCOM Conf. ARCOM 2016, no. September, pp. 539–548, 2016.

· S. Ahmed, “Causes and Effects of Accident at Construction Site : A Study for the Causes and Effects of Accident at Construction Site : A Study for the Construction Industry in Bangladesh,” no. December 2019, 2020, doi: 10.30880/ijscet.2019.10.02.003.

· S. Zhang, J. Teizer, J. K. Lee, C. M. Eastman, and M. Venugopal, “Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Safety: Automatic Safety Checking of Construction Models and Schedules,” Autom. Constr., vol. 29, pp. 183–195, 2013, doi: 10.1016/j.autcon.2012.05.006.

· M. M. Hossain and S. Ahmed, “Developing an automated safety checking system using BIM: a case study in the Bangladeshi construction industry,” Int. J. Constr. Manag., vol. 0, no. 0, pp. 1–19, 2019, doi: 10.1080/15623599.2019.1686833.

· S. Alizadehsalehi, I. Yitmen, T. Celik, and D. Arditi, “The effectiveness of an integrated BIM/UAV model in managing safety on construction sites,” Int. J. Occup. Saf. Ergon., vol. 0, no. 0, pp. 1–16, 2018, doi: 10.1080/10803548.2018.1504487.

· K. Kim, Y. Cho, and K. Kim, “BIM-Driven Automated Decision Support System for Safety Planning of Temporary Structures,” J. Constr. Eng. Manag., vol. 144, no. 8, pp. 1–11, 2018, doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0001519.

· Amarnath C.B. “India Building Information Modelling Association ( R .) BIM implementation in India, India Building Information Modelling Association ( R .),” pp. 1–10, 2020.

· S. Zhang, K. Sulankivi, M. Kiviniemi, I. Romo, C. M. Eastman, and J. Teizer, “BIM-based fall hazard identification and prevention in construction safety planning,” Saf. Sci., vol. 72, pp. 31–45, 2015, doi: 10.1016/j.ssci.2014.08.001.

· K. Kim, Y. Cho, and S. Zhang, “Integrating work sequences and temporary structures into safety planning: Automated scaffolding-related safety hazard identification and prevention in BIM,” Autom. Constr., vol. 70, pp. 128–142, 2016, doi: 10.1016/j.autcon.2016.06.012.


I am thankful to Dr. Sayali Sandbhor and Dr. Kirti Ruikar for guidance and support throughout this research process.

For detailed research article: Hire, S., Sandbhor, S. & Ruikar, K. Bibliometrics Survey for Adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM) in Construction Industry– A Safety Perspective. Archives of Computational Methods Engineering (2021).


Guest Author

Ms. Shalaka Hire

Ph.D. Scholar and Junior Research Fellow,

Department of Civil Engineering

Symbiosis Institute of Technology,

A Constituent of Symbiosis International (Deemed University), India


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