General Contractors Recognize BIM Expertise of Structural Steel Industry

BIM adoption by general contractors has skyrocketed from 28% to 74% since 2007 according to a recent market report published by McGraw-Hill Construction. These same general contractors point to structural steel fabricators and erectors as the most BIM-savvy of trade contractors indicating that 62% have high or very high BIM skills compared to only 13% for concrete and masonry contractors.

While experiencing a positive return-on-investment for their BIM activities, general contractors point to BIM as an effective means of reducing errors, omissions, rework and cost on construction projects.

The independent report states “the steel fabricators/erectors stand out as the leaders in BIM proficiency…It stands to reason that as more general contractors expand their BIM programs, these two categories of specialty contractor (steel and HVAC) will rise in esteem and value for their BIM capabilities.” You can read the full report here.

Roger Ferch, president of AISC, commented “it is rewarding to see our industry’s long-term commitment to develop BIM tools and expertise recognized by the contractors we work with on a daily basis. Clearly, if a general contractor wants to get the most out of their BIM investment they will select structural steel as a framing system and work with the steel fabricator early in the project’s life.”

“We didn’t get here by accident,” added Chris Moor, AISC’s director of industry initiatives and chair of the National BIM Standard - United States Project Committee. “AISC and the structural steel industry has been leading this effort for almost two decades.”

AISC is not resting on its laurels and continues to analyze the industry looking for opportunities to increase the efficiency of its members and their clients. The construction industry is changing and evolving. As the requirement and need to share information and knowledge among project team members grow, AISC is leading the way, developing new ways and means of sharing data between distributed team members and organizations. In addition, within the structural steel industry itself, technological advances of software, machinery and robotics places us at the edge of a new era of even more automation and efficiency. And AISC again leads the way here, evolving the way we exchange data between the Building Information Model and the shop floor; the management tools and the automated equipment.

AISC introduced BIMsteel (, a series of interoperability initiatives, in early 2013 with the aim of developing new processes and providing new solutions that help the industry take advantage of these opportunities and ensure that we achieve the potential this new era promises.