The literature on each case study was carefully read and analyzed and those aspects regarding the benefits and problems or challenges of implementing BIM where collected.
The total number of case studies gathered was 35. The total number was not previously defined, but as relevant case studies were found, they were added to the research until the timeframe of this dissertation didn’t allow more of them to be found and analyzed. The author of this research is confident that the number of case studies used is big enough to extract conclusions.
After each positive and negative aspect of the implementation of BIM had been collected for each case study, these were translated into the key performance KPI described on Table 3.1 and based on the PMBOK Knowledge Areas. It is relevant to mention here that this translation was not always easy. Some benefits or challenges were difficult to translate to one of the KPI. The results and numbers given on Table 4.1 should be seen as based on the authors’ perception and experience. For more details on the exact translation from the information found on the literature into the KPI the reader should refer to the table compiled in Annex IV of this dissertation.
One of the recurring challenges mentioned on the implementation of BIM found in several case studies were Software Related Issues. Amongst others, there were “information transfer bottlenecks” or “lack of parametric content” (Manning and Messner, 2008), “technical difficulties” or “modelling issues” (Kaner et al., 2009) and “3D modelling inconsistencies” (Haymaker and Fischer, 2001). These Software issues were very specific to the Software packages or expertise of the stakeholders, so in an attempt to keep these very specific negative effects clearly separated, a new KPI [Software] was created.
After translating all benefits and challenges of the BIM implementation into the KPI of Table 3.1, none of these were found to fit in the last category “Procurement Help”. It is for this reason that Table 4.1, which shows the summary of the results obtained in each case study, does not show this category.
The projects on Table 4.1 are organized using the added score for each of them (positive indicators minus negative indicators). This is not an attempt to find which one is the best BIM case study but to organize the projects in a way that the reader can see in which case studies it is possible to find more positive aspects of the implementation of BIM. The numbers on the score column should not be seen as an indicator of how successful or unsuccessful those case study projects were, but simply as how many KPI were mentioned positively or negatively. For example, the case study of the Cascadia Center (McGraw-Hill 2010b) shows a score of -3. This means that 3 aspects of the use of BIM related to the Coordination, Organization and Software KPI were mentioned as challenging or causing difficulties, but it doesn’t mean that the use of BIM had negative effects.