The analysis of barriers to bim implementation for industrialized building construction: a China study

    Ping Wu Affiliation
    ; Ruoyu Jin   Affiliation
    ; Yidong Xu Affiliation
    ; Feng Lin Affiliation
    ; Yiting Dong Affiliation
    ; Zhihong Pan Affiliation


The emerging Building Information Modeling (BIM) can better promote the development of building industrialization, with data integration between information-rich building models and business processes. However, the practical implementation of BIM still faces barriers. Existing studies have discussed these barriers extensively, but the research on the barriers to the implementation of BIM amid building industrialization in China is inadequate. In this study, 23 barriers were identified through literature review. A questionnaire survey approach was used to collect data from various parties. Factor analysis methods were used to process and rank barrier factors for BIM applications in the context of industrialized building. Based on the analysis of each factor, analytic hierarchy process was adopted to identify the key barriers to the implementation of BIM for industrialized building construction. The study concluded that the main barriers for BIM implementation for industrialized building were capital-related factors and the lack of support from owners. This study proposes that in addition to governmental policy support for BIM and multi-stakeholder engagement, companies should also organize experts to effectively evaluate the risks of applying BIM. Overall, this study provides suggestions on construction organizational transformations in the roadmap of moving towards digital-driven building industrialization.

Keyword : industrialized building, building information modeling, prefabricated construction, China, barrier, Analytic hierarchy process, factor analysis, questionnaire survey

How to Cite
Wu, P., Jin, R., Xu, Y., Lin, F., Dong, Y., & Pan, Z. (2021). The analysis of barriers to bim implementation for industrialized building construction: a China study. Journal of Civil Engineering and Management, 27(1), 1-13.
Published in Issue
Jan 8, 2021
Abstract Views
PDF Downloads
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Abubakar, M., Ibrahim, Y., Kado, D., & Bala, K. (2014). Contractors’ perception of the factors affecting Building Information Modelling (BIM) adoption in the Nigerian construction industry. In Computing in civil and building engineering (2014) (pp. 167–178).

Ahmed, S. (2018). Barriers to implementation of building information modeling (BIM) to the construction industry: a review. Journal of Civil Engineering and Construction, 7(2), 107–113.

Ahmed, S. M., Emam, H. H., & Farrell, P. (2014). Barriers to BIM/4D implementation in Qatar [Conference presentation]. The 1st International Conference of CIB Middle East & North Africa Conference, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emyrates.

Arayici, Y., Coates, P., Koskela, L., Kagioglou, M., Usher, C., & O’reilly, K. (2011). Technology adoption in the BIM implementation for lean architectural practice. Automation in Construction, 20(2), 189–195.

Azhar, S. (2011). Building information modeling (BIM): Trends, benefits, risks, and challenges for the AEC industry. Leadership and Management in Engineering, 11(3), 241–252.

Babič, N. Č., Podbreznik, P., & Rebolj, D. (2010). Integrating resource production and construction using BIM. Automation in Construction, 19(5), 539–543.

Ballantyne, R., Packer, J., & Falk, J. (2011). Visitors’ learning for environmental sustainability: Testing short- and long-term impacts of wildlife tourism experiences using structural equation modelling. Tourism Management, 32(6), 1243–1252.

Bonett, D. G., & Wright, T. A. (2015). Cronbach’s alpha reliability: Interval estimation, hypothesis testing, and sample size planning. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 36(1), 3–15.

Chan, C. T. (2014). Barriers of implementing BIM in construction industry from the designers’ perspective: A Hong Kong experience. Journal of System and Management Sciences, 4(2), 24–40.

Chan, D. W., Olawumi, T. O., & Ho, A. M. (2019). Perceived benefits of and barriers to Building Information Modelling (BIM) implementation in construction: The case of Hong Kong. Journal of Building Engineering, 25, 100764.

Chunxia, Z. (2011). Study on application situation and development barriers of BIM in China construction industry. Construction Economy, 9.

Crotty, R. (2013). The impact of building information modelling: transforming construction. Routledge.

Czmoch, I., & Pękala, A. (2014). Traditional design versus BIM based design. Procedia Engineering, 91, 210–215.

Eadie, R., Odeyinka, H., Browne, M., McKeown, C., & Yohanis, M. (2014). Building information modelling adoption: an analysis of the barriers to implementation. Journal of Engineering and Architecture, 2(1), 77–101.

Elagiry, M., Marino, V., Lasarte, N., Elguezabal, P., & Messervey, T. (2019). BIM4Ren: Barriers to BIM implementation in renovation processes in the Italian market. Buildings, 9(9), 200.

Elmualim, A., & Gilder, J. (2014). BIM: innovation in design management, influence and challenges of implementation. Architectural Engineering and Design Management, 10(3–4), 183–199.

Enshassi, A., AbuHamra, L., & Mohamed, S. (2016). Barriers to implementation of building information modelling (BIM) in the Palestinian construction industry. International Journal of Construction Project Management, 8(2), 103–123.

Enshassi, A., & AbuHamra, L. A. (2017). Challenges to the utilization of BIM in the Palestinian construction industry. Proceedings of the 34rd ISARC (pp. 938–944). Taipei, Taiwan.

Ganah, A., & John, G. A. (2015). An overview of the feasibility of achieving level 2 building information modeling by 2016 in the UK. Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture, 9(8), 885–894.

Gerges, M., Austin, S., Mayouf, M., Ahiakwo, O., Jaeger, M., Saad, A., & El Gohary, T. (2017). An investigation into the implementation of Building Information Modeling in the Middle East. ITcon, 22, 1–15.

Gerrard, A., Zuo, J., Zillante, G., & Skitmore, M. (2010). Building information modeling in the Australian architecture engineering and construction industry. In Handbook of research on building information modeling and construction informatics: Concepts and Technologies (pp. 521–545). IGI Global.

He, L., & Chen, Y. (2013). The present and future of industrialization of construction. Project Quality, 2.

He, Q.-h., Qian, L.-l., Duan, Y.-f., & Li, Y.-k. (2012). Current situation and barriers of BIM implementation. Journal of Engineering Management, 1, 12–16.

Hope, A., & Alwan, Z. (2012). Building the future: integrating building information management and environmental assessment methodologies [Conference presentation]. First UK Academic Conference on BIM.

Hosseini, M., Namzadi, M. O., Rameezdeen, R., Banihashemi, S., & Chileshe, N. (2016a). Barriers to BIM adoption: Perceptions from Australian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) [Conference presentation]. The 40th AUBEA: Radical Innovation in the Built Environment.

Hosseini, M. R., Banihashemi, S., Chileshe, N., Namzadi, M. O., Udeaja, C., Rameezdeen, R., & McCuen, T. (2016b). BIM adoption within Australian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): an innovation diffusion model. Construction Economics and Building, 16(3), 71–86.

Ismail, N. A. A., Chiozzi, M., & Drogemuller, R. (2017). An overview of BIM uptake in Asian developing countries. AIP Conference Proceedings, 1903, 080008.

Jianxin, Z. (2010). Study on barriers of implementing BIM in engineering design industry in China. Journal of Engineering Management, 24(4), 387–392.

Jordani, D. (2010). BIM and FM: The portal to lifecycle facility management. Journal of Building Information Modeling (JBIM).

Jung, Y., & Joo, M. (2011). Building information modelling (BIM) framework for practical implementation. Automation in Construction, 20(2), 126–133.

Kekana, T., Aigbavboa, C., & Thwala, W. (2014). Building information modelling (BIM): Barriers in adoption and implementation strategies in the South Africa construction industry [Conference presentation]. International Conference on Emerging Trends in Computer and Image Processing, Pattaya, Thailand.

Khosrowshahi, F., & Arayici, Y. (2012). Roadmap for implementation of BIM in the UK construction industry. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 19(6), 610–635.

Kiani, I., Sadeghifam, A. N., Ghomi, S. K., & Marsono, A. K. B. (2015). Barriers to implementation of building information modeling in scheduling and planning phase in Iran. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 9(5), 91–97.

Kiviniemi, A., Karlshøj, J., Tarandi, V., Bell, H., & Karud, O. J. (2008). Review of the development and implementation of IFC compatible BIM. Erabuild.

Li, H., Ng, S. T. T., Skitmore, M., Zhang, X., & Jin, Z. (2017). Barriers to building information modelling in the Chinese construction industry. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers – Municipal Engineer, 170(2), 105–115.

Li, J., & Yang, H. (2017). A research on development of construction industrialization based on BIM technology under the background of Industry 4.0. MATEC Web of Conferences (Vol. 100).

Liao, L., & Teo, E. A. L. (2019). Managing critical drivers for building information modelling implementation in the Singapore construction industry: an organizational change perspective. International Journal of Construction Management, 19(3), 240–256.

Liao, L., Teo, E. A. L., & Chang, R. (2019). Reducing critical hindrances to building information modeling implementation: The case of the Singapore construction industry. Applied Sciences, 9, 3833.

Liu, B., & Liu, W. (2015). Application status and obstacles research of BIM in domestic construction industry. Advanced Materials Research.

Liu, S., Xie, B., Tivendal, L., & Liu, C. (2015). Critical barriers to BIM implementation in the AEC industry. International Journal of Marketing Studies, 7(6), 162.

Mahalingam, A., Yadav, A. K., & Varaprasad, J. (2015). Investigating the role of lean practices in enabling BIM adoption: Evidence from two Indian cases. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 141(7), 05015006.

Matarneh, R., & Hamed, S. (2017). Barriers to the adoption of building information modeling in the Jordanian building industry. Open Journal of Civil Engineering, 7(3), 325–335.

Memon, A. H., Rahman, I. A., Memon, I., & Azman, N. I. A. (2014). BIM in Malaysian construction industry: status, advantages, barriers and strategies to enhance the implementation level. Research Journal of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology, 8(5), 606–614.

Migilinskas, D., Popov, V., Juocevicius, V., & Ustinovichius, L. (2013). The benefits, obstacles and problems of practical BIM implementation. Procedia Engineering, 57, 767–774.

Namdeo, S. K., & Rout, S. D. (2016). Calculating and interpreting Cronbach’s alpha using Rosenberg assessment scale on paediatrician’s attitude and perception on self esteem. International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health, 3(6), 1371–1374.

Newton, K., & Chileshe, N. (2012). Enablers and barriers of building information modelling (BIM) within South Australian construction organisations. University of New South Wales Sydney, Australia.

Pan, J., & Zhao, Y. (2012). Research on barriers of BIM application in China’s building industry. Journal of Engineering Management, 1, 6–11.

Park, K., & Kim, K. (2017). BIM application and adoption in the UK housing sector. In Integrated Building Information Modelling (pp. 46–81). Bentham Science.

Qinghua, H., & Jing, Z. (2012). Study on barriers of building information modeling application in building construction enterprises. Construction Technology, 22.

Santos, J. R. A. (1999). Cronbach’s alpha: A tool for assessing the reliability of scales. Journal of Extension, 37(2), 1–5.

Shen, Z., & Li, Y. (2015). Essence and connotation for construction in building industrialization in China. Progress in Steel Building Structures, 17(5), 1–6.

Stanley, R., & Thurnell, D. (2014). The benefits of, and barriers to, implementation of 5D BIM for quantity surveying in New Zealand. Construction Economics and Building, 14(1).

Tabachnick, B. G., Fidell, L. S., & Ullman, J. B. (2007). Using multivariate statistics (Vol. 5). Pearson Boston, MA.

Tan, T., Chen, K., Xue, F., & Lu, W. (2019). Barriers to Building Information Modeling (BIM) implementation in China’s prefabricated construction: An interpretive structural modeling (ISM) approach. Journal of Cleaner Production, 219, 949–959.

Thanki, S., Govindan, K., & Thakkar, J. (2016). An investigation on lean-green implementation practices in Indian SMEs using analytical hierarchy process (AHP) approach. Journal of Cleaner Production, 135, 284–298.

Thompson, D., & Miner, R. G. (2006). Building information modeling-BIM: Contractual risks are changing with technology.

Ullah, K., Lill, I., & Witt, E. (2019). An overview of BIM adoption in the construction industry: Benefits and barriers. In 10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization (Emerald Reach Proceedings Series, Vol. 2, pp. 297–303). Emerald Publishing Limited.

von Both, P. (2012). Potentials and barriers for implementing BIM in the German AEC market: results of a current market analysis.

Wandahl, S., & Ussing, L. F. (2013). Sustainable industrialization in the building industry: on the road to energy efficient construction management. In ICCREM 2013: Construction and Operation in the Context of Sustainability (pp. 177–187).

Wang, J., Zhao, J., & Hu, Z. (2016). Review and thinking on development of building industrialization in China. China Civil Engineering Journal, 49, 1–8.

Won, J., & Lee, G. (2010). Identifying the consideration factors for successful BIM projects. Proceedings of the International Conference on Computing in Civil and Building Engineering, Nottingham, UK.

Wong, A. K., Wong, F. K., & Nadeem, A. (2009). Attributes of building information modelling and its development in Hong Kong. HKIE Transactions, 16(2), 38–45.

Xu, Y., & Kong, Y. (2016). Analysis of the influence factors of application and promotion of BIM in China. Journal of Engineering Management, 30, 28–32.

Xu, Y., Zeng, J., Chen, W., Jin, R., Li, B., & Pan, Z. (2018). A holistic review of cement composites reinforced with graphene oxide. Construction and Building Materials, 171, 291–302.

Yan, H., & Demian, P. (2008). Benefits and barriers of building information modelling. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Computing in Civil and Building Engineering (ICCCBE XII) & 2008 International Conference on Information Technology in Construction (INCITE 2008), Beijing, China.

Zhang, L., Li, Y., & Gao, Y. (2013). Barriers and countermeasures of the BIM application in China. [Journal of Civil Engineering and Management], 30(3), 65–69 (in Chinese).

Zhang, J., Long, Y., Lv, S., & Xiang, Y. (2016). BIM-enabled modular and industrialized construction in China. Procedia Engineering, 145, 1456–1461.