Project Delivery & Contracts

Evaluating the Impact of BIM on Project Performance


There is an intuitive understanding among project managers, owners and designers that how you execute and incorporate BIM uses into a project is equal to, or more important than, the uses themselves.  This intuition led to the development of several planning resources, one of them being the BIM Project Execution Planning Guide developed in 2011, which has been widely adopted in the industry and incorporated into the U.S. National BIM Standard.  Now that BIM adoption is maturing, and these planning resources have been in the hands of practitioners for several years, there was a need to assess the impact that BIM and participation in BIM execution planning (BEP) are having on project performance.  This purpose of this research was to quantitatively examine the impact of BIM use adoption and BEP on project performance, across a range of project delivery methods.


The Charles Pankow Foundation (Grant #07-17 and 08-17)

BIM Forum

Research Questions

  • Does increasing BIM use adoption among the project delivery team improve project performance, as measured by cost, schedule and quality metrics?
  • What role does formalized BIM execution planning (BEP) have in the successful implementation of BIM on a project?

Research Methods

This research leveraged an existing data set of 204 vertical building projects completed between 2008 and 2013.  Project performance was represented by five metrics in this data set: construction unit cost in dollars of final construction contract value per gross square foot area, project cost growth as the percent change in project contract values (design and construction) from signing to final completion, project delivery speed in gross square foot area per month of actual project duration, group cohesion and facility quality.  This research tests two theoretical models: (1) a moderation model, where BEP participation had an interaction effect on the relationship between BIM use adoption and performance, and (2) an indirect effect model, where BEP participation was an antecedent to BIM use adoption’s direct relationship with performance.  For the moderation model, multiple linear regression was performed by regressing each performance metric on BIM use adoption, level of BEP participation and the interaction terms.  For the indirect effect model, a structural equation was used to determine the indirect effects of BEP participation on each performance metric through BIM use adoption, when controlling for complexity via project unit cost.


The statistical analysis of the moderation model provided little evidence to suggest that the relationship between BIM use adoption and project performance is dependent on the level of participation by the project delivery team in BEP.  The effect of BIM use adoption on construction unit cost, delivery speed, group cohesion and facility quality was effectively constant for all levels of BEP participation.

However, for the indirect effect model, there was evidence that BEP participation has a direct effect on BIM use adoption.  Wider participation across disciplines resulted in the adoption of either a larger number of BIM uses or those BIM uses with a perceived higher value to the project.  In turn, BIM use adoption had a positive relationship with project delivery speed, group cohesion and facility quality.


Status: Completed


Research Team


  • John Messner

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