There has been an increase in adoption of building information modeling (BIM) by commercial contractors over the past few years but there is not a clear indication of current application or the frequency of each use. This research was undertaken to determine the frequency and best practices of using BIM in commercial construction. Leading commercial contracting firms were contacted and employees were selected to complete a telephone survey that was designed to determine how they are using BIM. It was found that BIM is being used with more frequency on projects, with plans to continue to implement it even further on all projects that allow for its use. Most companies are incorporating trade contractors in their coordination meetings but are taking the lead to ensure a high standard is maintained. Trade contractors are given responsibility to resolve smaller clashes while bringing the larger problems to the clash detection meetings. The model quality being received is increasing as well the frequency of models being received from the design team; however, there is a lack of consensus as to the level of development requirement to ensure the model can be used for facilities management. Commercial contractors are adopting building information modeling for a variety of reasons. These include client requirements, innovative technology strategies, and fear of being left behind. Overall its use improves processes within their companies. The general agreement is that BIM is having a positive impact on profitability, schedules and sales. BIM further improves the efficiency, effectiveness and competitiveness. The best practices undertaken by commercial contractors include using BIM as a sales and marketing tool, utilizing subcontractors knowledge and allowing them to resolve minor clashes, having combination of BIM teams and BIM experts and investing in training employees and further development of BIM uses.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





best practices, BIM, building information modeling, commercial construction, clash detection



Technology Emphasis

Construction Management (CM)