Friday, August 4, 2017

Wavin highlights some of the pains and gains of BIM adoption in the EU

BIM adoption is a hot topic, not just for Wavin, but for anyone who uses BIM modelling in their business. Architects, engineers, construction managers and BIM modellers are all trying to use the best tools to accomplish their work easily, quickly, accurately and cost-effectively. That said, countries throughout Europe have reacted differently to the BIM phenomenon – from cold to lukewarm to sizzling hot. In the Netherlands, UK and France, BIM has received a very warm reception – and is widely used from the design/planning stages through to installation. In countries like Italy and Poland, not so much. So what are some of the pains and gains that are impacting BIM adoption in Europe? Let’s find out… 

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is still one of the most promising developments in the construction industry.
Dirk Hoogenboom , Research Consultant, USP Marketing Consultancy

BIM is changing the way we design, plan and construct. With a 3D BIM rendering, the computer model visually highlights where parts of the building (e.g. structural frame and building services pipes or ducts) intersect. Until now mainly generic pipe systems were used in BIM projects. The limited availability of Revit piping packages and the complexity of picking the right fittings in a pipe system has been a challenge – a challenge that has been resolved by Wavin’s BIM Revit content packages. These packages will allow users to reach a fully accurate representation of the way piping systems will actually be installed – easily and without the use of any product catalogues. Since its launch back in May 2016, Wavin’s BIM Revit packages have been well-received in countries throughout Europe – some more than most, based on the different requirements and needs. For example, in the UK, BIM is used throughout the entire process. In Poland, BIM is primarily used only in the design phase.

A little perspective

There are many designers and installers throughout the continent who are still using 2D modelling. CAD is comfortable, easy and uncomplicated for many. Change can be difficult sometimes. The functionality and capability of BIM models (3D+) far exceed that of the old, traditional CAD drawings. See the chart below, for a comparison of the two.

So who is familiar with BIM – and to what degree? Clearly, we can see that Dutch installers (specifically, the HVAC installers) are embracing the BIM phenomenon – with only 39% being unfamiliar with BIM.  Since HVAC installers are more involved with the whole construction process (from beginning to end), it stands to reason that they would be more aware, involved and eager to embrace the benefits and advantages of using BIM (such as ease of use, accuracy, precision, speed, cost-effectiveness, etc). According to the BouwKennis report on “BIM –Trends en Ontwikkelingen 2015, “ 9 out of 10 architects are aware of BIM  (61% use BIM in projects), 44% of the contractors polled use BIM in projects, and 60% of the installers know about BIM (33% use it in projects).

Polling those who are familiar with BIM, here are some of their perceived pains and gains by using BIM.  Cost, training and complexity were the top three pains for many of the countries polled. But there were more gains than pains, overall. The top gains were error-free designs and installations, reduced calculation time, speed of use and lower failure costs.



Optimizing their business is a number one reason for architects adopting BIM in daily practice. In Italy, for example, there has been a steady (though moderate) rise in the use of BIM. 50% of the architects who don’t use BIM will likely not do so in the future. Those who will adopt BIM are doing so because they want to grow their business and be more competitive. Unlike Italy, France has seen an exponential increase in BIM adoption. According to the latest report of the European Architectural Barometer, the most popular software (by far) that is used is Autodesk’s Revit.

Below is a comparison between BIM adopters in the UK, the Netherlands and France – showing the extent to which BIM is adopted and applied in projects. In both the UK and the Netherlands, BIM is used across the board, but most especially in the design phase. Whereas in France, it is used overwhelmingly in the development phase.

Next generation of designing

"BIM can be seen as a ‘next generation’ way of designing, engineering, sharing and making use of information in the building process. It helps architects, engineers, and constructors visualize what is to be built in a simulated environment to identify any potential design, construction, or operational issues. Furthermore, it encourages integration of the roles of all stakeholders on a project and in some countries BIM is mandatory in order to get assignments from government principals." - Dirk Hoogenboom

We’ve provided you with some of the research data that has been collected and analyzed by Dutch market research company, USP Marketing Consultancy. BIM adoption is spreading throughout Europe, but there is still much progress to be made in raising awareness, training and convincing some of the more skeptical stakeholders.  When we designed our Revit content packages, our objective was (and still is) to help BIM modellers to work with ease, speed and precision. We will certainly continue to do our utmost to make sure that more and more BIM modellers learn about (and hopefully adopt) BIM.

Check out our tutorials on the Wavin Group YouTube channel. They will give you an idea of how easily BIM and, more specifically, our Revit content packages, can be used.

Download your Wavin Revit packages now

The Wavin BIM Revit files are country-specific. If you have any questions, or if your country is not mentioned, please connect to your local Wavin Company or contact person.