BIM survey

Survey reveals need for BIM industry standard

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Results from the third annual Building Information Modeling (BIM) survey have been published, exploring views about BIM from more than 800 Canadian respondents – primarily BIM users – over the past three years.

The survey is a collaborative effort between academia and industry to capture and illustrate the state of BIM implementation within the architecture, engineering, construction and facility management industries (AEC/FM) in Canada.

The survey was conducted by the Building Innovation Research Centre at University of Toronto in collaboration with Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), Toronto BIM Community (tBIMc) and AECO Innovation Lab.

The survey was motivated by the lack of, and thus need for, an industry benchmark for BIM practices in Canada.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Ninety-four per cent of participants acknowledged that BIM is the future of project information and design practices.
  • Ninety per cent of participant organizations have adopted some level of BIM in their current operational workflow, and 80 per cent of the remainder indicated that they have plans to implement BIM in the next few years.
  • Eighty-eight per cent of the participants shared their BIM files with at least one external organization, with one-third of participants engaging five or more parties.
  • Nearly half of survey participants encountered interoperability obstacles in their projects. Despite the potential of OpenBIM to address this, 43 per cent of participants were not aware of OpenBIM.

According to Claudia Cozzitorto, architect and founder and chair of the Toronto BIM Community (tBIMc), “the use of innovative BIM-based processes and analyses can bring significant productivity improvements to the architecture, engineering and construction industry. However, steps need to be taken to remove barriers that hinder a broader implementation. This report sheds light on those barriers, which include the need for an industry standard.”

Arash Shahi, CEO of AECO Innovation Lab and Research Chair of Toronto BIM Community adds, “while governments and regulators are beginning to recognize the potential of BIM to reduce time and red tape, and improve process transparency, Canada remains the only G7 country without a national BIM mandate. Momentum is being driven by the design community and industry organizations such as RESCON, who have been avid supporters of the annual BIM survey. RESCON has also taken a leadership position with the One Ontario initiative (, which among other priorities aims to create a framework for establishing a BIM standard for municipal use across the province.”

The 2020 BIM report research team includes Brenda Y. McCabe, Arash Shahi and Hossein Nasrazadani. The report was made possible by assistance from the tBIMc board, and funding from RESCON and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. The complete report is available to download via the AECO Innovation Lab.

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