Affordances of BIM during the Architectural Design Process

Erika Parn*, Lalinda Colombage, Niraj Thurairajah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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Building Information Modelling (BIM) represents a move away from traditional practices and the formation of digital models to enable optimized decision making throughout planning, design, construction and operation stages of a facility's life. Usage of BIM is increasing, and seemingly has the capacity to transform every aspect of the construction industry, therefore making it essential for architectural practices to adapt and embrace this new way of working. Delivering projects through BIM within the UK construction industry is reaching a state of necessity. With the UK Government's mandate for BIM implementation coupled with developments in the BIM area, industry practitioners are becoming increasingly under pressure to adopt BIM. BIM technology can potentially change the process and product of architecture. According to Gaver (1991), new technologies primarily concentrate on the current articulated needs and tasks of the users and have the tendency to overlook the innovation potential of the new technologies at the same time. Understanding affordances that BIM can bring to the process of architectural design is a significant factor in the verdict of successful BIM implementation. This preliminary research aims to identify functional affordances of BIM and explore how they influence the architectural design process. Data collection was carried out through semi-structured interviews with BIM coordinators, architectural technologists and designers working on BIM projects to understand their perception of affordances that BIM can bring to the process of architectural design. We found that most actors/designers realize the potential of functional affordances of many BIM applications, however only a few utilize this capacity to enhance the design process. The literature and the results obtained through the interviews both revealed a potential additional affordance category which relates to the design stages and the use of BIM.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication12th International Post-Graduate Research Conference 2015 Proceedings
EditorsVian Ahmed, Udayangani Kulatunga, Jason Underwood, Zeeshan Aziz, Chaminda Pathirage , Menaha Thayaparan
Place of PublicationSalford
PublisherUniversity of Salford
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)978190784726
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event12th International Post-Graduate Research Conference (2015) - MediaCityUK, Salford, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Jun 201512 Jun 2015


Conference12th International Post-Graduate Research Conference (2015)
Abbreviated titleIPGRC
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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