Large practices acknowledge financial benefits but can’t always get the staff

The difficulty of finding staff with the right skills is hindering the adoption of BIM by architects, despite its potential to pull in higher fees.

Nearly 50% of architects say there is potential for their practices to boost revenues if they develop their expertise in BIM – but many report problems recruiting suitable staff.

Lack of client interest is another problem reported by small and medium-size practices, while hostility from subcontractors and specialists is a barrier encountered by the biggest firms.

The findings come in a new survey by BD’s sister title Building which also found small practices continue to lag behind large firms on BIM.

More than half of architects with a turnover below £1 million have not used BIM level 2 on projects, while just over half of medium-size firms, with a turnover of £1 to 9 million, have – and 57% of firms with a turnover of more than £10 million.

Level 2 has been a government requirement on public sector projects since last year.

A third of practices report that more than 50% of their workload involves working with BIM, but that figure rises to almost two-thirds for the biggest practices.

Two-thirds of the biggest practices also say that the benefits of BIM are “real and substantial”, while nearly half of the smallest firms describe the benefits as “over-hyped”.

Improved clash detection is the chief benefit for bigger firms, who are also the most bullish about BIM’s potential for generating bigger fee income.

Building’s survey also found that all consultants agreed architects were the most likely to drive BIM adoption on projects and to take on the roles of BIM co-ordinator and BIM information manager.


Learn more about BIM

There is a BIM stream at this year’s Building Live conference which is taking place on November 28 in Bishopsgate. Find out more or book tickets at

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