March 27, 2014 15:38 ET

The Inevitable Shift Towards Building Information Modelling (BIM) in Canada's Construction Sector

Publication of a CEFRIO Research Report

QUEBEC CITY, QC--(Marketwired - March 27, 2014) - CEFRIO today published a report presenting the highlights of a research project on the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) in Canada's construction industry. Entitled The Inevitable Shift Towards Building Information Modelling (BIM) in Canada's Construction Sector, the report presents the main benefits, challenges, and risks associated with adoption and implementation of BIM by small businesses. It also includes an eight-step small business BIM implementation guide based on the research results.

The report presents the conclusions of the fourth and last phase of the Construction and ICT project during which three pilot projects (two in Québec and one in British Columbia) were carried out experimenting with BIM integration. The pilot projects involved a property developer, an architecture-engineering firm, and a specialty contractor.

BIM is a product, technology, and process all rolled into one. It offers a digital representation of a building's design to facilitate collaboration and information exchange among all project partners -- architects, engineers, builders, managers, and owners.

Still little used in Canada compared to the United States, BIM technology is disruptive in that it radically alters how architects, engineers, and builders go about their jobs. To take full advantage of its added value, small businesses seeking to harness BIM technology must update their practices and redefine their workflows to adjust to the new imperatives it creates.

The study looks at the chief benefits of building information modelling, the main challenges of integrating BIM into the business environment, the risks entailed, and the lessons learned in the pilot projects. The research team has also developed an eight-step guide for small Canadian construction firms that wish to adopt the technology.

The Construction and ICT project research team was led by Daniel Forgues, Ph.D., a professor with the construction engineering department of École de technologie supérieure, and Sheryl Staub-French, Ph.D., P. Eng., an associate professor with the University of British Columbia. The research project was funded by National Research Council Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program and Centre d'étude et de recherche pour l'avancement de la construction au Québec (CERACQ). Funding for the pilot project's commercial partners was provided by the Digital Technology Adoption Pilot Program (DTAPP).

The BIM research report and its eight-step implementation guide for small businesses are available free at


CEFRIO helps public and private organizations transform their business processes and practices through digital technology. As a liaison and technology transfer centre, CEFRIO is mandated by the Government of Québec to contribute to Québec society by promoting smart use of digital technology. It conducts research, experiments, and studies to reveal digital technology's potential in all walks of life. It boasts a team of seasoned experts, a network of some 80 associate and guest researchers, and the active involvement of 150 members. CEFRIO's main financial partner is Quebec's Ministère de l'Enseignement supérieur, de la Recherche, de la Science et de la Technologie. See for information on the full breadth and range of its projects and studies.

Contact Information