The transition from CAD to BIM within architectural practices: resistance to change

Laura Robson, Michelle Littlemore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Building information modelling (BIM) is making a radical impact on the construction industry. The importance of this technological intervention is being reinforced by the government with the recent announcement for BIM to be used as a collaborative tool on all of its projects by 2016. Therefore, in order to remain competitive with regard to the industry’s biggest client, implementation of BIM within architectural practices will be a prerequisite. The aim of this study is to explore the benefits and issues associated with this transformation with a focus on resistance to change and more specifically the impact that previous technological transitions had on architectural practices. A total of eighty participants took part in the gathering of quantitative data via questionnaires, this includes sixty three participants employed by practices which have implemented BIM and seventeen participants employed by practices which have not. In addition to this four interviews were carried out, each interviewee was selected from a different practice to ensure results are not biased towards one practice. Two interviewees were based in practices where BIM has been implemented and two where it has not, to ensure opinions of non-users as well as users are gathered. The results of the survey and interviews indicated that despite the consensus as to the benefits and issues of BIM it is the behavioural issues associated with the transition from CAD to BIM that are the greatest barrier to change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)254-274
JournalBuilt and Natural Environment Research Papers
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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