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Affordance-led framework of understanding of BIM adoption

Himal Suranga Jayasena (Department of Building Economics, University of Moratuwa, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka)
Niraj Thurairajah (Department of Architecture and Built Environment, Northumbria University, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK)
B.A.K.S. Perera (Department of Building Economics, University of Moratuwa, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka)
Mohan Siriwardena (School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK)


ISSN: 2631-6862

Article publication date: 7 September 2023




Successful adoption of building information modelling (BIM) by early adopters is crucial for its effective diffusion. The purpose of this study is to develop a framework of understanding that supports contextualized understanding of BIM adoption decisions in a BIM infant industry. The framework bridges the gap in current knowledge in terms of the absence of such a framework, which has hindered the structured understanding of the BIM decision of an adopter, curtailing the appropriate strategizing of their BIM adoption.


The study focuses on a BIM infant industry, where early adopters begin using BIM, allowing insights into this crucial initial stage of adoption. Identifying affordances as a versatile concept that could effectively represent not only what an adopter perceives and expects from BIM implementation, but also, what the adopter, in fact, can achieve from it, an affordance-led framework of understanding (AFU) was developed to comprehensively capture varying dynamics of BIM decision process. The study took a qualitative retroductive approach to theory with semi-structured interviews to gather necessary data from a sample of BIM adopters purposively selected to maximize the breadth and depth of data.


The study concludes by identifying and defining pertinent affordances as a new concept and a compulsory state for BIM adoption. Findings further demonstrate that existing theories can be linked to the AFU to strategically direct the affordances dynamics towards the pertinent state.


The AFU enables a deeper contextualizable view of innovation adoption that was absent in existing innovation studies. It significantly enhances the precision of strategizing BIM adoption compared to previous approaches, enabling adopters to plan and implement BIM in a manner that aligns well with their expectations and specific conditions.



Jayasena, H.S., Thurairajah, N., Perera, B.A.K.S. and Siriwardena, M. (2023), "Affordance-led framework of understanding of BIM adoption", Archnet-IJAR, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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