In the United Kingdom, currently the fifth largest economy in the world with a projected GDP of $3.7 trillion US dollars by 2020, the market for BIM (building information modeling) software is experiencing some changes. Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc., is reporting a rapid growth rate in the UK market within the overall AEC industry as the country continues to push forward with BIM transformations.
According to the fifth annual NBS National BIM Report 2015, Vectorworks Architect is the most popular BIM software in the United Kingdom with a leading 29 percent of respondents reporting they are using the solution for their BIM workflows. The report estimates that the industry is at the midway point in a full BIM adoption within the United Kingdom. The UK market has a legal mandate requiring BIM deliverables for significantly sized, government-funded projects in the UK by 2016.
Rapid Growth for Vectorworks
“We’ve witnessed a rapid and widespread adoption of BIM workflows from our customers, and we’re committed to further enhancing our software’s capabilities as a BIM tool and promoting BIM workflows that are collaborative and free from the constraints of any single tool or vendor’s platform,” said Sean Flaherty, CEO at Nemetschek Vectorworks.
Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc., has reported that sales of its Vectorworks line of BIM and CAD software has doubled within the UK over the past five years, with over 8,700 new designers choosing the platform as their design solution over the same time period. In addition, as the 2016 mandate draws closer, more architects are utilizing Vectorworks software, creating a 44 percent increase in new UK users in 2014.
“Taking advantage of BIM is an opportunity for Vectorworks Architect users to add value to the design creativity they already lend to a project, as well as work more efficiently and collaboratively across disciplines,” Flaherty said.
UK Architects Speak Up
Two designers who rely on Vectorworks as a BIM solution within the United Kingdom support Flaherty’s claim.
“We are using 3D modeling from the outset on most projects now,” said Robert O’Leary of O’LearyGoss Architects, a 12-person firm in Bristol, U.K. that uses Vectorworks Architect for residential development, healthcare and community design. “Modeling allows us to examine design solutions in context ourselves… We also enjoy less risk of errors between different drawing types… and the ease of generating plan sections and elevations once a change is made.”
Luke Bray of Axiom Architects, a firm spread across several offices in the U.K., added, “Whilst we are only taking our first few steps into the world of BIM, Vectorworks’ BIM capabilities have allowed us to progress fairly smoothly from our previous 2D working into 3D without the need to learn new software packages or suffer problems of compatibility moving from one CAD platform to another.” Axiom Architects’ 35 employees focus on the hotel and leisure, commercial, residential and education sectors.
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The information captured in the announcement by the Vectorworks group cite data from what is the fifth annual BIM report in the UK through cooperation between NBS and RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects). Both are members of the BIM Technologies Alliance supporting the UK Government’s Construction Strategy BIM Working Group. Richard Waterhouse, CEO, NBS and RIBA Enterprises opens the report by noting that the UK government’s BIM mandate by 2016 is something that is putting pressure within the UK market and that the BIM adoption there is moving from being led by innovators and early adopters to a more mature market.
The study notes that the three main barriers to BIM adoption in the UK market are: (1) lack of in-house expertise, (2) lack of training, (3) lack of client demand. Study respondents also cited cost factors and lack of time to get up-to-speed. As the global economy moves out of its global recessionary wake, and as architects become busier, it becomes harder for many firms to make the time to prepare. Regardless, firms doing large UK government-funded work will have not choice but to meet the requirements.
The report indicates that in the past years Autodesk has typically led the results, with noted citations of the strength of loyal user bases in Graphisoft’s ArchiCAD and Nemetschek Vectorworks. Both Bentley and Trimble with SketchUp show less than 3 percent results in the study, making the UK market look principally centered around Autodesk and Nemetschek AG’s two leading global players.