AEC Technology Survey Results


This page contains a summary of the results for the AEC Technology Survey. The survey targeted professional organizations as a modest attempt to gauge how technology was being used in practice. Survey questions assessed the extent at which BIM is being implemented, what kinds of digital tools are being put to use, and where digital tools are bringing the most value.

A parallel survey is open for academic programs also...

Some Trends

Even will the small sampling of submissions, the survey results are trending in a direction. Here are some things I am seeing to be of interest…

  • Most describe their professional organization as "keeping pace" (42%) with technology.
    • The other responses such as "Behind the times" (8%) shows that there is an awareness that the organization is not keeping up with the tools. Other answers such as "ahead of the curve" (32%) and " cutting edge!" (18%) shows confidence that their organization has the right tools to be competitive.
  • Early phases of the design process are considered to be the areas where digital tools are of MOST benefit.
    • Later stages, such as documentation and construction, are considered less beneficial areas for digital tools. This is VERY interesting to me considering that over 50% of responders describe their use of digital technology as being Building Information Modeling… a concept which I believe to have the most impact in later stages of design and delivery.
  • Speaking of BIM… while most consider it essential to their practice, 84% do NOT believe BIM has achieved its full potential.
    • This statistic is similarly echoed by a survey that Dennis Shelden shared at a recent Gehry Technologies presentation. BIM is still evolving and has a long ways to go to before it is the 'well-oiled machine' the marketing would like us to believe it is.
  • 39% describe their adoption of technology as being driven by "increasing the speed and efficiency of production".
    • Simply put: Organizations want to produce more faster.
  • Respondents are UNDECIDED about the value of simulation and automation.
    • Considering that speed, efficiency, and performance were the top reasons for adopting new technology, it is very curious that respondents have not been more decisive about simulation and automation. Perhaps the problem is with a general sense of confusion about the potential.
  • Revit, AutoCAD, and Rhinoceros are the top 3 tools listed for CAD and modeling.
    • No surprises here.
  • Daylight analysis and Energy Modeling are the top two uses of simulation.
    • Not surprising considering that these capabilities are becoming the most 'friendly' with tools like Vasari hitting the desks of designers and architects.
  • Grasshopper is listed as the most common computational design tool in use…
    • The second most common response here is "We are not using computational design tools." I guess you either use Grasshopper… or you don't?

Hardly Conclusive

The results are hardly conclusive. First, given the size of the industry, the number of responses is hardly enough of a sampling to form concrete conclusions. Second, the vast majority of responses have come from designers and architects. A handful of structural engineers have contributed, but the survey is missing MEP, builders, and fabricators.

If there is a conclusion: Please take surveys performed on some designer's blog with grain of salt….

A Summary of the Data

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