Exploring the paradox of low BIM adoption in the built environment


  • Anders Rekve NTNU, Trondheim, Norway
  • Eilif Hjelseth NTNU, Trondheim, Norway
  • Sujesh Sujan NTNU, Trondheim, Norway; 2 Mott MacDonald, 8-10 Sydenham Road, Croydon CR0 2EE, United Kingdom


Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an ICT application of tools and processes. There is a limited understanding of the real root causes of challenges in implementation among practitioners. As part of an ongoing action research project in a Norwegian municipality, we held a series of focus group sessions with technology users. We explored the reasons for the slow uptake of BIM in the context of the need for information management. We find limited engagement in information management processes necessary for successful application of BIM. However, we find great interest in achieving more sustainable outcomes in the municipality. We argue a possible re-alignment of the purported benefits of BIM towards emerging sustainable development goals in the municipality. The relevancy of this article is to find leads to actionable solutions to the slow digital transformation in the built environment. We find it paradoxical that increased BIM adoption might be achieved by not focusing on BIM at all, but by focusing on achieving sustainable outcomes, for which both BIM and information management is necessary.