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Implementing 5D BIM on construction projects: contractor perspectives from the UK construction sector

Tochukwu Moses (Department of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)
David Heesom (University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)
David Oloke (University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology

ISSN: 1726-0531

Article publication date: 11 May 2020

Issue publication date: 28 October 2020




The purpose of this paper is to report on primary research findings that sought to investigate and analyse salient issues on the implementation of 5D building information modelling (BIM) from the UK contractors’ perspective. Previous research and efforts have predominantly focussed on the use of technologies for cost estimation and quantity takeoff within a more traditional-led procurement, with a paucity of research focussing on how 5D BIM could facilitate costing within contractor-led procurement. This study fills this current knowledge gap and enhances the understanding of the specific costing challenges faced by contractors in contractor-led projects, leading to the development of 5D framework for use in future projects.


To develop a fully detailed understanding of the challenges and issues being faced in this regard, a phenomenological, qualitative-based study was undertaken through interviews involving 21 participants from UK-wide construction organisations. A thematic data analytical process was applied to the data to derive key issues, and this was then used to inform the development of a 5D-BIM costing framework.


Multi-disciplinary findings reveal a range of issues faced by contractors when implementing 5D BIM. These exist at strategic, operational and technological levels which require addressing successful implementation of 5D BIM on contractor-led projects adhering to Level 2 BIM standards. These findings cut across the range of stakeholders on contractor-led projects. Ultimately, the findings suggest strong commitment and leadership from organisational management are required to facilitate cost savings and generate accurate cost information.

Practical implications

This study highlights key issues for any party seeking to effectively deploy 5D BIM on a contractor-led construction project. A considerable cultural shift towards automating and digitising cost functions virtually, stronger collaborative working relationship relative to costing in design development, construction practice, maintenance and operation is required.


By analysing findings from primary research data, the work concludes with the development of a 5D BIM costing framework to support contractor-led projects which can be implemented to ensure that 5D BIM is successfully implemented.



Moses, T., Heesom, D. and Oloke, D. (2020), "Implementing 5D BIM on construction projects: contractor perspectives from the UK construction sector", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. 18 No. 6, pp. 1867-1888.



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