Glossary June 27, 2024
Updated 27 June 2024 by James Ocean
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Top 12 BIM Trends in 2024. The Future of the BIM Industry

Table of Contents

Nature of trends in BIM in construction

BIM has been one of the most notable changes in the construction industry over the last several decades. Its overall influence is very hard to argue with, considering the extensive statistical evidence of its effectiveness.

For example, the total size of the building information modeling market alone was estimated at $5.2 billion back in 2019 and is expected to rise to $15.06 billion by the year 2027. (source: Allied Market Research).

An industry survey reported that over 61% of respondents had noticed substantial improvements in data friction and error detection, while 55% of respondents had also noticed a significant reduction in the time it takes to communicate and make informed decisions. (source: Dodge Data & Analytics report)

Much more information on the topic could be obtained from these sources. The important deduction here is that BIM is incredibly beneficial and can assist with decision-making, collaboration, accuracy, workflow management, and more.

BIM stands for “building information modeling.” It is an incredibly complex methodology that proposes a very particular approach to the project realization process, with a significant focus on collaboration and information exchange.

The core idea of BIM revolves around a centralized project model that also acts as a common data environment, offering undeterred access to all project data for all participants at any moment in time. This greatly simplifies overall project management efforts while also improving existing processes in multiple ways.

Top 12 BIM industry trends

BIM itself can be very complex, even in its base form. At the same time, it is worth remembering that the nature of BIM relies heavily on the general field of information technology, or IT. The field tends to change and evolve at an extremely rapid pace, with new features and capabilities being introduced and tested on a regular basis.

There are multiple different trends affecting and changing the nature of BIM operations, and we will try to go over the biggest examples of these trends below. Some of these trends represent technologies and methods that are not completely integrated with all BIM solutions but can offer substantial advantages to users if implemented right now. Other trends define the way BIM approaches a lot of its tasks and processes, showcasing the most significant advantages of building information modeling as a methodology.

Digital twins

The main idea behind BIM relies on the concept of the digital twin: the ability to create a project model that represents the structure before the structure is even built. This approach can greatly assist with presentation and visualization options for the client side of the business, and it is also a massively advantageous technology for the construction process itself.

Many different BIM technologies and methods rely on digital twin technology to do their jobs, including simulation and predictions, which is what a lot of the advantages of BIM can be boiled down to. The existence of an incredibly accurate scalable model of a project offers a massive number of advantages, such as improved decision-making, enhanced performance, a reduction of the amount of rework, and many other examples.

Cloud-based BIM

A cloud-centric infrastructure is another important aspect of the BIM approach. It is a deceptively simple concept with a massive number of advantages. Cloud computing, or cloud storage, might seem relatively simple at first, since both can be described as storing or processing information using remote servers instead of local storage.

However, the sheer number of advantages this brings to any construction project is tremendous. First, cloud storage can offer extremely high levels of accessibility, eliminating the necessity of being proverbially tied down to your workstation to do any kind of construction-related work.

Second, cloud data sharing and cloud processing allow for an unprecedented level of communication and collaboration, since both can be done using the same platform (with BIM being the platform in most cases, although there are also plenty of examples in which cloud storage platforms are used outside of BIM’s set of use cases).


One of the most significant issues of BIM is its problematic approach to data sharing. While the methodology itself allows seamless and convenient data sharing, the nature of the software market has spawned dozens of different proprietary file formats with extremely limited exporting and transformation capabilities.

Since data sharing is supposed to be a “two-way street,” this market situation makes it difficult for stakeholders to share information in certain situations. Interoperability should be the solution to this issue, as the existence of a data format that different platforms can work with and support will greatly simplify the information exchange process.

The openBIM initiative is one of the best-known efforts in terms of interoperability. It is funded by buildingSMART. The IFC standard is their most popular data format, which is already supported by many different BIM software applications.

It should be noted that the existence of IFC and similar formats is the only proper way to achieve true interoperability. One could argue that the existence of a market leader such as Revit forces many solutions to support RVT and similar file formats purely because of its popularity on the market. However, this cannot be considered true interoperability, since the file format is still proprietary and limited in its sharing capabilities with other BIM applications.

Modular construction and prefabrication

The pursuit of safe and cost-efficient structures that can be built with minimal effort and time investment is what brought the construction industry to modular construction and prefabrication, which are far more reliable and effective in the context of BIM-centric construction processes.

Prefabrication is an approach to construction that relies on manufacturing large construction elements off-site and their subsequent assembly after they are delivered to the construction site. The minimal effort required to assemble prefabricated elements is the most significant difference between prefabrication and the traditional approach to construction.

Modular construction, on the other hand, is the creation of standardized complex construction elements in “modules” to be used with barely any modification on-site. Some of the most prominent examples of modular construction are factory-fitted bathrooms, dorm rooms, facade elements, and practically everything else that needs to be replicated multiple times in the same building with minimal deviation.

The assumption that prefabrication is very similar to modular construction is completely correct, since modular construction is widely considered to be a variation of prefabrication. As for the influence of BIM on both of these technologies, the improved accuracy and efficiency of project models lead to a drastically reduced number of errors during construction, which leads to much more risk-averse construction with more standardized construction technologies (such as prefabrication and modular construction).

Laser scanning

Laser scanning is a near-perfect match for BIM in the construction industry. The former can acquire extremely accurate on-site information, while the latter can receive and interpret it, showcasing the visual representation of the laser scanner’s results in a BIM model. The actual process of “Scan to BIM” is relatively simple: laser scanners are set up on-site to perform the scan, converting information using point-cloud technology into something that BIM can interpret and add to the existing project model.

It can greatly reduce the reliance on manual work when it comes to monitoring the status of the project (since the scanning process is relatively fast) while also reducing the number of errors caused by the human factor. The increase in scanner performance also contributes to better project costs, faster project completion, and many other advantages.

Drone use

Laser scanning is often associated with another noticeable trend in the BIM field: the use of on-site drones. Both methods gather real-time data for multiple purposes, so it is not uncommon for laser scanning and drones to be treated as a single factor.

As standalone units, drones can also gather accurate, real-time information from construction sites. They are even more convenient than laser scanning to a certain degree, although they are not very accurate in comparison. Drones can also be used to perform real-time monitoring, communication between the construction site and the office, and even some more case-specific tasks, such as checking the locations of potential clashes or issues.

Improved sustainability

Sustainability as a whole is a very complicated topic when it comes to the construction process, covering energy modeling, green architecture, and several other specific tools or processes. The idea behind sustainable construction revolves around performing a complex analysis of a project model that is already complete and has passed the load-testing stage.

Energy analysis evaluates many different parameters, such as CO2 emissions, utility bills, indoor environmental quality, energy consumption, and more. The analysis also considers how the future building will work with different green energy options, such as wind turbines, solar energy panels, photovoltaics, and so on. The primary goal of sustainable and “green” construction is to reduce the negative impact of a building on the surrounding environment, and it has become so popular in recent years that some “green” methods are now government-mandated in certain countries.

Artificial intelligence

The recent rise in artificial intelligence (AI) can be mainly attributed to the power of large language models (LLMs). While their primary use cases still revolve around question-and-answer queries, AI as a whole can be used for many other, less customer-oriented purposes, such as data analysis.

Information is the bread and butter of BIM, and many of its capabilities revolve around data analysis and various suggestions based on that data. The introduction of AI into the field significantly improves both of these core processes, offering faster and more detailed analysis of information while also being capable of providing far more detailed and thorough insights and suggestions for object placement, element modification, and other construction parameters.

AI can be used to predict potential delays in construction timelines, monitor performance, detect irregularities in model and object behavior, improve quality control, and achieve many other advantages. It can also provide suggestions for specific goals of the construction process, including efficiency, cost, and even sustainability.

Internet of things

The concept of the Internet of things (IoT) involves an interconnected network of various devices that can connect to one another and share information in different forms. The definition works for the construction industry, as well, with the addition of industry-specific use cases. IoT devices such as sensors can provide continuous monitoring capabilities for on-site structures while also being capable of automating repair and maintenance tasks and even monitoring or controlling various building systems.

Information-gathering processes like these also assist BIM in all of its base capabilities, offering more information to work with and thus improving performance, reducing the possibility of errors or clashes, and so on. The process of gathering information during construction can be used for monitoring purposes, while post-construction, the same process is a valuable source of information for manufacturers when it comes to improving their products based on customer feedback and long-term performance.

Virtual reality

Both virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are some of the best-known elements of BIM software focused on clash detection and project review, since they offer a completely new approach to a process that has been performed manually for decades now. Not only can VR and AR hardware offer a detailed overview of the project as a whole, they can also offer an unprecedented level of quality and even a certain degree of interaction, providing users with a completely new experience.

At the same time, virtual reality can be used as a great showcase of the state of the project for the client at different phases of project realization. It also simplifies feedback gathering, reduces the number of obvious potential errors, and improves the overall quality of the project with a new level of detail for specific project details.

3D printing

3D printing is something of a controversial topic in the field of construction, although that is not very surprising considering how conservative the construction industry tends to be. 3D printing is a process of generating real-life 3D shapes by using sequential material layering techniques performed by pre-programmed computer algorithms and dedicated hardware. Some of the most common use cases for 3D printing in the industry so far are prototyping and digital model creation.

The ability to generate quick project replicas for scale or to prototype complex objects is a blessing in itself with many advantages, but there is also potential for 3D printing to become an actual part of the construction process. Unfortunately, industry participants often resist things like this, because many standard construction entities do not consider 3D printing a “construction method” to begin with. However, the increasing housing crisis all over the world and the overall speed of mass-produced 3D printed objects will lead to 3D printing becoming an industry in itself one day, purely because the traditional methods will not be able to keep up, just as the traditional approach to project management cannot keep up with BIM.

BIM mandates

The introduction of BIM was initially met with plenty of pushback, and there are still some examples of industry participants that refuse to use it. However, there is at least one method that goes above the preconceptions of the industry: government mandates.

BIM mandates have been completely nonexistent for a very long time, but there are now more and more examples of governments in specific countries creating rules for the mandatory use of BIM in all construction projects, something that no manufacturer or contractor can avoid. Not only is it a massive advantage for the construction industry as a whole, but it also may be seen as a powerful statement from the country and a commitment to improving the competitive position of the nation on a worldwide level.

The future of BIM

In its original form, building information modeling practically revolutionized the construction industry in multiple ways, improving efficiency, reducing waste, and drastically lowering the number of errors per project. It also continues to develop to this day, following multiple different trends, including the IoT, AI, 3D printing, laser scanning, prefabrication, and more.

The adoption of BIM also contributes significantly to environmental efforts, helping with sustainability analysis and significantly enhancing all “green” construction efforts in the process. At this point, BIM use is practically mandatory for any company that wants to remain relevant and competitive in the field.

The future of BIM is looking brighter than ever. New tools are going to emerge, and the existing ones are going to keep being refined and improved over time. However, the correct and proper implementation of BIM does also require a significant investment and commitment from all project participants, including subcontractors and manufacturers.

BIM is not an easy technology to work with, and it does require a lot of effort to set everything up, but the end result is worth the effort several times over. The best possible time to start using BIM was several years ago. The second best time is right now, before it takes over the entire industry and makes the gap between the traditional and BIM approaches even bigger than it is now.

About the author
James Ocean

BIM/VDC Specialist. James Ocean is Head of BIMspiration at Revizto and keeps everything moving onwards and upwards. From supporting and teaching our internal team as well as our clients, James shows us the ins-and-outs and how to best leverage Revizto to maximize workflows, cut costs, and get all types of projects through the finish line.

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Top 12 BIM Trends in 2024. The Future of the BIM Industry Building information modeling (BIM) is an extremely powerful technology that completely changes the way construction projects are managed and monitored. It can be difficult to work with, but its advantages are well worth the effort. This article discusses the best-known trends in BIM at this time, while also debating what could be expected from it in the future. 2024-06-27
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