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SME's and level 2 BIM, the way forward.

Mellon, Stephanie; Kouider, Tahar


Stephanie Mellon


Antonio Galiano Garrigos


The UK construction industry comprises a very high proportion of SMEs that is companies employing up to 250. A Department for Business, Innovation and Skills research paper, found that SMEs had a 71.2% share of work in the construction industry. Micro and small firms (i.e. those employing up to 50) had a share of 46.7% of work (Ive and Murray 2013). The Government has high ambitions for UK construction. Having been found by successive government commissioned studies to be inefficient and highly fragmented, ambitious targets have been set for the industry to achieve 33% reduction in costs and 50% faster delivery by 2025. As a significant construction client, the Government has mandated the use of Level 2 BIM from 2016 on publicly funded projects over {pound}5 million. The adoption of BIM plays a key role in the 2025 vision but a lack of clarity persists in the industry over BIM and significant barriers are perceived to its implementation, particularly amongst SMEs. However, industry wide transformation will be challenging without serious consideration of the capabilities of this large majority. Many larger firms, having implemented Level 2 BIM are now working towards Level 3 BIM while many of the smaller firms in the industry have not even heard of BIM. It would seem that fears of a 'two tier' industry are perhaps being realised. This paper builds on an earlier one (Mellon & Kouider 2014) and investigates, through field work, the level of Level 2 BIM implementation amongst SMEs compared to a large organisation. Challenges and innovative solutions identified through collected data are fully discussed and compared. It is suggested that where the SME perceives barriers towards adoption of the technologies which underpin BIM, they may consider collaborative methods of working as an interim step in order to work towards realising the efficiencies and benefits that these methods can yield. While the barriers to adoption of BIM are significant, it is suggested that they are not insurmountable for the SME and some recommendations for possible solutions are made.


MELLON, S. and KOUIDER, T. 2016. SME's and level 2 BIM, the way forward. In Galiano Garrigos, A. and Kouider, T. (eds.) Proceedings of the 6th International congress of architectural technology (ICAT 2016): healthy buildings: innovation, design and technology, 12-14 May 2016, Alicante, Spain. Alicante: University of Alicante [online], pages 121-135. Available from:

Conference Name 6th International congress of architectural technology (ICAT 2016): healthy buildings: innovation, design and technology
Conference Location Alicante, Spain
Start Date May 12, 2016
End Date May 14, 2016
Acceptance Date Oct 30, 2015
Online Publication Date May 23, 2016
Publication Date May 31, 2016
Deposit Date Sep 5, 2016
Publicly Available Date Sep 5, 2016
Publisher University of Alicante
Pages 121-135
ISBN 9788416724109
Keywords Level 2 BIM; SME; Implementation
Public URL
Publisher URL


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