Geospatial Media and Communications, an India-based market research firm, released a market report on August 2 about the state of geospatial and BIM use in the construction industry and linking it to the construction economy as a whole

Construction productivity in developed nations has stagnated over the past few decades and the proper implementation of building information modeling and geospatial technology on upcoming projects is the best method to solve stagnation, according to the report. BIM used through the full lifecycle of a construction project is an important way to cut down on the loss of data during transition from one stage of construction to the next, it states.

The adoption level of BIM/geospatial technology in construction is 43% in North America, 27% in Europe, 16% in the Middle East, 11% in Asia and 2% in South America, it states. Designers lead the way in BIM/geospatial adoption, with over 80% of them using BIM/geospatial, compared to 45% of engineers and 25% of contractors. However, engineers lead the way in use of a BIM/geospatial integrated system—32% of engineers, 27% of designers and 12% of contractors use such an integrated system.

The biggest determining factor cited for BIM/geospatial tech adoption in the industry was for "Strategic Advantage" and "3D Visualization" made up 90% of the use of BIM/Geospatial tech in the industry.

Interoperability of BIM/geospatial is a must and requires compatibility and complementary standards, states the report. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), buildingSMART and the Open Geospatial Consortium developed a compatible BIM/geospatial standard called OGC LandInfra Conceptual Model. The writers of the report state that such compatible models are necessary for construction to more fully adopt the possible benefits of BIM/Geospatial technology.

“Lack of interoperability affects the entire value chain for the built environment,” says Richard Petrie, chief executive, BuildingSMART International Ltd., U.K. in the report. He adds that the U.K. government is pushing the building and infrastructure industries to use BIM and setting high standards to raise adoption rates by 2025. 

The report states that construction is the barometer of world Gross Domestic Product and predicts 70% growth in construction by 2020, and that construction growth would outpace global GDP growth. It adds that construction will be a $12-billion market, comprising 15% of global GDP by 2020 and bases these predictions on a steadily increasing adoption of BIM/geospatial technology. In the short term, the economic waters of the developed world look more challenging state the report, but the developing world shows more promise.

The three biggest hurdles in the adoption of geospatial are lack of expertise (56%) resistance to change (57%) and cost (40%), states the report, in closing. “The high concern about lack of expertise shows that industry guides, training and capacity building exercises are needed,” it states, adding that the problem might open up certain entrepreneurial doors. “Underlying this may be a need for readily available guidance and training, especially for the small and specialized consultant.”

The full report can be downloaded here