Global BIM Adoption

Introduction. Building Information Modeling (BIM), being one of the major developments in Architectural, Engineering, Construction and Operation (AECO) industry over the last two decades, has shifted many countries towards BIM adoption along with BIM implementation mandates in projects for contractors by Government organizations. Many countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, China, the Scandinavian countries (Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden), France, South Korea, etc. have adopted BIM technology at public level projects (see figure1). Government bodies play an important role in encouraging the adoption and spreading of BIM awareness, by setting laws, developing BIM standards, creating BIM guidelines that can be taken up and implemented by private sector. Cheng and Lu (2015) has conducted an extensive review on how several countries had invested their efforts on BIM technology and workflow diffusion in their projects. For better understanding on this topic, we explore BIM adoption across the globe. 

Figure 1. BIM Adoption efforts from Public sector (Courtesy: Amarnath 2017)

United States

The United States has been the most rigorous in adopting and promoting BIM from its initial stages. It has implemented BIM from national university level to various levels of public sector, which has helped in BIM adaptations over the years. In 2003, 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. Apart from these,  US has induced BIM at various levels 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 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) and 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 by National Institute of Building Sciences building SMART alliance® which covers full life cycle of buildings governing BIM. Currently in January 2017, NIBS released its new guideline to help building owners use BIM which enables them to create and fulfill BIM requirements for a typical project from their point of view. Several initiatives have also been taken at university level  in US. For example, Pennsylvania State University (PSU) has published several BIM standards since 2009 as building SMART project and several  versions of BIM Project Execution Planning Guide (Computer Integrated Construction Research Program, 2009); it also released BIM PEP Guide version 2.1 officially in May 2011 (Computer Integrated Construction Research Program, 2011). It defines 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.

United Kingdom

UK is one the major countries which has 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 strategy to adopt BIM Level 2 by 2016. So 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 government’s target by 2016. One of such work package focused on 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) being 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 government’s 2016 goal. Later  for the public sector in the U.K by 2013, CIC and BIM Task Group co-produced BIM guidelines documents  .The first one, BIM Protocol v1 which 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 have BIM Protocols v2.0 which aims on 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.


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 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 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 in the country.


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 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.


China being one of the largest countries, also has a major AEC industry in the world. However, the Chinese Government has taken multiple initiatives to promote BIM usage and encouragement , like the 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 as well. The Chinese government had allotted investment for green buildings and projects as big as 20,000 square meters for BIM adoption in Construction and designing level. Ongoing few big projects 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 as the current mind set continues it will see gradual progress in recent years to come.


India, being a multi-billion dollar AECO industry and the second largest growing industry, has tremendous potential and scope for growth of BIM. Although the nation has shown significantly slow growth in BIM adoption due to many barriers in the current system but as a whole it is changing rapidly. Recent initiatives set by Indian government, such as Make in India, is serving to grow the AECO industry. There are many mega projects undertaken recently, e.g. high-end road ways or express ways, metro train projects and proposed bullet train project between two cities of India, i.e. Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The initiation of these projects necessitates focus on various technical and non-technical aspects along with technologies, especially the infrastructure for such initiatives.  AECO industry field players in the nation state BIM usage as about sixty-eight percent on residential projects; lowest usage was recorded in infrastructure sector as per study done by RICS India (Sawhney et al. 2014). According to Experts, BIM is given importance in design and development stage followed by construction stage. Several private sectors in India have shown interest in BIM adoption with roughly followed standards maintained by the US. As stated in one of the case overviews by Autodesk, a private firm ‘Intec Infra-Technologies’ which specializes in BIM adoption in different aspect of construction phase has carried on a project of 500+ acres land development in Gurgaon, India (Autodesk 2015). Other major project accomplished with Indian Government intervention notably is Nagpur Metro. Studies done by various bodies show significant influence of BIM in the Industry and paves a positive progress for BIM in the country.

Several building and non-building projects are delivered with BIM technology and workflows in Indian market (Amarnath 2017). Few of these projects include: Gift city project, Gandhinagar; Personal Rapid Transit in Amritsar; Delhi IGI airport; Bhopal smart city; Dholera smart city; IBIS 4-star Hotel in Chennai; Power plant in Vidharbha; Corporate office building in Noida; The opus Gurgaon, Delhi; KEF Infra’s – Maitra Hospital, Kozhikode, Kerala;  NMRC’s – Nagpur Metro; Infosys Knowledge Park, Bangalore, Karnataka; AURIC Aurangabad Industrial city; Apollo premier, Indore India; Navi Mumbai international airport, Mumbai; Phoenix Golf Edge, Hyderabad; L&T Emerald Isle Club House, Powai, Mumbai; Mumbai Polycab Experience Center, Mumbai; Halol, Gujarat;  GoldFish Abode Zresta, Hyderabad and Supertech’s – Super NOVA, Noida.

Other than the aforementioned countries, Hong Kong, South Korea and  few other countries are moving towards BIM acceptance and are upgrading themselves in technology field. BIM is explored with different research directions across the globe (Global Trend in BIM research , Amarnath, 2016). It is clear 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 such as Taiwan, South Korea and  UK are following similar lines. Other top research direction is ‘Building Information Services’ and ‘Standardization’ at 16% and 14% in US, UK and Netherlands. According to the study, American and European nations are notably 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. However, Asian market is still at nascent state where they are yet to benefit out of the process and focused on optimization and process visualization.

In conclusion, BIM in AECO industry is in limelight around the globe. Nations like United States,  UK, Singapore and few European and Asian countries are on the top in BIM usage and project delivery with maturity levels 2 & 3; although other parts of the globe are relatively behind in BIM adoption, but are showing massive progress. 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. URL:

Amarnath CB (2017). BIM Implementation in India. India BIM Association Archives post. 10th September 2017. URL:

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. 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 proof reading. And, like to thank IBIMA, Active members for their constant support.

Guest Author         

Soumo Bose is a Civil Enthusiast  and he is currently working as a project coordinator at a Construction company in UAE . He is an Active Member at India BIM Association. He has a professional career built in different directions from past six years i.e. as a site engineer, project coordinator,  branding expert and  start-up planner. He dwells hands on experience on  computer  programing language like Python and have worked for multiple startups. His interests are in Entrepreneurship, Technology, Building information Modeling, Management, Social media and public relations, cooking and coffee skills. You can contact Soumo Bose on

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