Introducing The BIM Escalator

2 minute read

The Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry is changing, and that’s a good thing. At the centre of this change is an already widely-known term, Building Information Modeling (BIM).

From having to explain what it is to its successful delivery at certain Levels, there is a great deal of confusion and contradiction. Nevertheless, there is one thing that we have found to hold true – we are on a “BIM Escalator”.

The BIM Escalator, we believe, best explains the position of the industry right now. Whether it’s government mandates, client preferences or pressure from our competitors, we are having to re-think our approach to adoption.

The amount of BIM technology on a project is more categorically referred to as BIM Levels. While Levels 0 to 3 have been largely defined, the focus is currently on moving to Level 2.


 NBS definitions:

Level 0

2D drafting with no collaboration; used only for the production of information.

Level 1

Mixture of 3D concept work and 2D documentation for approval of information.

Level 2

Collaboration is the key; information exchanged in either 3D or 2D formats throughout the production of that information.

With industry pressure and most organisations only at Level 1 or 0, the graduation to Level 2 will affect the entire AEC industry. If we take this to be the Escalator, organisations can respond in one of the three ways:


Option 1 Stand on the Escalator 

You can go with the escalator; increase your levels of knowledge, improve business standards, define requirements more clearly, and ultimately, develop into a BIM Level 2 compliant business.

This won’t happen overnight, but you will eventually reach Level 2.

Option 2 – Walk back down the Escalator

Overwhelmed by changing processes and new technologies, you can resist and continue doing things as you have done them for years. Unfortunately, now you’re trying to walk back down an escalator that is moving in the opposite direction (up to Level 2).

It will take you years to finally catch up, and it will have taken far greater effort than Option 1 or 3.

Option 3 – Walk up the Escalator

You can recognise the opportunity presented by the Escalator. While other businesses are either walking against the flow or passively embracing the changes, you can walk up the Escalator.

Separating yourself from the group and becoming an early adopter is admittedly daunting and a greater amount of learning will be required. However, this presents you with the opportunity to become a market leader, win contracts for your innovation and, above all, streamline your processes.



With this in mind, it is our question to any businesses: we are on the BIM Escalator;

which option do you choose?



Professional Services Manager at Asite

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