BIM Excellence Award – A mirror of the Portuguese AEC industry digital maturity level

by Cláudia Antunes, Regional lead for Portugal, BIM Consultant at StratBIM®

Valuing and promoting the digitization and implementation of BIM, through the dissemination and promotion of good practices, are the main objectives of the “BIM Excellence Award” – an annual initiative that was created in 2017 by the BIM Technical Committee for Standardization, consisting of dozens of volunteer experts who contribute to BIM adoption in Portugal.

In this 2021 edition, I had the honor of joining the panel of judges as a representative of the Portuguese Architects Association, together with other representatives of reference institutions in Architecture, Engineering and Construction in Portugal and two international guests.

The applications revealed that the digital maturity of the Portuguese industry has evolved considerably, even without the government’s obligation to use BIM, with the general quality of all competing entities being remarkable. For this reason, the evaluation was a process that led to interesting debates and discussions among the different members of the Jury.

Regarding the profile of the competing entities, most of them are large and medium-sized companies dedicated to construction, real estate management or engineering projects. In this edition, was not registered the participation of entities exclusively dedicated to architecture projects. 

Concerning the typology of the cases or projects presented, they varied in scale and complexity, but essentially demonstrated the application of BIM in building and renovation projects of offices and multidisciplinary buildings, inspections, infrastructure projects, as well as BIM applied to heritage management (HBIM – Heritage BIM).

It should also be noted that, in general, the applications demonstrated a degree of advanced maturity in the integration of collaborative digital processes and modelling, however, a less structured approach regarding the use of existing standards, for example with ISO 19650. Finally, the innovative character of the implemented approaches was a less explored factor and where was recognized a greater potential for evolution in future editions of this award.

In the final evaluation report, the Jury mentions that, influenced by the consequences of the pandemic, “digitalisation, sustainability and social responsibility have become priority transition vectors, which demand true demonstrations of excellence from the industry”. Therefore, and concluding, everyone involved in the process “recognises the leaders of change in all applications”.