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Cost benefits analysis for the use of BIM in public tenders

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

The methodology handbook is the main deliverable of the study "Cost-benefits analysis for the use of BIM in public tenders" which was executed through a service contract awarded to RINA consulting S.p.A and B1P Group S.r.l. The study was funded by the COSME Programme managed by EISMEA. The steering of the study was done by DG GROW and the EU BIM Task Group.

BIM Design Hub has been identified as a suitable stakeholder and supported the development of the model and participated in consultations, from the point of view of the public client.

The aim of the project was to develop a model which enables EU public clients to measure the costs and benefits of using BIM in their public construction projects. The project addressed three main objectives:

  • Cost-benefit development

  • Model validation and case studies

  • Handbook creation

Cost - Benefits Analysis tool, CBA

The development of the Cost-Benefits Analysis tool (CBA) will enable EU public clients to access the costs and advantages of adopting BIM. The handbook presents a step-by-step procedure to simulate cost-benefit analysis using the CBA tool. The information required by the user are developed in three sections;

  1. Preliminary General Information, such as the general information related to the use of BIM in the public organization, and the general characteristics of the project.

  2. BiM model creation information, such as the Level of Detail, LOD needed in the tender, the asset category, (building or infrastructure), and the cost of a BIM specialist in the country

  3. Category of Asset information, such as the questions related to surface size, an average level of complexity, level of standardization, information on MEP systems

The results show the cost-benefit analysis of the adoption of BIM in a project both for Maturity levels 1 and 2. The five indicators that are computed according to the level of BIM maturity are:

  • the Benefit-cost ratio

  • The Net present value (NPV)

  • the Economic Benefit-Cost Ratio

  • the Economic Net Present Value (ENPV)

Additionally, the BIM direct expenses (model costs and coordination costs) are displayed along with the Economic Benefit-Cost Ratio and the Economic Net Present Value (ENPV) associated with each phase of the project (planning & design, construction, and operational and maintenance).

The model was validated through 6 case studies including the conversion of an old sports center, the maintenance and renovation of a road, a new port construction model, a renovation project for a public building, a BIM verification project, and a new residential building construction.

The model measures not only the financial benefits (e.g. savings due to precise quantity take-offs) but also economic benefits related to the socio-environmental field (e.g. reduction of wastes and CO2 emissions).

The performance indicators created for the model measure the viability of using BIM in an investment project: NPV (Net Present Value) and BC (Benefit-Cost) ratio from a financial point of view, ENPV (Economic Net Present Value) and EBC (Economic Benefit-Cost) ratio, from the economic one.

CBA validation - Renovation project for a public building

Below, you can find information about the case study of a renovation project for a public building, one of the 6 case studies used to validate the tool. The main project characteristics are:

Tipology: Building - renovation

Size: 4000 m2

Budget: 13.090.000 euro

Level: Digital twin

The outputs from the tool relate to the economic and environmental impact for BIM Maturity level 1 and level 2 and are shown below, (Source: Cost-Benefit analysis for the use of BIM user Handbook).

Cost-benefit analysis for the use of BIM user Handbook

Source: Cost-benefit analysis for the use of BIM user Handbook

Results for BIM Maturity level 1: The NPV and the B/C ratio highlight the profitability, expressed as savings, of the investment in BIM. In this case study, a digital twin is required, so the modelling cost is allocated during the construction phase.

Cost-benefit analysis for the use of BIM user Handbook

Source: Cost-benefit analysis for the use of BIM user Handbook

Results for BIM Maturity level 2: The NPV and the Benefit-Cost ratio are showing the use of BIM in the project is advantageous, with even larger potential benefits with respect to the maturity level 1 scenario.

More information about the other case studies, the CBA tool as well as video tutorials you can find on the EU BIM Task Group website, at this link:

Author: Panagiotidou Nicoleta

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