Gaining a competitive advantage through BIM

Guide to the importance of BIM for roofing specifications Originally led by innovators and early adopters, BIM is now being used in the mainstream market by architects, main contractors, sub-contractors and manufacturers alike. This is a marked difference to 2010 when an NBS survey reported that just 15% of the design community were engaging in BIM. Now awareness of BIM is almost universal and around 50% of those surveyed are using it on construction projects.

BIM components for roof tiling

At Marley, we were on of the first manufacturers to develop our own free online BIM space where architects, specifiers and contractors can quickly download BIM components for our clay plain tiles. 

How much does BIM save?

As part of its 2025 Construction Strategy, the Government has set itself a target of a 33% reduction in the initial cost of construction and the whole-life costs of built assets, as well as a 50% reduction in the overall build time for both new-build and refurbishment projects.  BIM is the main delivery mechanism for these savings. 

In fact, BIM is said to have saved the Government £1.7 billion on major projects in just one year.  A frequently cited example is that of the construction of Cookham Wood Young Offenders’ Institution which achieved a 20% cost saving through the use of BIM.

However, there are also very real benefits for BIM practitioners themselves. If successfully implemented, BIM will help an organisation strip waste from its processes.  Building the asset virtually means earlier identification of clashes, reduced errors, less re-work and improved productivity.

Indeed, the latest NBS survey shows that 59% of companies in the construction sector who have embraced the technology have seen cost efficiencies as a result, 56% have seen an improvement in client outcomes, 51% an increase in speed of delivery and 48% have experienced an increase in profitability.

Who is using BIM?

Already being used on large private design and build projects, the next natural step after the 2016 deadline is for BIM to trickle down into other public and private sector projects.  This is where there is a real competitive advantage for architects and contractors who have developed BIM capability and expertise.  Those who have to be compliant for central Government projects can then use this experience to win work in the local government and private sectors.

It is expected that there will be rapid adoption of BIM in the coming years and there will be a significant market opportunity for architectural, engineering and construction companies who can demonstrate the cost and time saving advantages of BIM to clients.  They will also be developing a strong exportable offering, opening up global opportunities as the UK is seen as a world leader in BIM.

How can BIM help the design process?

There is now an expectation that BIM will become standard in the design process, with 92% of those surveyed by NBS expecting to use it within the next three years.  So whether architect, contractor or manufacturer, companies who don’t engage with BIM will be at a serious disadvantage when it comes to winning future work. However, those who develop the skills in this area will be in pole position to capitalise on the growing demand for BIM expertise.

For more information about the benefits BIM can bring to your business, visit

Tell us what you think, are you using BIM yet? If so, how has it given your business a competitive advantage? 

Category: Technical