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23 November 2020

NZ BIM Benchmark Survey 2020 Results Released

BIM Benchmark Survey 2020

2020 marks the seventh year of the BIM Benchmark survey — a research programme conducted by EBOSS and the BIM Acceleration Committee to understand the uptake of Building Information Modelling in New Zealand.

The survey looks at the use of BIM by three control groups:

  • Industry: Key users of BIM technology within the construction industry — with new additions to the sample in 2020
  • Clients: Property/asset managers with medium to large portfolios of property or other constructed assets
  • Subcontractors: Subcontractors from medium to large scale companies

In conjunction with the BIM Acceleration Committee, we are pleased to announce the results of the 2020 survey.

Here are some key findings from this year's research:

BIM Use has doubled from 2014 to 2020

Across our industry control group, the proportion of projects using BIM has doubled in the last six years, from 34% to 68% of projects. We see BIM largely used at the design and construct phases, with plan and operate falling behind.

We still need to be looking to subcontractors and clients to increase BIM use 

While subcontractors showed a healthy rise in the proportion of projects using BIM, we can see that there is still wide variation in the uptake of BIM among subcontractors. Some of this comes down to how industry supports and works with subcontractors to ensure the models provided are actually useable.

From a client perspective, the use of BIM has remained stable from 2019. We have great awareness of integrating digital and spatial information, however, the uptake has been slower than we would have liked. A lot of this comes down to legacy systems — for many it may be too hard to integrate BIM data within their current systems and ways of working.

The real benefits of BIM have come into clearer focus

Industry and subcontractor control groups show a strong level of agreement on the benefits of BIM — better coordination between parties, more accuracy and improved clash detection, and cost and workflow efficiency. At present, those benefits are limited to the design and construct phases. Benefits in the operate phase are still relatively idiosyncratic depending on the client.

Realising further benefits requires addressing the lack of alignment on BIM across the industry

The data is clear that saturation of BIM and the way it is used varies across the industry. When we look at what is driving this, there is a definite lack of alignment between industry, subcontractors, and clients around BIM.

Clients say they don’t specify the use of BIM because their supply chain can’t deliver. By contrast, industry say clients lack a real understanding of BIM and it’s benefits. Added to that, subcontractors frequently have to discard BIM models and start again because they are not designed with a subcontractor in mind.

The points of misalignment that need to be addressed show that we need to be tackling BIM on all fronts:


  • Not in a position to change from current practices
  • BIM is under-resourced and/or underfunded
  • The cost of BIM for operations outweighs the benefits — they don’t see the value
  • Industry believe clients have a lack of understanding of the benefits of BIM
  • Subcontractors say BIM is not specified in procurement


  • Industry participants aren’t all working to the same level (uneven use and skillsets, not using common data environments or file types)
  • Models aren’t always shared, even when BIM has been used
  • Models from design and consultants are not designed for subcontractors and the construct phase
  • BIM model has insufficient detail


  • Some can’t or won’t use BIM even when it is available
  • Two in five don’t collaborate with architects or designers on projects

Do we need to reconsider our focus for BIM?

This difference in use may exacerbate some perceptions of BIM’s value, as the "Design-Bid-Build" model means the major cost of using BIM (occurring in the design phase) is separated from the majority of benefit in the construct phase.

A lot of time and effort goes into producing a "single" project model which flows into an “as-built" model. Given the small number of clients using BIM to populate their widely used legacy systems, is this actually a costly attempt to shoehorn everybody on a project into a “one-size fits all”? Given the myriad of needs and uses for a model on a project, would a better BEP realise 20:80 rule benefits (20% of the effort realises 80% of the benefits)?

Click below to read the full report, and feel free to share your views in the comments section below!
Download the BIM Benchmark Survey 2020

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