Data-Driven AEC

Architecture, engineering, and construction is increasingly becoming a data-driven field and BIM (building information modeling) is at the heart of that transformation. How architects, engineers, and contractors deploy BIM and how they leverage the data from models and processes to improve decision-making, and how they can effectively power integrated digital workflows among project team members are the critical questions? A report from Dodge Data and Analytics, in cooperation with Autodesk, entitled Accelerating Digital Transformation Through BIM, offers some insight.
One of the most important findings of the study is the correlation between the depth of engagement with data-driven BIM processes, the intensity of BIM use (the share of projects on which BIM is used), and the degree to which the benefits of using BIM are experienced.
  • For architects and engineers, critical benefits—including business benefits like improved client satisfaction and design quality, risk reduction through increased stakeholder buy-in and reduced errors and rework, and additional meaningful sustainability and operational efficiency benefits—are experienced at a much higher level by those who are highly engaged with BIM.
  • Contractors with a deeper engagement with BIM also experience crucial benefits to a higher degree, including business benefits like improved win rates and increased percentage of successful projects, quality benefits like a reduced number of constructability issues onsite and reduced defects at handover, and many cost control, schedule and safety benefits, compared with those who are less engaged.
The report also suggests that BIM is a critical factor in a company’s larger process of digital transformation. The study suggests that BIM is a critical part of the digital transformation journey, with nearly half (47%) of high intensity BIM users approaching or near to achieving the goal of digital transformation, compared with just 26% of BIM users generally.
The study also offers insight into where the industry currently stands by providing a benchmark for the use of various digital technologies and approaches in five categories: design intelligence tools, innovative construction methods, jobsite technology, smart building technology, and data-sharing technology.
Among those, the top technologies among BIM users are cloud computing (42%), model-based simulation (33%), virtual/augmented/mixed reality (28%), 3D printing (25%), and reality capture (25%).
Technologies most strongly poised for growth, with a relatively high percentage who expect to adopt them in the next two to three years, include generative/outcome-based design (20%), 3D printing (19%), model-driven prefabrication (18%), model-driven simulation (18%), robotics/automated equipment (18%), reality capture (17%), and artificial intelligence/machine learning (17%).