More NAHB members are familiar with and are using Building Information Modeling (BIM) for their businesses, a recently conducted NAHB survey shows. BIM is a process for managing the information produced during a construction project, in a common format, from the earliest feasibility stage through design, construction, operation and finally demolition, in order to make the most efficient use of that information. A representation of a building project in BIM format typically consists of a three-dimensional model integrated with an informational database about materials, products, components, systems and their properties and performance.
In a 2016 survey of architects, single-family and multifamily builders, 27 percent of respondents said they were familiar with BIM, compared to 17 percent who reported being familiar in 2014. During this period, the share who never heard of BIM declined from 43 percent to 32 percent (Figure 1).
The most revealing finding from this year’s survey is that a significantly larger share of those who are familiar with BIM are actually using it in their businesses. Of the 27 percent who are familiar with BIM, 47 percent are currently using it. This is a large jump compared to 2014: of the 17 percent who were familiar with BIM that year, only 27 percent were actually using it for their businesses (Figure 2).
Awareness about BIM, however, varies significantly by member type. While nearly 80 percent of architects in the survey say they are familiar with it, the share is only 30 percent among multifamily builders and 21 percent among single-family builders. Actual use, on the other hand, is more consistent: around half of single-family builders and architects who are familiar with BIM are currently using it. According to the survey, the two most-commonly used aspects of BIM are computer-aided design/drafting and reviewing three dimensional plans.