Challenges and Barriers of Building Information Modeling Adoption in the Saudi Arabian Construction Industry

Mohammed A. Al-Hammadi1, *, Wei Tian1
1 School of Civil Engineering, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710061, China

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© 2020 Al-Hammadi and Tian.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Civil Engineering, Chang’an University, Xi’an 710061, China; Tel: 18091293780; E-mail:



The Building Information Modeling (BIM) revolution can provide a solution for problems in the Saudi Arabian construction industry and improve its outcomes. Though this technology is increasingly and rapidly adopted in advanced countries, developing countries such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries (GCC) are still in the early stages of BIM adoption.


This study investigates the current state of BIM technology adoption by exploring and analyzing the critical challenges and barriers to BIM technology utilization in the construction sectors.


The quantitative approach is adopted via a survey questionnaire distributed to participants in the field of construction projects in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry. A total of 228 questionnaires are collected and analyzed using the statistical packaging for social science software.


Findings show that several significant barriers negatively affect the utilization of BIM. The major barriers to BIM adoption are related to the lack of demand, lack of experts, and poor awareness of BIM benefits, which have relative importance indexes of (RII = 89.910), (RII = 88.475), and (RII = 87.130), respectively. Meanwhile, unspecified data responsibilities, difficulty of learning BIM, lack of data sharing, and sufficient current technology constitute the lowest-ranking barriers with their relative importance indexes of (RII = 71.704), (RII = 70.807), (RII = 66.413), and (RII = 65.874), respectively.


The findings of this study are highly significant and can become more helpful and interesting if further research can measure the methodologies to implement BIM technology in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Keywords: Barriers, Challenges, Building information modeling, BIM, Construction industry, Saudi Arabia.