Study: Rapid increase expected in use of BIM for infrastructure projects

NEW YORK — In the latest SmartMarket Report, “Business Value of BIM for Infrastructure: Addressing America's Infrastructure Challenges through Technology and Collaboration,” McGraw-Hill Construction demonstrates that, while the adoption and implementation of BIM in the infrastructure sector is a few years behind vertical construction, the complexity of large infrastructure projects and the benefits BIM offers for greater productivity will lead to rapid growth in BIM use in this sector. With almost half (46 percent) of the organizations surveyed reporting the use of BIM on their infrastructure projects, adoption is already up from just 27 percent two years ago.

Once these organizations adopt BIM, the level of use rises rapidly — more than half of the organizations currently using BIM for infrastructure expect to be using it on more than 50 percent of their infrastructure projects by 2014.

A key finding of the report is that exposure to the benefits of BIM on vertical building projects increases the likelihood of the use of BIM for infrastructure projects as well. This finding is important because it indicates that there is a correlation between the increasing penetration of BIM use overall and the rise in BIM use for infrastructure.

"The transition to digitally-based collaborative processes for infrastructure work started later than it did with buildings," said Stephen Jones, senior director at McGraw-Hill Construction, "but we expect it will gain traction more quickly and have profoundly positive effects."

Other significant findings include:
• 67 percent of current users of BIM for infrastructure report a positive ROI on their BIM investments. Greater experience contributes to higher ROI — over 40 percent of the users who identify themselves as experts in BIM use for infrastructure report an ROI of 50 percent or greater.
• Among the companies not currently using BIM on their infrastructure work, 79 percent are open to considering it or are already evaluating it. Competitive pressure is helping drive adoption — over 70 percent of non-users perceive that their competitors and clients are using BIM.
• Most current users already enjoy reduced conflicts and changes, and improved project quality, and believe that the emerging benefits of lower project risk and greater predictability of project outcomes will motivate them to increase their use of BIM in the future.

"As the report highlights, the BIM process is delivering positive ROI on infrastructure projects, and can help engineering firms differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive market," said Lisa Campbell, vice president, Autodesk Engineering, Natural Resources, and Infrastructure. "Infrastructure owners and engineering firms serving the infrastructure market require integrated and cost-effective solutions that span the entire project lifecycle. Autodesk is committed to delivering technology that helps owners and engineering firms to solve their most complex challenges and drive better business results."

In addition to the research data findings, the BIM Infrastructure SmartMarket Report features thoughtful interviews with key representatives of the owner, engineer, contractor, industry association, and technology communities in order to provide actionable insights into the best investments in infrastructure BIM for technology, training, standards, and analysis tools. The report also features case studies describing cutting-edge approaches to BIM across the range of infrastructure project types, from the Panama Canal expansion to highway, transit, water, power, and airport projects, each addressing the unique challenges of infrastructure construction.

For more information, or to download the free report, visit http://construction.com/market_research.


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