Critical Success Factors for Implementing
Building Information Modeling (BIM) in
Mohammed A Enshassi1 Khalid A Al Hallaq2 and Bassam A Tayeh2*
1Research Assistant, Department of Civil Engineering, Islamic University of Gaza, Palestine
2Assistant Professor Department of Civil Engineering, Islamic University of Gaza, Palestine
Submission: March 23, 2019; Published: June 18, 2019
*Corresponding Author: Bassam A Tayeh, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering Department, Islamic University of Gaza, Gaza, Palestine
How to cite this article: Md A Enshassi, Khalid A H, Bassam A T. Critical Success Factors for Implementing Building Information Modeling (BIM) in Construction Industry. Civil Eng Res J. 2019; 8(3): 555739. DOI: 10.19080/CERJ.2019.08.555739
Purpose: Building Information Modeling (BIM) is the best tool to improve construction processes. However, BIM did not implement successfully. So, solving these issue needs a better knowledge about Critical Success Factors (CSFs).
Aim: The aim of this paper is to investigate Critical Success Factors (CSFs) to BIM implementation in construction industry.
Design/methodology/approach: To investigate the research objectives, a quantitative approach was adopted, and a structured questionnaire was designed. A total of sixty-eight copies of questionnaire were distributed and sixty-five of them were satisfactory completed, making the total response rate = 95.58%. Snow-ball sampling method helped to obtain a high rate of response and thus increase accuracy.
Findings: The most important Critical Success Factors (CSFs) to implementing BIM were 4D construction sequencing and simulation, clash detection, support from top manager, earlier and accurate 3D visualization of design, and improved construction project performance and quality.
Originality/ value: As a results of this research a CSFs of BIM implementation were investigated. This will help the construction companies to implement BIM successfully. This research considers a baseline for future scholars who aim to find solutions to implement BIM successfully in construction projects in Gaza Strip.
Keywords: Building Information Modeling (BIM); Critical Success Factors (CSFs); Construction industry; Framework; Gaza Strip
Similar to other industries, the construction firms took advantageous from information and communication technology (ICT) application . With respect to productivity and effectiveness, Building Information Modeling (BIM) offers advantages for implementation, design, scheduling, and facility management .
Succar  defined BIM as “a set of interacting policies, processes and technologies generating a methodology to manage the essential building design and project data in digital format throughout the building’s life-cycle”. BIM has developed civil engineering industries and construction process over the last years . The implementation of BIM has been slowed particularly in small firms [5,6]. Many solutions have either concentrated onto technical issues (for example, software interoperability and software and training costs) or non-technical issues (for example, cultural change and legal uncertainties) [4,7]. However, solving these issues needs a better knowledge about Critical Success Factors (CSFs) to implement BIM successfully .
Rockart  defined CSFs as: “few key areas of activity where favorable results are absolutely necessary for a manager to reach his/her goals.” Therefore, CSFs for BIM implementation was defined by Won  as a group of key areas that motivate stakeholders to alter their traditional project delivery system to implement BIM collaboratively from the beginning of design phase to facility management phase.
BIM usage is various at all stages of the construction project lifecycle: owner used it to comprehend project requirements. Design team used BIM to design, analyze, and develop project. Contractor used it to manage the project and facility manager used it during operation phases . Management teams may use BIM to collaborate, visualize and manage construction work better [4,12,13].
BIM technology offers a range of direct and indirect benefits and has made the whole design and construction procedure more simplified and obvious in many sides . It is not unnoticed by experts in construction industry that the BIM implementation
may reduce re-work, waste, delay and reduce overall cost to name
a few . Azhar  reported that BIM can reduce unbudgeted
change by 40%, and reduce the project time of completion by 7%,
and the time to make a cost estimate by 80%. Eastman  in another
project stated that BIM as a result of earlier clash detection
saved 3-5% of whole project cost and 2-4% of overall time. As the
primary principle of integrated project delivery (IPD) to integrate
systems, parties, and business structures and improve collaborative
process, BIM also used to integrate design and construction
and encourages more collaboration and communication between
all stakeholders to improve efficiency, reduce costs and waste
through all phases of the project life cycle [6,13,16-19].
BIM is able to do effective and fast decision-making, this done
through instantaneous processes . Azhar  suggested that
building information model helps to choose the best position of
the construction on the site. BIM also can reduce risk distributed
with the same contract like claims or litigation [8,21-23]. Eastman
 reported that building information model formed at the design
stage must be linked with construction plan and other scheduling
tools. These coordination and planning activities assist project
team to manage construction implementation more effectively
and efficiently and forecast possible error and opportunities for
substantial improvement [6,20]. BIM could give more predictable
environmental data (for example, predict airflow and weather)
and it may contribute to establish a model of good practice for
BIM and sustainability implementation [24,25].
Comprehensiveness of predictable data improve the lifecycle
data management [26,27]. On the other hand, sustainable solution
may lead to reducing carbon emissions and improve sustainable
building design, construction and operation [4,6,13,22,28]. By using
BIM, building proposals can be effectively analyzed, quickly
simulated, and assisting better-quality and innovative solutions,
this help to improve construction project performance quality
and increase productivity [3,4,20,22,23,29-33]. The digital BIM
model gives data for energy analyses and estimations of the consumption
of energy may be determined [14,22,34]. The model can
be determined lower energy consumption as well as determine
where corrections are needed [21,24]. Azhar  and Eastman
 asserted that an assessment of energy analyses throughout the
design stage consider as a CSF for a BIM successful implementation.
Also, most of proposals are better understood by the non-technical
people such as clients through accurate visualization and
prefabrication of materials because they able to see end product
off-site; so, client’s request for BIM maybe increase [4,8]. The traditional
method of documentation was used paper . When
BIM came up, it transferred the paper-based methods and placed
them on a computer-generated environment, as a result of that
BIM supply a high level of efficiency, management, and integrating
of project documentation of the site [3,6,22,35]. Matarneh &
Hamed  and Bryde  concluded that the ability of BIM to
reducing the time needed for documentation process in construction
projects and produce flexible documentation output. With
BIM-based practices, organizations may get a greater Return on
Investment (ROI) by means of a better design process which rise
the value of project data in each phase and reduce the requirement
to produce this data [8,36]. Selecting BIM services that meet
investment goals of an organization are important for increasing
ROI through BIM adoption .
Visualization of design allows building components to be built
and viewed in a simulated environment and combine all these
components inside BIM model (i.e. combining structural, architectural,
mechanical, plumbing and electrical models) . Also,
Sun , Azhar  and Manning & Messner  stated that 3D visualization
can be easily and quickly generated in a building and it
helps project professionals to do more accurate development. 4D
modelling allows stakeholders to visualize construction sequencing,
fabrication and planning of suggested construction methods
as well as, identify and reduce problems related to off-site construction
by providing offsite prefabrication models [4,6,8,28,37-
39]. So, visualization is one of the CSFs of BIM implementation
In construction document phase most companies used BIM
to make a design code checking to check construction projects
[4,6,22,43]. BIM also is used for 3D or 4D clash discoveries .
BIM make physical and functional features of a construction and
give a chance to correct design errors and implement any changes
before a building is actually established and this is consider as a
CSF for implementing BIM [4,18,30,37].
Antwi Afari  and Bansal  conduct that physical and
geographical characteristic of any facility is reliant on three main
things: early construction site works, layout of temporary site facilities,
and construction site safety planning. Senior manager in
the organization is responsible for safety in general and the ability
of safety trainers to improve the quality of training meetings .
The results of senior manager responsibilities to site safety training
are little injury occurrences and assist to develop a company’s
safety culture . Zhang  stated that BIM is used to recommend
a rule-checking safety system which particularly use for fall
protection like guardrails. Thus, BIM simplifies scheduling, 3D
modelling, and joining them together to visualize safe construction
BIM make production of shop drawings of the building and
assembly of structural systems more quickly and easily than traditional
methods [4,6-8,37]. BIM also is used by facility management
department effectively by using the all information in the
model for maintenance operations and managing the building
over project time [4,8,20,37]. Anticipating benefits from the use of
BIM is reduced transaction costs . BIM potentially used to transaction
and overall cost via modification of specifications, drawings,
and bills of quantities . In this context many Software
companies build BIM software in cost estimation characteristics material quantities are also automatically extracted and can updated
when designer do any change in the model [4,37]. Some of
extra costs due to CAD rework, computer upgrades or training can
be minimized by implementing BIM from the initiation stage of
The construction process has huge amount of data and information
such as enormous specification, drawings and bills of
quantities and this information is hard to manage . The practitioners
often manage Information and exchange knowledge
manually, so, this process consumes valuable time and probably
expands cost through loss of data through information exchange
process . Won  and Azhar  suggested that BIM ability to
share information easily and quickly among project participants
was measured as a most CSF to BIM implementation. Buildings
which complex in shapes and systems commonly have many conflicts
and clashes between trades, this complex building projects
need inter-organizational associations [10,51]. Trust between
various project practitioner is crucial to assure success in inter-
organizational ventures [51,52]. Due to the nature of work in
these inter-organizational projects there is a substantial need for
well integration, coordination, and cooperation of project members
Several scholars have explained how BIM can improve cooperation
during all project stages (initiation, design, construction,
and maintenance of a development) [54,55]. Collaboration among
project practitioner is a primary requirement for achieving the
preferred points of project cost and quality in the construction industry,
therefore, there is a significant need to evolve collaboration
techniques and a commitment protocol between various project
members [11,56-58]. Bryde  and Barlish & Sullivan  argued
that the use of BIM as a collaborative tool has a major impact
to project performance. For instance, Won  and Erik Eriksson, Nilsson  support the importance of collaboration between
stakeholders to allow information sharing and knowledge transfer.
Popov, Juocevicius  stated that BIM implementation promote
sharing of information during a building’s life-cycle, while
Kymmell  asserted that early collaboration between project
stockholders substantially influences BIM implementation. To
conclude Lee et al.  and Hegazy et al.  supported that BIM
support efficient collaboration among project participant to share
information between them. Also offers an integrated solution for
numerous ICT systems. Table 1 illustrates a summary of BIM CSFs
This study engaged quantitative data to perform research aim,
structured questionnaire was designed for data collection and
analysis. The questionnaire was distributed to 68 engineers who
have some experience about BIM applications in construction industry
in Gaza Strip in Palestine.
The questionnaire is divided into two sections. In questionnaire
cover page the researcher explain why this questionnaire
was developed and identified research aim and objectives as well
as mentioned the main sections of the questionnaire. The first section
is about respondents’ personal information and divided into
five question about respondent’s gender, education level, nature of
work, position and work experience respectively. Second section
of the questionnaire contain thirty questions about factors that
lead to success in respondent’s company in BIM implementation.
Face validity: The validity of the questionnaire designed was
tested by present the first draft of the questionnaire to 6 experts
with academic knowledge in BIM hardcopy by hand or softcopy by
email. These experts made a very helpful and important modification
to questionnaire such as: clarify some technical expressions,
add some questions and Audit Arabic and English language. These
modifications help to developed final version of the questionnaire.
Pilot study: The size of the pilot sample depends on the actual
sample size. According to Thomas  a sample of round 30-50
people should be enough to identify any substantial bugs in the
system. As a result of that, 30 copies of the questionnaire were
distributed conveniently to respondents from the target group.
All copies were collected, coded, and analyzed by using Statistical
Package for the Social Science IBM (SPSS) version 22.
The questionnaire was formed and distributed in March 2019.
Target population of the questionnaire includes civil engineers,
architects, electrical engineers, mechanical engineers who have
some experience about BIM applications in construction industry
in Gaza Strip in Palestine. Snow-ball sampling method was conducted
as a sampling method in the research. In this sampling
method the initial respondents are chosen by non-probability
methods and then other respondents are suggested by the initial
respondents . Because the number of people who are familiar
with BIM implementation is limited and there are limited sources
for finding engineers who have experience in this specific topic,
snow-ball sampling method can be the best technique to create a
network of professional contacts . In questionnaire distribution
stage face-to-face and web-based survey was used. A total of
sixty-eight copies of questionnaire were distributed and sixty-five
of them were satisfactory completed, making the total response
rate (65/68) *(100) =95.58%. Snow-ball sampling method helped
to obtain a high rate of response and thus increase accuracy.
Table 2, shown that “4D construction sequencing and simulation”
was ranked in the first position with RII equals (89.80%).
This result illustrates the importance of 4D construction sequencing
and simulation for the success of the organization in BIM implementation.
This is related to importance of time schedule to
construction project. All of projects need to deal with time effectively
to save cost and eliminate delays. The study of Sun  and
Tsai  supported this factor as one of the main CSFs facing organization
in BIM implementation.
“Clash detection” was ranked in the second position with RII
equals (89.54%). This result shows the importance of clash detection
for the success of the organization in BIM implementation.
This may be due to the ability of clash detection to minimize errors
by predicting the conflict and faults in design stage before
start construction process on field. In addition, clash detection
process will definitely reduce building time. As well as provide
well understanding of construction functionalities before onsite
construction. Tsai  findings support this result and it was
ranked clash detection in second position by respondents.
“Support from top manager” was ranked in the third position
with RII equals (88.92%). This result illustrates the importance
of support from top manager for the success of the organization
in BIM implementation. Actually, this result is reasonable because
the top manager is one of the most influence member in construction
projects. For instance, if one company want to adopt new
technology such as BIM, it consults the top manager of the company.
So top manager opinion is crucial to decision making. The
result obtained aligns with the findings of Tsai  which indicated
that support from top manager consider the most important critical
success factor facing organization in BIM implementation and
it was ranked in the first positions by respondents.
“Earlier and accurate 3D visualization of design” was ranked
in the fourth position with RII equals (86.15%). This result reveals
the importance of earlier and accurate 3D visualization of design
for the success of the organization in BIM implementation. Due to
the lake of experience of some stakeholders in the construction
process, it is difficult to imagine how the final shape of building.
So, 3D visualization was found to help all stakeholders to see their
construction before it is actually established. The use of 3D models
also may eliminate problems associated to off-site buildings.
The result obtained is agree with the study conducted by Antwi-
Afari  and Matarneh & Hamed .
“Predicting environmental analysis and simulation” was
ranked before the last position with RII equals (59.69%). This
means that the ability of BIM to Predicting environmental analysis
and simulation is not so important to implement BIM. This
is related to availability of data from other reliable sources such
as Palestinian Meteorological Department. In addition, the environmental
conditions in the Gaza Strip are moderate and do not
significantly affect the construction process. As well as The rate of
rainfall is relatively low compared to other countries. This results
in line with the conclusions of Antwi-Afari .
“Providing BIM models for offsite prefabrication” was ranked
in the last position with RII equals (59.69%). This means that the
ability of BIM to provide models for offsite prefabrication is not
important to implement BIM. This results may interpret as project
in Gaza Strip not very complex to build offsite prefabrication
models to it. And other factor is more important in case of Gaza
Strip. This result totally disagrees with Antwi-Afari  outcomes
which ranked Predicting environmental analysis and simulation
in the sixth position.
This paper identified thirty of BIM CSFs and these factors were
ranked in order of importance. The study explains the importance
of CSFs determination to implement BIM in construction industry
as a tool to gain BIM significant benefits to the construction
projects through project lifecycle. The findings indicated that 4D
construction sequencing and simulation, clash detection, support
from top manager, earlier and accurate 3D visualization of design,
improved construction project performance and quality, effective
cost estimation, more training programs for cross‐field specialists
in BIM, and managing people resistance to BIM change was the
most important CSFs for implementing BIM in construction industry
in Gaza Strip. Providing BIM models for offsite prefabrication,
predicting environmental analysis and simulation, and increase
trust between various project practitioner was ranked in the last
positions by respondents.
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