Data is rising to the top as the new must-have for all players in the building industry. But what does it mean for manufacturers? Let’s decode data in construction and explore why you should place it at the centre of your relationship-building strategy.
100 million downloads: The data, insights and trends behind the milestone
Something big happened on the 8th of November 2021. Something big-BIG. Architects, engineers and interior designers hit “download” on our global marketplace for the 100 millionth time.
While we created the global marketplace for BIM objects, our users and building product manufacturers certainly did their fair share of heavy lifting. But instead of inviting you to an obnoxious brag fest, we’d like to give you something back. So, let’s crunch our numbers, unveil the trends and talk about what 100M downloads mean for manufacturers and the building industry as a whole.
Short on time? Jump to:
- Why downloads matter
- Increase in new users
- Downloaded files
- Downloading users
- Countries with the most downloads
- Most downloaded BIM file formats – continental breakdown
- Most downloaded product categories
Every single download matters. The first, the thousandth, the millionth and the 100-million-and-first downloaded file. Here’s why:
A downloaded file means interest and intent
A download is "just" is a click of a button. But it also signals interest and intent. When an architect, engineer or interior designer visits your page and downloads one of your BIM objects, they’re evaluating the product’s suitability for a particular design or multiple designs. In addition, every download and activity gives you insights on product (and brand!) performance as well as the means to engage to specification.
Downloads save time
Every single download is one or more design decisions. BIM object file downloads give designers all the product information they need – from geometry to energy consumption and product lifetime. This reduces time-wasting information frustration and makes it easier for architects, engineers and interior designers to make well-informed design decisions.
But the time-saving perks don’t end there. The less time you need to spend on sending PDFs back and forth, the more time you have to focus on other business-critical tasks – such as winning over other specifiers. In the end: time is precious and time is money.
Downloads are the starting point of collaboration
Collaboration is critical in a world with increasingly complex building projects. Publishing your products on a BIM object marketplace shows that you want to collaborate. A download is an act of potential reciprocation.
Manufacturers who can speed up and smooth the process get a leg up on the rest. And when it’s time to move on to the next project; specifiers will remember how you helped facilitate smarter, faster and greener designs.
The road to 100 million downloaded files
BIMobject.com came to life when films like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Bridesmaids and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy hit the theatres. When Adele’s Rolling in the Deep echoed through every radio station. And at the same time as Game Of Thrones premiered.
The year was 2011.
We, and the industry as a whole, have come far since. Digitisation is moving from a luxury to a must. Sustainability is moving up the agenda. And BIM mandates are being enforced to improve national productivity and solve social issues.
In 2021, the global marketplace for BIM objects surpassed 2,7 million users and close to 2,200 building product manufacturers. Carl Silbersky, BIMobject’s CEO, comments:
“Every second - around the clock, all year round - a digital building product is downloaded on bimobject.com and is used to build a better world. The construction industry's movement towards digitalisation and sustainability has never felt stronger than today, and this can clearly be seen in our figures.”
But what are the “figures” Carl speaks of? Let’s crunch the data, target specifier trends and identify opportunities for manufacturers:
More users and higher demand for BIM objects
It’s no secret that digitisation has taken the world by storm. And it’s no secret either that construction is one of the least digitised industries in the world. But things are starting to change. A majority of designers use digital tools to explore new products. Pair this behavioural change with the general rise in BIM (+ mandates) and you have the perfect recipe for more downloads and more downloading users.
Let’s dive into the numbers:
- Registered accounts. As of November 2021, there are 2.7 million registered users from all over the world. The number of new accounts increased by 19.2% compared to last year.
- Downloads. In 2020, we hit one download every second. October 2021 was a record-breaking month with 2,98 million downloaded files. The year-on-year increase? 32% more files were downloaded in 2021 compared to 2020.
- Downloading users have increased by 21% compared to last year.
What the increase in users and downloads mean for manufacturers
But what does all of this mean for manufacturers? Apart from general FOMO (fear of missing out) the equation is quite simple: the bigger the pool of architects, engineers and interior designers; the larger the potential reach. Specifiers flock to bimobject.com to get inspired and find products. So, presence on bimobject.com presents marketers in manufacturing with the opportunity to reach, understand and influence them. Jesper Møllgaard Jensen, Owner of Icons of Denmark, chimes in:
“Being on the BIMobject marketplace provides immense value for Icons of Denmark. Not only does it increase our exposure and overall digital offering to our audience, but it also aids our understanding of the market and what customers are truly seeking.”
Top 10 countries with the most downloading users
BIM adoption varies around the world. Some have come far, while others are treading lightly and learning by each day. Regardless, countries with BIM-conscious clients and BIM-fluent designers need manufacturer-specific BIM objects to populate the BIM model. So, which countries have the most downloading users on the global marketplace?
The USA represents the highest number of downloading users on the BIMobject marketplace. Brazil is the runner-up on our list, closely followed by Mexico. The amount of downloading users in Mexico and Brazil are likely to surge as both nations’ BIM mandates and strategies crystallise in years to come.
French architects, engineers and interior designers download a lot of BIM objects; earning France fourth place. If we travel south-east, we’ll land in the 5th highest number of downloading users: Italy.
Next on the list is Russia – a nation that’ll mandate BIM for all public procurements as of 2022. India is just behind the bicontinental federation, closely followed by Spanish designers who take 8th place.
The most notorious BIM country in the world, the United Kingdom, lands in 9th place. Lastly, Colombia squeezes into the 10th place of global downloading users on bimobject.com.
Country not on the list? No cause for alarm. Nations with a lower population have fewer professionals; making it harder to make the top 10. Denmark and Sweden are two prime examples of nations with a relatively high adoption rate and comparatively high amount of downloading users. Looking for more stats? Book a quick chat to get more details on your market.
BIM content development: The most downloaded file formats
Alright. You’re familiar with what BIM is. Perhaps you’ve even explored the benefits for manufacturers (if not; here are four reasons why manufacturers should get into BIM). But… Wanting to be a player in the BIM game is one thing. Knowing which file formats you should invest in is a whole other subject.
So, what file format is most commonly downloaded by our users? Is it Revit, Archicad, SketchUp or something else? We know the answer on a global level:
But let’s break it down by continent. After all, you want to reach architects, engineers and interior designers in your market – and beyond. And you want to provide your objects in a file format they actually use.
In 2021, Revit was the most downloaded format across all continents. North America tops the list at 86.5%, while Europe comes in last at 62.7%.
So, who takes the silver? That’ll be Archicad. Europe is the continent that most frequently downloads Archicad files (20.8%). Africa comes in second at 12.2% followed by South America at 5.6%. At the bottom of the list is Asia; a continent that, in 2021, seems to favour SketchUp (4.6%) over Archicad (3.4%).
Need a helping hand or BIM content intel? Get in touch with our content development team today!
Most downloaded product categories
Close to 2,200 manufacturers* offer free BIM objects on the BIMobject marketplace. They’ve all undergone the same process: set up an account, created a brand page and uploaded/created BIM content with dedicated product pages. All with the same goal: to reach, understand and influence specifiers to include their project in their designs.
We already know that one file is downloaded every second. But which are the decade’s most downloaded product categories?
*Defined as unique brands (including subsidiaries with unique product ranges) with products available for download on bimobject.com.
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