BIM for lean building surveying services

Ali Mahmood, Sepehr Abrishami*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to determine whether the implementation of building information modelling (BIM) concepts of the various processes involved in building surveying practice can lead to a reduction in waste. In turn leading to a synergy between BIM functionalities and lean production concepts.

Design/methodology/approach: To verify and validate the existence of this synergy between the two methods in building surveying, evidences were gathered from previous literature that supports these interactions. Next, a questionnaire was conducted for the purpose of identifying new interactions and providing further evidence to support existing interactions. Finally, based on the findings from previous literature and the results of the questionnaire, an interaction matrix was constructed linking the two concepts with the relevant evidence found.

Findings: The results of the questionnaire show that the BIM functionality with the highest interactions, maintenance of information integrity, had a high correlation with the reduction of variability, cycle time, batch size and promoting standardization of value flow. 4 D model-based scheduling, the second highest functionality, showed a high correlation with the reduction of variability, cycle time, batch size and an increase in the use of visual management. Finally, the results of the interaction matrix between the two concepts showed that the BIM functionalities with the most interactions were maintenance of information integrity, visualization of form and the automated generation of models and documents. The lean principles with the most interactions were reducing variability, cycle time, batch size as well as “enables visual management”. While most of these interactions were positive, negative interactions were also observed. These negative interactions were due to the fact that the level of competency and knowledge in BIM for building surveyors is at reduced levels which can lead to increased human errors.

Originality/value: The significance of this study is to provide the basis for building surveying organizations who wish to implement BIM and how this would lead to a synergy between BIM functionalities and lean principles. Both positive and negative interactions were considered to provide these organizations with different options for waste elimination.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages24
JournalConstruction Innovation
Early online date14 May 2020
Publication statusEarly online - 14 May 2020


  • building surveying
  • building information modelling
  • BIM
  • lean construction
  • BIM for existing buildings
  • BIM for small practices


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