AECbytes Publishes Results of BIM Survey

Union City, CA – Oct. 10, 2007 – AECbytes has published the detailed results of the survey “Top Criteria for BIM Solutions” that it conducted earlier this summer. Authored by Dr. Lachmi Khemlani, Founder and Editor of AECbytes, this is a comprehensive report that analyzes the inputs of over 650 AEC professionals who took the time to provide their feedback on what they want from BIM.


It has been close to four years since the BIM (Building Information Modeling) phenomenon started to gain momentum, and we are at the point where it has reached a certain level of maturity. Several vendors are offering BIM solutions, an increasing number of third-party developers are building supporting technologies for BIM solutions to extend their capabilities in different ways, BIM implementation is well underway in several AEC firms, and many other firms are in the process of evaluating different solutions and drawing up a strategy to transition to BIM.


Given that BIM is a technology with manifold aspects to it such as coordination, collaboration, automated drawing production, intelligent objects, detailed performance simulations, interoperability, and so on­, the AECbytes survey was designed to be a current “status check” of sorts on BIM—to better understand what everyday users from AEC firms of various sizes and demographics, with different levels of experience and expertise in BIM, are looking for from their BIM solutions. It was commissioned by Bentley Systems, who were also keen to understand how their solutions compared with Autodesk’s Revit BIM solutions vis-à-vis the top criteria that were identified. AECbytes was selected to conduct this survey as a neutral and independent resource on BIM. The publication has been focused on covering, analyzing, and reviewing BIM technologies, implementations, and conferences since its inception, and has published indepth reviews of all the leading BIM applications, including Revit, Bentley’s BIM solutions, and ArchiCAD.  


The results of this survey indicate that at the present time, the need for drawing production is still paramount, making this the top ranking criterion for BIM solutions across all categories of firms and respondents. Other highly rated criteria include enhanced modeling capabilities with smart objects, the ready availability of object libraries so that effort is not wasted in re-creating standard building components, support for distributed work processes, and the ability to work efficiently on large projects. The quality of the Help and supporting documentation earned a surprisingly high rating, which should come as a wake-up call to those vendors who spend far too little time on providing good learning resources to accompany their solutions. Aspects such as analysis, performance simulations, and interoperability rated a little lower on the importance scale. Also, the importance of generating renderings and animations seems to have diminished considerably, indicating that the AEC industry is moving beyond the need to create jazzy presentations for clients and is focusing more on higher-value aspects of BIM such as efficiency and quality.


Even though this survey was commissioned by one BIM vendor, its results should be valuable to all the BIM vendors as they plan on the future direction of their solutions, as well as to AEC firms as they move ahead with their BIM evaluations and implementations. The survey invitation was sent to nearly 5,500 registered subscribers of AECbytes and the excellent response rate of 12% indicated that users were eager to provide their feedback as well, so that BIM solutions could be further developed to better serve their needs.


The report is free of charge and can be seen in its entirety at:  


About AECbytes  

AECbytes ( is an online publication focused on researching, analyzing, and reviewing technology products and services for the building industry. It was founded in November 2003 by Dr. Lachmi Khemlani, and currently has registered subscribers representing over a hundred countries from around the world. It publishes newsletters covering conferences and shows related to AEC technology, reviews of products, feature articles profiling case studies of firms and projects that showcase the use of technology, viewpoint articles featuring contributions from industry leaders, and tips and tricks authored by experts in individual AEC applications. Subscription to AECbytes is free.  

About Lachmi Khemlani
 In addition to being the founder and editor of AECbytes, Lachmi Khemlani talks and consults on AEC technology. Her credentials include a Ph.D. in Architecture from UC Berkeley, an M.Phil. in Architecture from the University of Cambridge, England, and a B.Arch. (Honors) degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India. She has worked on several design projects as a practicing architect, taught CAD and 3D modeling at UC Berkeley throughout her Ph.D., and has been writing articles and books for many years. She gives frequent presentations before both professional and academic audiences, serves on juries for technology awards, and continues to stay closely involved with the research community, recently serving on the editorial board of the journal, Automation in Construction. She can be reached at Email Contact. 

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