ITcon Vol. 29, pg. 400-423,

Digitalization and procurement in construction projects: An integrated BIM-based approach

submitted:November 2023
revised:April 2024
published:May 2024
editor(s):Obonyo E
authors:Bruno C. Matos
Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal

Carlos O. Cruz
Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal

Fernando B. Branco
Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
summary:The procurement for construction works has been limited in recognizing and integrating the influence of digitalization, particularly through Building Information Modeling (BIM), and thereby capitalizing on its benefits. Hence, a comprehensive and practical framework, coupled with proper documentation, is vital for enhancing not only the effectiveness of BIM-based procurement processes but also ensuring a successful BIM implementation. Despite its significance, the literature remains scarce, particularly in addressing the integration of BIM-specific provisions with conventional construction procurement methods, within the constraints of public procurement. This research introduces a systematic approach for integrating BIM requirements into traditional tendering processes for construction works, applicable to both the public and private sectors, serving as a reference guide for contracting authorities. For this purpose, the following methodology was adopted: 1) conducting an extensive literature review; 2) carrying out interviews with construction experts to identify relevant procurement requirements within a BIM-specific environment; 3) developing a comprehensive BIM-integrated tendering framework, combined with the traditional processes and cross-referenced with recognized BIM standards and public procurement regulations, especially the ISO 19650 standards and the European Directive 2014/24/EU; 4) creating a model BIM specifications document (corresponding to the exchange information requirements), to be used by the contracting authority, according to the previously defined framework; 5) discussing the application and limitations of the proposed BIM-based procurement methodology, along with considerations for future research. In conclusion, to address current limitations, including the absence of BIM-specific procurement guidelines in related standards and regulations, this paper outlines a comprehensive solution for this problem, considering the traditional procurement workflow and documentation, namely the tender and specifications documents, with a particular emphasis on the latter, which includes the exchange information requirements (EIR) and shapes the competitive dynamics of the tendering process. While information from traditional 2D drawings usually takes precedence over that from BIM models, the author believes that a fully contractual BIM implementation and success depend on the opposite scenario.
keywords:building information modeling (BIM), construction, european directive 2014/24/EU, exchange information requirements (EIR), information exchange, information requirements, procurement
full text: (PDF file, 0.96 MB)
citation:Matos B C, Cruz C O, Branc F B (2024). Digitalization and procurement in construction projects: An integrated BIM-based approach, ITcon Vol. 29, pg. 400-423,