In the last two years not only the familiarity with BIM increased, the usage of BIM increased also slightly among European architects. At the same time European architects have several expectations from manufacturers in relation to BIM. The availability of BIM product information in open source libraries is expected most frequently and therefore seen as one of the most important aspects on which the manufacturer can contribute. These are some of the conclusions of the Q4 2015 European Architectural Barometer report, a quarterly research among 1,600 architects in eight European countries. European architects act as a leading indicator for the construction activities.
Overall, architects expect from manufacturers that they make their BIM product information available in open source libraries, followed by providing 3D BIM object information for their assortment and providing technical product information/ specifications for BIM. In Germany, Italy and Poland a high number of architects expect manufacturers to provide trainings in order to be able to work with BIM. In these countries the awareness and usage of BIM are lowest among architects. Especially in Italy a lack of knowledge seems to be a problem, as many architects said this is the most important reason why they don’t use BIM. In the other European countries there is less need for trainings directly from manufacturers.
In the United Kingdom and the Netherlands the demand for 3D BIM object information for their assortment increased slightly compared to 2013. Results of the Q4 2015 European Architectural Barometer furthermore indicate the demand for 3D BIM object information to be the highest in these two countries. We can clearly see that the United Kingdom and the Netherlands are at the forefront of BIM knowledge as well as BIM usage, as respectively 36% of the British architects and more than half of the Dutch architects use BIM.
France is an upcoming country when it comes to the familiarity and usage of BIM. In France a bigger growth is seen in the usage of BIM compared to the other European countries, which is a result of the promotion of the usage of BIM among architects by the government of France. The French launched a program to modernise the building industry called ‘batiment 2.0’, which means 500,000 dwellings per year are build using BIM.
In France the expectations regarding being able to engineer in BIM from manufacturers increased massively compared to 2013. In 2013 only 2 per cent of the French architects who were familiar with BIM indicated that they expect manufacturers to enable engineering in BIM software, which increased to 29 per cent in 2015.
It should be noted that architects are divided about which BIM objects they expect from manufacturers regarding building components. Taking all countries into account, general construction is most expected as BIM objects, followed by windows and doors. In Spain, Italy and Poland BIM objects from manufacturers are by far most expected for general construction while in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands the architects would like to have BIM objects available mainly for windows and doors.
These and many other results and trends of the developments of the European construction market can be found in the European Architectural Barometer, an international market research conducted among 1,600 architects in Europe. This study is conducted in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium and Poland by Arch-Vision four times a year. The research covers the developments of architectural turnover, order volumes and the impact of the crisis. Besides these economic statistics, a specific topic is highlighted each quarter. The topic in Q4 2015 was ‘Building Information Modeling (BIM)’. Architects can be used not only as a reliable source for future building volumes information, but their role is very important as they have great influence on how projects are built and which materials are used.