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New Study Documents BIM Progress and Hurdles Among Civil Contractors

The latest Civil Quarterly report from Dodge Construction Network reveals what’s keeping some civil contractors from adopting BIM.

The use of BIM by midsize and large civil contractors continues to grow, according to the latest edition of The Civil Quarterly (TCQ) from Dodge Construction Network.

The report, produced in partnership with Infotech and Hexagon, is based on a quarterly survey of civil contractors and engineers that examines the business conditions that they face and also explores key trends. One of the focus topics in the latest report is BIM and digital twins.

The study reveals an 8% increase in midsize contractors using BIM over the last two years, and an 11% increase among large contractors.

Of those civil contractors using BIM, about half author models, with half reporting that they use and analyze models created by others.

However, 60% of civil contractors said they are still not using BIM.

The reason? Most say owners are not requesting it. Others cite a lack of skilled personnel to implement it, a lack of understanding of the value of BIM, and the cost of investing in the technology.

When asked which benefits would influence them to consider using BIM, contractors again point to owners as a key driver (26%), second only to a demonstrated reduction in construction costs (40%).

Significantly, among civil contractors that are using BIM, 41% indicate reduced construction costs as a primary benefit.

The biggest advantages cited by contractors that use BIM focus on its ability to enhance collaboration in construction. Better collaboration leads to fewer conflicts, field coordination problems and changes during construction, as well as improved construction planning and sequencing. Since these factors affect project schedule and budget, they also influence overall project success.

Other benefits of using BIM include better multiparty communication and understanding from 3D visualization, and reduced rework.

As for owners, the report notes that their demand for BIM is likely to grow as they become increasingly engaged in digital delivery and asset management of their projects. Both engineers and contractors anticipate that owners will expect them to support the creation of digital twins in the future, which will require BIM capabilities.

The full report includes an overview of current business conditions with a focus on the impact of the skilled worker shortage. It also includes a study on mental health issues and an outlook for civil construction in 2023. You can download the report here.

To learn how you can benefit from BIM adoption, contact us.

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