The inevitable migration towards Building Information Modelling (BIM) in the Canadian construction industry – summary of three experiments

Report - L'inévitable passage à la modélisation des données du bâtiment (BIM)This report covers the fourth phase of the Construction et TIC project, presenting key findings from a research project started in in 2010, aiming to evaluate the ways productivity and efficiency can be improved in the Canadian construction industry, using information technologies (IT) such as Building Information Modelling (BIM). This report focuses on findings from the fourth (and last) phase of the research project, which was geared towards the operationalization of three pilot projects (two in Québec and one in British Columbia) where BIM integration was attempted in order to improve productivity for small and medium construction businesses in Canada.

Furthermore, this project set the groundwork for a larger experimental research program, aiming to validate and share the frameworks and guidelines used by SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses) integrating BIM in their workflow. The goal was also to raise awareness among industry players regarding the importance and benefits of integrating those new technologies, along with ways they can stay competitive in a rapidly changing marketplace.

Overall, the research objectives were to establish:

  • a framework for the appropriation and operationalization of BIM for SMBs in architecture, engineering and construction (AEC);
  • key indicators of integration, to measure the level of integration of BIM and new technologies;
  • key indicators of productivity, to allow businesses to evaluate the impact of those new tools and processes.

Throughout the experiments, risk management was a central preoccupation for SMBs. While there are various tools and guidelines to help large AEC businesses integrate BIM, the allowable error margin was much smaller for SMBs, as they do not have the same financial and human resources to ensure a proper integration of BIM.

This is why building BIM frameworks and guidelines specifically for SMBs should remain a priority for the NRC’s Industrial Research Assistance Program.

Download the report (997KB, in French)

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