Owner-based benefit evaluation of BIM applications in China's engineering projects

Xiaojuan LI, Zhou ZHANG, Chi Yung JIM, Jiyu LAI, Xueqing CHEN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper aims to establish a model to evaluate the benefits of building information modeling (BIM) from the owners' perspective. The model analyzes the correlation between five secondary benefit indicators and their subsystems: product, financial, organizational, management and strategic. The final key factors of BIM benefits provide a decision-making basis for owners to raise the efficiency of BIM application. 

Design/methodology/approach: Firstly, the authors combed 31 BIM-related literature and interviewed experts to identify 15 preliminary benefit indicators. The authors established a BIM benefit evaluation system based on relevant concepts, including two primary indicators, five secondary indicators and 15 tertiary indicators. Secondly, the authors analyzed the indicators by the extension theory of matter element analysis and a questionnaire survey of expert opinion. Finally, the new method was applied to a case study of a large shopping center in east China for empirical verification. 

Findings: A BIM benefit evaluation model, including a three-tiered hierarchy of primary, secondary and tertiary indicators, was constructed through literature review and expert opinions. The model determined the critical factors of BIM benefits, enhanced understanding of owner benefits and improved BIM application under the owners' leadership. 

Originality/value: At present, most studies focus on specific project stages or benefit indicators. This study developed an integrated BIM benefit evaluation system that targets owners. The findings could foster the development of China's construction industry, promote owner-led BIM application and advocate adopting the benefit evaluation method. Copyright © 2022 Emerald Publishing Limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4387-4414
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number9
Early online dateJun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


Li, X., Zhang, Z., Jim, C. Y., Lai, J., & Chen, X. (2023). Owner-based benefit evaluation of BIM applications in China's engineering projects. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 30(9), 4387-4414. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-01-2022-0063


  • Building information modeling (BIM)
  • Owner-based benefit evaluation system
  • Benefit indicator
  • Engineering project management
  • Expert judgment
  • Matter element analysis


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