Open Journal of Social Sciences
2013. Vol.1, No.5, 15-18
Published Online October 2013 in SciRes (
Open Access 15
BIM Promotion Plan in Civil Engineering through the Analysis
of the User Recognition Changes
Ki Beom Ju, Myoung Bae Seo
ICT Convergence and Integration Research Division,
Korea Institute of Construction Technology, Goyang-Si, Republic of Korea
Received September 2013
BIM, which recently emerged as a hot issue in the construction industry, is being recognized as a new
breakthrough for the industry. However it is now in crisis due to the stagnant construction business and
the decrease in the amount of orders. Already, various studies are being conducted to introduce BIM to
architecture both domestically and abroad, but in civil engineering projects, unlike in construction pro-
jects, the work system is non-repetitive, horizontal, and atypical, and the scope of the project tasks is so
wide that the amount of information generated is vast. As a result, construction companies and designers
feel burdened by the initial investment cost for BIM construction and have doubts about its cost-effec-
tiveness. As such, to implement BIM in domestic civil engineering projects, this study determined the
BIM technology level of designers in civil engineering and analyzed the changes in their awareness of
BIM from the past so as to determine the obstacles to BIM activation in civil engineering and to propose a
solution for such. The results of this study are expected to be used as the basic data for setting the direc-
tion of the research on the standard for introducing BIM to civil engineering and on the development of a
receipt inspection and verification system for supplied products.
Keywords: BIM; Standard; Civil Engineering; Activation; Change in Awareness; Information Model
BIM (Building Information Modeling) is emerging as a new
paradigm for improving the productivity of construction pro-
jects. BIM can be defined as “a technique for producing and
controlling all information applied to various areas during the
life cycle of structures, from their planning and designing to
their maintenance and control”. As opposed to construction
projects, where BIM is actively being implemented, civil engi-
neering projects have a non-repetitive, horizontal, and atypical
work system, and their project scope is too wide that the
amount of information generated is vast, causing constructors
and designers feel burdened by the initial investment cost for
BIM construction and to have doubts about its cost-effective-
ness (Leen Seok, K., Seol Gi, K., Hyeon Seong, K., & Hyoun
Seok, M., 2011). These reasons, however, are still not enough
to explain the delayed introduction of BIM to civil engineering
projects, which would have a huge impact on the country’s
economy. It is also difficult to determine what would be needed
first to solve these problems.
This study thus aimed to analyze the changes in the BIM
awareness of the civil engineering designers who are either
using BIM at work or have a higher understanding of it, to de-
termine the related problems and to propose solutions to these.
In particular, the various factors preventing the introduction of
BIM were extracted from the current time and social needs but
not from an activation plan based on superficial surveys, or by
analyzing the awareness changes from the past, where there
was a lack of social awareness of BIM, as well as the current
status of the initial introduction of BIM, and based on the ex-
traction results, this study aimed to propose a BIM activation
Review of Factors That Impede BIM Activation
According to the results of the survey published in the US
SmartMarket Report in 2008, the factors that impede the appli-
cation of BIM are the lack of pertinent education and of BIM
specialists, the initial BIM cost, the lack of determination to
introduce BIM, and the insufficient compensation (McGraw
Hill Construction, 2008). For the problems, Bae pointed out the
absence of standards for storing information in the existing 3D
models and the fixation of the 2D-drawing-centered supply
system (Kyoung Jin, B. & Ha n Jong, J., 2010). Kyoung Jin also
discussed as the factors hindering the compatibility of the BIM
software: the absence of a domestic standard i nformation model,
the establishment of the BIM process and its technical limita-
tions, the lack of standard/guidelines/references/actual cases,
the lack of specialists on BIM tools, and the need for govern-
mental support (Jung Wook, P., Sang Chul, K., Sang Soo, L., &
Ha Young, S., 2009). Jong Cheol argued for the urgent devel-
opment of guidelines, including those on education, license
acquisition, data compatibility, and ownership, as well as for
systemic establishment (Jong Cheol, S. & In Han, K., 2009).
Na et al. also discussed the lack of BIM specialists, the initial
cost of SW purchase and technical training, and the lack of
standardization for the process categorization and cost catego-
rization systems (Kyung Jae, N., Ky oung Hwan, J., Dong-Gun,
L., & Hee Sung, C., 2008). Meanwhile, Ha Neul pointed out
the lack of awareness of BIM, the stagnant domestic construc-
tion market, the cooperative structure that is in conflict with the
BIM method, and the lack of specialists as the hindering factors
K. B. JU, M. B. SEO
Open Access
(Ha Neul, P. & Y oung-S am, H., 2010).
These factors, however, are expected when BIM is imple-
mented in domestic construction projects, or from foreign BIM
introduction cases focusing on a small number of construction
companies, and do not evenly reflect various interest parties,
such as companies that have not implemented BIM, that are
about to implement it, and large and small companies. There-
fore, to determine the importance level of BIM activation, an
additional survey is necessary.
Analysis of the B IM Awareness Changes
in Civil Engineering
An analysis of awareness changes is required to determine
the identical items or similar targets in time difference. There-
fore, this study extracted the identical survey items based on
those used by Korea Institute of Construction Technology in
2010 in relation to the BIM awareness of engineering compa-
nies, which consisted of nine items in three groups: three items
for BIM application, three items for the area of BIM application
and the hindering elements, and three items for the demand
diffusion effect when BIM is used (Table 1). For the survey,
two interviews were conducted in June and July 2012 with 25
people from the 25 top subcontractors in South Korea. Through
a comparison of the results of the survey conducted in this
study to those of the 2010 survey, the BIM application level in
2010, the matters that need to be considered, and the demand
diffusion effect were determined. For easier comparison, the
5-point criteria were converted into a 100% average.
Changes in the Awareness of the BIM Application
The converted average of the changes in the awareness of the
BIM usage increase rate by year was 56.1 in 2010, and this
decreased to 52.8 in 2012. Also, the change in the awareness of
the importance of BIM by year was 82.8 in 2010, which also
decreased to 78.7 in 2012 (Figure 1).
Particularly noteworthy in the survey results on the changes
in the awareness of the BIM-applied tasks is the fact that the
Table 1.
Survey items.
Group Ques tion Response Ty pe
BIM application
BIM usage increase rate by year Short-answer
Change in the perceived
impo rtance of BIM 5-point
BIM-applied tasks Compound option
Things to consider
when using BIM
BIM solution use effectiveness
level 5-point
Factors hindering the use
of BIM 5-point
What is needed to have BIM
established at work Single selection
Demand diffusion
Assessment of BIM effect 5-point
Change in the internal profits
and application Degree of change
Key factors of BIM application 5-point
awareness of the effectiveness of BIM on facilities maintenance
and control showed the largest change. This result is due to the
decrease in the number of new civil engineering projects and
the incre ase in the mai ntenance and control cost s in rec ent years,
and it is believed that such result reflected the expectation that
the appropriate implementation of BIM makes it easy to deter-
mine the life cycle of buildings and the exchange cycle of fa-
cilities so that its application in the facilities maintenance and
control stage will have a very large impact. Also, it was deter-
mined that further research is required to help improve various
type s of decision-making processes, such as measuring the
value of public facilities, predicting the rate of deterioration,
and efficiently distributing the maintenance and control budget
by increasing the visual effects through the combination of the
facility information and the information on the existing topog-
raphy based on GIS, etc. (Figure 2).
Changes in the Awareness of the Matters to Be
Considered and of the Demand Diffusion Effect When
Using BIM
The results of the survey on the changes in the awareness of
the effects of the use of the BIM solution showed that while the
awareness of the improvement of the project design quality, the
enhancement of the construction and maintenance functions,
and the improvement of communication among various parts of
the design and other phases of construction increased, there was
also a change in the awareness that the project performance
Figure 1.
Changes in the BIM usage increase rate and BIM impor-
tance awareness.
Figure 2.
Awareness changes in the BIM-applied tasks.
K. B. JU, M. B. SEO
Open Access
speed would increase and that the construction cost would rise
drastically. The high displacement on the effect of the im-
provement of communication among all the parts of the design
and construction phases signifies that while BIM modeling was
recognized in the past as something that would solve all prob-
lems, the real function of BIM has now been realized. While
BIM may mean cost increase for designers in the short term, in
the long term, it will revive the construction industry by creat-
ing a new construction market. As such, various efforts to cor-
rect the interested parties’ negative preconceptions of the in-
troduction of BIM are currently being exerted (Figure 3).
As for the survey on the awareness change in the areas re-
quired for the establishment of BIM at work, the view that gov-
ernment-led planning/policies and standards would be neces-
sary was relatively higher than the others. Particularly note-
worthy is the over 33% change in the need for business val-
ue/efficiency review for the implementation of BIM at work,
showing that many institutions want a soft landing rather than
the implementation of drastic changes to the BIM system, after
sufficient preliminary reviews. Furthermore, it is shown that
public institutions should consider a new ordering system in-
cluding BIM to expand the BIM market in civil engineering
(Figure 4).
Proposed BIM Activation Plan in
Civil Engineering
Compared to 2010, the initial phase of BIM introduction, the
BIM recognition level in civil engineering has increased overall,
but the BIM usage increase rate or importance level awareness
has decreased. The key factors accounting for such a result may
include the lack of BIM-related demands, the absence of regu-
lations or guidelines related to BIM, and the difficulty of in-
vesting as it is difficult to recognize the time needed for and
cost of substituting 2D products with 3D products. To solve
these problems, it was determined that the effects of BIM
should be actively promoted by discovering various application
cases according to the introduction of BIM, changing the deliv-
ery/contract/business management processes based on the BIM
ordering system, and analyzing the business value, and in tan-
dem, the government should revise regulations and systems and
develop related standards. In addition, further research is re-
quired to develop plans to make construction projects com-
petitive by combining the mobile, clouding, GIS, and other
state-of-the-art IT technologies and by sharing, exchanging, and
utilizing construction information.
An analysis of the awareness changes should focus more on
the differences than on the similarities, which means that the
BIM awareness of the companies that have experienced BIM
implementation has changed in the process of the implementa-
tion, and accordingly, various activation plans could be pro-
posed to proactively cope with such a change.
Whereas in the past the key BIM tasks were either simulation
or interference check, nowadays the users are recognizing the
demand for the use of BIM in facilities maintenance and control
as well as the importance of the cooperation between the de-
signer and the contractor, which is the basis for determining
that the users’ overall understanding of BIM has improved. The
fact, however, that according to pertinent reports or reviews, the
business value and efficiency of the BIM implementation at
work has increased by over 35% shows that to satisfy the
Figure 3.
Changes in the effects of the use of the BIM solution.
K. B. JU, M. B. SEO
Open Access
Figure 4.
Awareness changes in the areas required for the establishment of BIM
at work.
higher expectation of the users and to activate BIM, it is im-
portant not only for the government to actively promote BIM
but, more importantly, to assure the users that their profits will
increase when they use BIM, and to promote the designers’ and
contractors’ proactive participation as well as not to effect a
drastic change in the BIM system but to effect the system’s soft
This article proposed various BIM activation plans by ana-
lyzing the changes in BIM awareness. The proposed plans are
significant in that they show the future direction of the BIM-
related research that is to be actively conducted in civil engi-
neering. It was also determined that the results of this study ca n
be used by companies that plan to introduce BIM as these can
help them determine in advance the various factors that may
hinder BIM introduction, and minimize the errors in such en-
deavor. Furthermore, the proposed activation plans should be
realized in the mid- to long term, not allowing short-term out-
comes but a natural change towards the BIM ordering system
based on the cooperation among the industry, academe, re-
search, and government sectors.
This study was part of Development of Infra BIM Standard
and Verification Technology, a key project (13 key tasks) of
KICT (Korea Institute of Construction Technology).
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