Earlier this year an online questionnaire was launched in the framework of the BIM4Ren project entitled “Survey about the BIM implementation in renovation processes”. It was aimed at gathering information about the common practices and the main concerns of the stakeholders involved in the whole renovation value chain, the current barriers identified in the renovation processes and how digitalisation could help overcome them.
We received a total of 331 surveys, of which 229 of them were completed and/or provided valid outputs in a quite heterogeneus sample: 69% of the respondents correspond to varied construction related profiles (architects/designers, researchers or contractors/subcontractors), and 68% of the answers received are from stakeholders located in Italy, Spain and France.
25 % of the respondents stated that they never use BIM…The most probable reason for not using BIM is the lack of human resources specialised in the company (46%) followed by the consideration of not being necessary for the work (34%) . Other relevant issues regarding IT solutions are the time for training and the costs involved
It was interesting to note that 25 % of the respondents stated that they never use BIM, while 32% have participated in projects with BIM followed by a 17% that are just software users. The most probable reason for not using BIM is the lack of human resources specialised in the company (46%) followed by the consideration of not being necessary for the work (34%) . Other relevant issues regarding IT solutions are the time for training and the costs involved. Among those who have used BIM in renovations at least once (42%), the lack of specific tools for renovation is declared as a constraint.
The phases of the renovation process which face more difficulties are: construction work (26%), followed by the renovation technical project (17%) and the information gathering and surveying (15%). Nevertheless, it seems this problem is not specific to renovation projects and also happens on new constructions.
The survey also helped to shed light on the principal issues which can lead to inefficiencies in the renovation process, causing time and economic losses: lack of knowledge about the existing building which lead to unforeseen issues, lack of accuracy in the data gathering of the existing building, inaccurate data from modelling of existing conditions and difficulties of collaboration between stakeholders.
The respondents look for interoperable tools (41%), encompassing the whole renovation process (28%), low-cost (20%) and user-friendly tools (19%).
The survey shows that BIM has a high potential to overcome the most common barriers in renovation. According to the respondents, the barriers that can be more easily overcome by BIM are firstly the lack of accuracy of the information of the existing building (49%), followed by the unforeseen actions due to this lack of knowledge (34%), unprecise data from modelling of the existing conditions (30%) and the difficulty in the collaboration between stakeholders (29%) as it is represented in the chart below. Other barriers mentioned in the survey have not been valued as easily solved by BIM. In addition it is important to know what features of a digital tool or platform can be more relevant in renovation works. When it comes to these features, the respondents look for interoperable tools (41%), encompassing the whole renovation process (28%), low-cost (20%) and user-friendly tools (19%).
The survey allowed us to conclude that digitalisation and BIM as a frontrunner in this field is an opportunity for improving the renovation sector, which is currently hardly implemented and limited mainly to the data gathering phase. The use of platforms and digital interoperable tools with others in a BIM environment could help to overcome some key barriers in renovation works.