For this week’s Thomas Index, we took a look at sourcing activity in the Thomas Network, specifically related to the downloading of BIM files, or “Building Information Modeling” files.
BIM is a process used by architects, engineers, and construction professionals to aid in the design and construction of large-scale commercial building projects. It uses intelligent 3D model files that offer far more data than typical CAD files – and enables designers to create comprehensive 3D virtual models of entire building projects. The benefits are significant – a central 3D model of a project allows for a more cost-effective and time-efficient construction process, and helps reduce costly errors by flagging problems before the project even breaks ground!
BIM technology is used around the globe, and many countries have actually introduced mandates on its usage for taxpayer-funded projects. For example, in 2016 the U.K. mandated that all public works projects needed to use BIM. This decision came after the country saved 15 to 20 percent on construction costs between 2009 and 2015, thanks to BIM.
Here in the U.S., the GSA is driving a BIM mandate on a national level, while individual states have been progressing toward their own BIM mandates. For example, back in 2010, Wisconsin became the first state to require BIM on taxpayer-funded projects over five million dollars. Recently, the Los Angeles Community College District required BIM to be used on a six-billion-dollar sustainable building project that included facilities on nine of the district’s campuses. They reportedly saved 12 million dollars in construction costs.
To get a unique perspective on the trend in BIM adoption here in the U.S., we took a look at what our data shows as far how users are downloading BIM files on our Thomasnet.com platform. What we’re seeing is impressive: downloading of BIM files increased 283 percent between 2016 and 2017. These are the BIM files for products made and sold by Building Product Manufacturers that use the Thomas platform.
During that same time period between 2016 and 2017, we also saw a one hundred and fifteen percent increase of downloads for MEP product models. These are the models for Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing products and components – the internal workings of any building project.
Clearly, here in the U.S. and abroad, BIM technology is far beyond its emergent stage, and it’s climbing its way into the mainstream. If you work in serving the building construction or architectural space, you’ll want to stay on top of how you can best service this growing need.
Looking beyond BIM files, here’s a quick look at the top ten products and services being sourced over the past four weeks at Thomasnet.com.
- CNC Machining
- Electronic Contract Manufacturing
- Metal Fabrication
- Contract Manufacturing
- Injection Molded Plastics
- Metal Stampings
If you’re a supplier in any of these categories and more, buyers are looking for what you offer right now at Thomasnet.com.
Well, that’s what our data shows this week. The best way to get this weekly Thomas Index report -- and other useful industry news -- is to sign up for our daily Thomas Industry Update. You can do so by visiting Thomasnet.com/updates.
Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next week.