Monday, November 5, 2012

Another example for why it is better to stay out of BIM surveys…

….Unless of course you have software to sell.

Earlier this year a survey was published in New Zealand:

“This New Zealand National BIM Survey 2012 report has been prepared by Masterspec on behalf of the construction industry. It provides a credible picture of present day attitudes and progress made towards Building Information Modelling (BIM) in New Zealand.”

Note the words ‘on behalf’ and ‘credible’.  
I’m sure you, dear reader, already feel all included within  the ‘all inclusive’ NZ construction industry and are looking forward to the ‘credible’ arguments you’ll find here.

In the executive summary, the first question is interesting, even more the way the results are presented.

First thing, first:
“The survey asked a series of questions to establish current usage of both 2D and 3D CAD, as a
precursor to determining likely future engagement with Building Information Modelling (BIM).”
… actually, this was the question:
“When producing CAD drawings, which of the following tools do you mainly use?”

They must be extremely advanced over there in NZ these days if they can establish likely future engagement with BIM from the current tools used.
I’d never dare look at an AutoCAD user today and say, ‘hey mate, you’ll never make it into the next decade with skills like that’, or
‘my dear Bentley friends, you might as well pack up your BIM solutions and go fishing instead, because currently 1% of the survey-prone part of the NZ construction industry uses Bentley Microstation for drafting their CAD drawings’.

I’d never make predictions based on info like this, but obviously I’ve lost my edge having left NZ almost 3 years ago.

Then, look at the chart itself!
Autodesk products are conveniently bundled together – not so ArchiCAD and Vectorworks (owned by the same company: Nemetschek). If there were any Allplan users within the ‘others’ (quite probable)  adding their number to the previous two (following the same logic)  would bring them significantly above the Autodesk bunch. (even with AutoCAD included!)
The surveyors must have felt a bit uneasy about this grouping, so just for good measure added the following note:

“Autodesk products (40%) and Graphisoft (37%) clearly dominate the New Zealand CAD market.
However the high number using ArchiCAD reflects the strong hold this company holds over
the architect and architectural designer market (81% of respondents). It is likely that if further
engineers had responded to the survey the balance towards Graphisoft (ArchiCAD) would not be as marked.”

Pay attention to the suggestion that ‘it is likely…’.  
Is it really something that a ‘credible’ survey performed on my ‘behalf’ would really speculate on?
Oh, that’s right – I can no longer consider myself to be part of the NZ construction industry.

Thankfully, Graphisoft NZ within their Cadimage blog had thought about reshuffling the numbers to their advantage, leaving their ‘little sister’, Vectorwoks behind.
(see attached);
I wonder if Bentley had possibly used the same results in some forum to show ‘theirs was the future of BIM’, based on the very low level of ‘2D CAD misuse of Bentley products in NZ’ or some other creative marketing blurb.


  1. For such a misguided survey, it is interesting that Graphisoft NZ decided to use it to pronounce internationally that ArchiCAD is the NZ 'BIM' industry leader (without links to the survey until asked by me)

    I didn't realise that ArchiCAD was used by engineers? I do know many Engineers using AutoCAD (R14 anyone), so 'likely' is an educated speculation.

    Another interesting statistic omitted is the number of licenses per practice. NZ predominantly has 1-2 man offices, which suits ArchiCAD well (80% or respondents). The larger practices mainly use Revit (even more since you left), yet are considered a single entry in the survey...

    I am glad to see that there are organisations starting to get a handle on 'BIM' in New Zealand. Can you offer any 'more credible' sources of information, other than your own anecdotal information?

  2. "There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics." Samuel Clemens

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