UK BIM Alliance State of the Nation

In June the UK BIM Alliance, the UK’s industry-led community for building information modelling (BIM), published the results of their State of the Nation Survey Report. Dan Rossiter FCIAT, BSI Sector-Lead and UK BIM Alliance Ambassador reflects on the findings and what they mean for the built environment.

During 2020, the UK BIM Alliance oversaw a State of the Nation Survey which asked professionals within the built environment about building information modelling (BIM) and its implementation. I was pleased to see the results of this survey published within the Alliance’s State of the Nation Survey Report. With over 1100 respondees from a diverse array of locations, organizations, and specialisms across the UK and Ireland, there are several insights within I wanted to highlight.

Adoption: Firstly, it is great to see that almost all the respondees (95%) are aware and the majority (65%) are implementing BIM. While it is near impossible to avoid selection bias, the fact that around 55 respondees are not aware of BIM at all shows that they survey was able to reach across the built environment. This is in no doubt thanks to the organizations which supported the Alliance in promoting the survey, including BSI, CDBB, CIBSE and CIAT. On the topic of implementation, it is also great to see that most respondees who implement BIM conform to the UK BIM Framework Standards and their own aligned business processes; showing that our standards are providing value to these respondees. In addition, it is interesting to observe that the ISO 19650 series appears to now be more prevalent than the BS/PAS 1192 series following a steady transition to the new international standards.

Benefits: Personally, it is most heartening to see the main benefits of implementation being reported are: improved coordination and communication, better quality, and reduced rework and waste. Many of the provisions within the UK BIM Framework Standards are derived from Government sponsored Construction Research Programme undertaken in the early 2000s on the ‘Avanti Approach’ which reported similar benefits. Seeing the same benefits being reported suggests that the approach and its principles have been preserved despite the transition to national, and subsequently, international standards.

Barriers: Conversely it is worrying to see that when compared to other surveys, such as those undertaken by NBS, the main barriers to implementation appear to have remained static. In 2020, NBS’s 10th Annual BIM report also reported lack of client demand and lack of expertise/training as its main barriers, as they have done in previous reports in 2019, 2018.  While I hope that the reference to the UK BIM Framework within the The Construction Playbook may catalyse client demand, it appears clear that respondees don’t feel they have access to the training or skills needed; perhaps presenting an opportunity for a disrupter to enter the market or an existing provider to innovate?


At BSI, we strive to inspire trust, through the dissemination of good practice.  As such, it is fantastic to see that most respondees would look to us for information on BIM before using a search engine or even asking a colleague! We plan to continue supporting bodies such as the UK BIM Alliance and the Construction Leadership Council to ensure we can collectively provide thought leadership to support the digital transformation of the built environment. 

It is clear from this report that those implementing BIM see several benefits around productivity and coordination. If you wish to leverage these benefits and prepare for a rise in client demand, consider implementing the UK BIM Framework within your organization.