Global BIM Adoption

Updated: Jan 23, 2019

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is one of the major development that has been seen in Architectural, Engineering, Construction and Operation (AECO) industry over the last two decades. Many countries have taken a shift towards BIM adoption. Government organizations have made BIM implementation mandatory for contractors while delivering their projects. Many countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, China, the Scandinavian countries (Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden, etc.), France, South Korea, etc. as adopted BIM technology at public level projects (see figure1). Government bodies played an important role in encouraging the adoption and in spreading awareness of BIM by setting law, developing BIM standards, creating BIM guidelines that can be taken up by the private sector and can be implemented. Cheng and Lu (2015) have conducted an extensive review of how several countries had invested their efforts for BIM technology and workflow diffusion in their projects. For a better understanding of this topic, we had explored how BIM adoption is happening globally. Given below are the discussion on Global BIM adoption.

Figure 1. BIM Adoption efforts from Public sector.

First, the United States has been most rigorous in adopting and promoting BIM from its initial stages. It has implemented BIM from National university level to different level of the public sector which has helped in BIM adaptations over the years. Programs back from 2003 in the US, General Service Administration (GSA), Public Buildings Service (PBS) and Office of the Chief Architect (OCA) established the National 3D-4D-BIM Program. Later in 2007, US GSA had made goals for IFC BIMs on FY07 projects for improvement of design quality and construction delivery. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs also mandated BIM for all major construction and renovation projects (over $10M), starting in 2009. Otherwise, US has induced BIM at a different level in Public sector by setting BIM Standards and Guidelines in order to implement BIM effectively. As of 2015, 47 BIM standards developed by the public sector in the US were publicly available. Among them, 17 were from government bodies whereas 30 of them were from non-profit organizations. National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) published National Building Information Modeling Standard (NBIMS) has released National BIM Standard-United States, Version 3 by 2015 that had details supporting Construction Operation Building information exchange (COBIE) – Version 2.4. Later in July 2015, National BIM Standard-United States® (NBIMS-US™) Version 3 was released which covers the full life cycle of buildings governing BIM by National Institute of Building Sciences building SMART alliance®. Currently, in January 2017 NIBS released its new guideline to help building owners use BIM which provides building owners to create and fulfill BIM requirements for a typical project from their point of view. Several initiatives at the university level have also been taken at the US. For example, Pennsylvania State University (PSU) has published several BIM standards since 2009 as building SMART project and several version versions of BIM Project Execution Planning Guide (Computer Integrated Construction Research Program, 2009) and released BIM PEP Guide version 2.1 officially in May 2011 (Computer Integrated Construction Research Program, 2011). It defines a practical methodology for project teams to design BIM strategies and develop their own BIM PEP. Later 2.0 version guide was released in 2013 which presents three planning procedures to effectively integrate BIM within an organization, including strategic, implementation and procurement planning.

Second, the United Kingdom is one of the major countries which have highly participated in BIM adoption and advanced in BIM technology and workflows by setting its BIM standards and guidelines. The U.K. Government had made a strategy to adopt BIM Level 2 by 2016. Hence the BIM task group was established by 2011. Its aim was to bring Industry, government, public clients, professional institutions, and academia together. BIM task group had six main work packages to support the government’s target by 2016. One of such work package focused on the possibility of COBIE. Details of which can be found in Seeing the change many public bodies came up to put efforts in BIM adoption, Construction Industry Council (CIC) was one of them who drafted BIM protocol for supporting BIM working at Level 2. British Standards Institution B/555 committee (Construction design, modeling and data exchange) was another public body who published BIM standards to support the government’s 2016 goal. Later for the public sector in the U.K., CIC and BIM Task Group co-produced BIM guidelines documents by 2013. The first one, BIM Protocol v1 identifies BIM requirements that project teams should meet for all common construction contracts. The second one, namely the Best Practice Guide for Professional Indemnity Insurance, states the key risks that professional would meet in BIM projects. In the United Kingdom, many non-profit organizations came up such as the British Standards Institution (BSI) and the AEC-UK Committee who released BIM standards. Currently, AEC-UK has BIM Protocols v2.0 which aims at designing from consistent and coordination point of view to induce BIM. The BSI B/555 committee had released several standards for digital definition and exchange of life cycle information within the construction industry since 2007.

Third, Singapore was one of the earliest Asian countries to adopt BIM. In 1995 Construction Real Estate Network (CORENET) project was started to promote IT and BIM adoption in AEC industry. Later other government agencies came up, Building and Construction Authority (BCA) was one of them which participated in an e-submission system which mandated usage BIM and IFC in tendering. It stated BIM e-submission guidelines to highlight the major points of submission requirements. Later BCA implemented BIM Roadmap in 2010 which aimed 80% of construction to use BIM and e-submission of all projects above 5000 square meters by 2015. Further, as a part of the government plan, BCA established Center for Construction IT (CCIT) 2010 to help construction firms to adopt and use BIM. BCA also launched pilot projects in 2011. To prepare the whole industry for BIM, BCA conducted BIM training programs and designed training framework, as well as BIM conference for government and public sector bodies to promote BIM adoption. BCA later established BIM fund to encourage firms to use BIM technology and to hold different national and international BIM competition to encourage BIM innovation.

Fourth, Japan initially in the year 2010 Japan Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MLIT) got involved in BIM encouragement by introducing BIM pilot projects in government buildings and repairs. MLIT had encouraged the use of BIM since then. Apart from this several Government bodies have taken interest in BIM, for example in 2010, the Japan Federation of Construction Contractors (JFCC) established a BIM special section under its Building Construction Committee to focus on BIM adoption. The BIM Special Section aimed at standardizing the specifications and usage of BIM in order to increase the benefits of BIM in the construction stage. Japan Society of Civil Engineers (JSCE) has also done a fair job in introducing BIM standards in Japan.

Fifth, China being one of the largest countries, also has one of the major AEC industry in the world. However, China Government has taken multiple initiatives to promote BIM usage and encouragement, like 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011– 2015), during which BIM- Standard Guidelines were introduced for digitalization of construction industry (Jin et al. 2015). Separately BIM- construction standards were introduced into as well. The Chinese government had allotted investment for green building and projects as big as 20,000 square meters for BIM adoption in Construction and designing level. Ongoing few big projects going in the nation are Shanghai Disneyland Resort, Phoenix media center-Beijing & Shanghai tower- Shanghai. Overall, the country is slow in adopting BIM compared to the European market, But since the current mindset continues it will see gradual progress in recent years to come.

Sixth, India having a multi-billion dollar AECO industry and being the second largest growing industry has tremendous potential and scope for growth of BIM. Although the nation has shown a significantly slow growth in BIM adoption due to many barriers in the current system as a whole it's changing rapidly. However, we witnessed inclination towards real estate, particularly residential real estate projects. According to sources, usage of BIM in the infrastructure and industrial development domains is low. AECO industry players’ states BIM usage, about sixty-eight percent on residential projects and lowest usage was recorded in infrastructure sectors as per a study by RICS India (Sawhney et al. 2014).

According to Experts BIM is given most importance in the design and development stage followed by construction stage. Several private sectors in India has shown interest in BIM adoption with roughly followed standards maintained by the US. As stated in one of the case overviewed by Autodesk, a private firm ‘Intec Infra-Technologies’ which specializes in BIM adoption in a different aspect of construction phase has carried on the project being part of 500+ acres development of mixed-use BIM in, high rise project in Gurgaon, India (Autodesk 2015). Another major project accomplished with Indian Government intervention notably is Nagpur Metro. Studies done by various body shows a significant influence of BIM in the Industry and paves positive progress for BIM encouragement in the country.

Except for the above nations, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Other few other countries are moving towards BIM acceptance and are upgrading themselves in the technology field. Rapid research works happening in a different direction of BIM can be noticed happening all over the globe (Amarnath, 2016). It is clear in this article that China is leading with most publications in ‘Process simulation and Monitoring’ field which is also one of the top research directions at 22%. Other countries as Taiwan, South Korea, the UK are following similar lines. Another top research direction is Building Information Services and Standardization at 16% and 14% in the US, the UK, and the Netherlands. According to study, it is clear that American and European nations are much more advanced in BIM usage since their focus is mostly on Standardization and Building Information Services, as they are already benefiting from BIM workflows and are more into standardization of process, Whereas Asian market is still in nascent state where they are yet to benefit out of the process and focused on optimization and process visualization.

In conclusion, BIM in the AECO industry is in focus around the globe. Nations like the United States, the UK, Singapore, and few European and Asian countries are on the top in BIM usage and encouragement to deliver BIM projects with maturity level 2 & 3, whereas other parts of the globe are relatively behind in BIM adoption, but are showing massive growth rest assured with times to come BIM shows very promising prospect for overthrowing the current practices in the Industry and bringing information to a single source of contact which would result in faster, safer, cheaper and better risk managed projects delivered as per client's expectation.


Amarnath CB (2016). “Global trends in BIM research”. BIM ThinkSpace blog post. 28th September 2016.


Autodesk (2015). Global BIM standards customized for Indian Needs. Autodesk Customer Success story. Company: Intec Infra-Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Gurgaon, India. URL:

Cheng, J. C., & Lu, Q. (2015). A review of the efforts and roles of the public sector for BIM adoption worldwide. Journal of Information Technology in Construction (ITcon), 20(27), 442-478.

Jin, R., Tang, L., and Fang, K., 2015. The investigation into the current stage of BIM application in China’s AEC industries. WIT Transactions on The Built Environment, 149, pp.493-503.

Sawhney, A., Kapoor, A., Kamthan, S., Agarwal, N., Bhakre, P., & Jain, S. (2014). State of BIM adoption and outlook in India. RICS Research, Dillí.


I would like to thank Amarnath CB for supporting me throughout the process of data collection and proofreading. And, like to thank IBIMA, Active members for their constant support.

About the Author


Soumo Bose is a Civil Engineer by profession. He is currently part of a PMC team as a project planner-coordinator at Arab Tech Cont LLC-UAE. He has more than five years of experience in Civil related works, as an Entrepreneur-digital marketing and web designing. He serves as a mentor for setting up business strategies and branding. He has worked hand in hand with his clients. He can speak Bengali, hindi, German and Arabic. You can contact Bose on email