Evaluation Of Training Needs For Building Information Modeling (BIM)
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The basic premise of Building Information Modeling (BIM) is to use and share the digital model of a project as a source of information for all participants, in order to simulate and analyze potential problems during the project's life-cycle, from conception to operation. BIM is a relatively new technology praised by all participants in the Architecture-Engineering-Construction (AEC) industry for its innovative tools, and the promise of a high return of investment and productivity increase. The construction industry experimented little growth in productivity in the last decades, and is heavily relying on technology rather than intense labor in order to boost productivity. BIM is positioning itself as the productivity solution that the AEC industry has been in need of for a long time. As demand for BIM rises, many companies will be looking forward to implement cost-effective training methods and will see an increase in their current training needs as part of their BIM implementation plan. Little theoretical or quantitative research has been done related to training needs for companies in the AEC industry that are in the process of implementing or increasing the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM). This thesis evaluated current needs and trends for BIM software training at a national level in the AEC industry. In order to gather information two sources were used. First, a literature review of the subject matter; and second, an online survey performed among 46 companies between March and April of 2011.The survey results show that the cost of training staff to become proficient in BIM software can be high but justified by a high return on investment. The data collected shows that the average cost of training a BIM design technician ranges between $2,500 and $5,000, while the cost of training BIM users in managerial positions ranges between $5,000 and $15,000. Another significant result of this study is that in terms of training duration, BIM design technicians complete training within four weeks, while training BIM managers require from two to six months. Association of research and information gathered through the research survey also shows that regardless of the nature of the firms, a general trend is to provide training by means of in-house personnel rather than contracting external training companies. It was also found that most respondent companies are evenly split on whether training is provided using extended or intermittent formats. Also, the results show that basic skills, 3D modeling, and collaboration, rank high in the priority of training subjects.