BIM in the Field: How to Unlock Field Team Success

To say that building information modeling (BIM) has transformed design and clash detection would be an understatement. BIM enables architects and engineers to view detailed 3D designs, experiment with models, and spot issues well before the construction process, which streamlines planning and reduces risks. 

But the benefits of BIM can extend far beyond the design phase. When implemented in the field, BIM enables teams to access valuable constructible data that can be used in everything from construction layout to installation of various elements. 

When deployed in the field, BIM can improve collaboration between office and field teams, streamline tasks, and boost productivity — all of which results in better project outcomes. 

Unfortunately, many companies have yet to fully leverage BIM in the field, where work is actually being done. 

In our latest ebook, you'll learn how to better empower field teams with cloud-based BIM technology. 


Let’s explore some of the top insights from the guide.

A Fundamental Disconnect Between BIM and Field Teams

Many in the construction industry still view BIM primarily as a design tool, and not as technology that can be applied in the field. Industry data shows that less than half of construction companies (41%) use BIM in the field

What's more, 59% of companies indicate that their team members in the field don't have the skills to work with BIM. As such, there’s still a major gap between design and construction.

All that results in tasks — both in the office and on the job — being more difficult than they have to be.

Field teams still utilize manual methods, spending hours to survey what's been done, mark everything up on paper, and then enter the information into a digital system. Meanwhile, BIM teams are faced with equally time-consuming jobs, as traditional methods require them to manually input work back into their models.

The lack of integration between field and office systems also leads to data silos, which prevent teams from extracting valuable insights that can be used to improve their performance. 

Using Cloud-Based BIM to Empower Field Teams

Cloud-based BIM technology can effectively bridge the gap between the office and the field. It enables teams to share information and collaborate in real-time, paving the way for projects to be completed on-time, with minimal stress, re-work, and unnecessary costs. 

One way that cloud-based solutions can empower those on the field is by enabling BIM teams to share visual models of the project with those on-site. Rather than relying on 2D drawings, those on the field can access rich, accurate, and updated project information, enabling them to do their jobs better. 

And since information is accessible in real-time, workers no longer have to wait for the BIM team to provide the necessary information. Instead, they can access the data they need from a convenient digital location.

Cloud-based systems also allow users to make changes on an iPad rather than physical sheets of paper. As such, team members can rest easy knowing that any changes made are accurately and securely recorded. Whereas paper processes pose the risk of data loss, storing everything in the cloud prevents information from falling through the cracks.

The best-in-class solutions can also function offline, allowing teams to enter information even when not connected to the web. Once they’re back online, data is synced automatically. Such features are a godsend for those who work at construction sites with unreliable Internet connectivity. 

With all that being said, it’s worth noting that not all cloud-based BIM solutions are created equal. Things like being mobile-friendly and the ability to work offline are essential, but equally important is user-friendliness. Team members in the field shouldn’t have to spend too much time figuring out how to use technology. The tools you provide must be intuitive and make it easy for them to do their jobs. 

All in all, adopting cloud-based BIM technology keeps teams on the same page, maximizes productivity, and helps things get done faster. 

As Assemblin put it after implementing the cloud-based solution Assemble: “Viewing the 3D model on an iPad in Assemble is a big step for us in terms of digitalization. Assemble provides a more efficient and faster way to track the installation status. With Assemble, we can have a holistic view of the project in a matter of minutes, where before, we had to go out to the field and manually highlight and mark up the drawing, and then go back to the office.”

Ready to Empower Your Field Teams with BIM?

If you haven't equipped your field team members with BIM technology, you’re missing out on massive time savings and productivity gains. Fortunately, There are a number of winning strategies that you could implement to make BIM work in the office and out in the field. Download our latest ebook to discover how.


Christina Hu

Christina Hu was a copywriter at Autodesk Construction Solutions.