Study says 'long way to go' in EU HVAC industry’s BIM awareness

The HVAC and plumbing sectors of Britain and the Netherlands lead counterparts from several other European nations in their awareness of Building Information Modelling (BIM), a survey of 1,002 industry representatives in the EU from marketing consultancy USP has found.

The survey stated that Dutch respondents’ awareness of BIM, which allows for complex data to be brought together to support decision making around building performance, rose to 67 per cent from 61 per cent in a 2015 study. UK HVAC industry awareness of BIM was up to 40 percent from 37 per cent over the same period of time, according to the findings.

While understanding of this type of modelling in six European countries had increased over the last three years, USP concluded in its survey that this change was driven largely by larger-scale, non-residential work. The consultancy group claimed that a significant number of small projects were not presently making use of BIM within decision making.

USP stated, “The main conclusion is that there is still a long way to go for a full adoption of BIM in the installation sector, because not all installers are aware of BIM yet. Besides the low awareness, cost and the place in the value chain of BIM are key barriers for BIM adoption.”

“However as can be seen with the adoption rate of BIM by architects and contractors, BIM will become increasingly important in the future (especially in in non-residential new build projects).”

The findings are based on interviews with individuals working across the HVAC and plumbing sectors in six countries that include France, Germany, Poland and Belgium, as well as the UK and the Netherlands as previously mentioned.

USP said that HVAC installation groups within the UK and Netherlands had been required to implement BIM as a condition for winning some key contracts, while new build work was also increasingly calling for its use. The consultancy said that there was likely to be increased pressure going forward on industry to be ready to provide BIM functions as part of their service, even outside of larger-scale work.

USP added, “Installation companies with BIM-ready solutions could become the preferred partners in the value chain.”