The Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry is experiencing an extraordinary rate of digital transformation due to the arrival of Building Information Modelling (BIM). For the past two decades, BIM provides faster development, reduced building costs, customer lifecycle management and eco-friendly business decisions throughout the construction life cycle. The arrival of Industry 4.0 has introduced the AEC industry with digitalisation where BIM become the center of the development of powerful and innovative applications by extending the capability of BIM with the amalgamation of the disruptive technologies provided by industry 4.0. From smart design for virtual experience, to smart construction to improve industrial process, quality, and service, to smart building to allow digital twin to facilitate the development of various smart applications and to the development of smart city for sustainable and efficient living lifestyle, AEC industry has been taking advance innovation and social transformational steps to be an intelligence-enabled living lifestyle as an initiative to achieve sustainability and efficiency. Studies revealed the active collaboration between BIM with technologies from Industry 4.0 (Figure 1), such as the use of BIM to support design decisions for mass customization production, structural health monitoring (SHM) using open BIM, allowing schedule monitoring in real time, smart steel bridge construction enabled by BIM and IoT, and a digital platform that uses augmented reality (AR) combined with BIM to provide workers with relevant information in real-time. However, to integrate such technologies and actualise it, many stakeholders and disciplines that cover multi-dimensions to complete the smart-things ecosystem need to be considered.

Figure 1. Concept of technologies in Industry 4.0 with BIM as its core structure with collaboration and an autonomous synchronization system.


The word “smart buildings”, “smart construction”, smart cities” which have shifted the value chain of organization and management across the lifecycle of products by integrating complex devices, machines, and networked sensors and software, deployed to predict, control, and plan for better design, construction and management development. The combination of these digital innovations is collectively called the Internet of Things (IoT) in the cyber-physical system, which are able to meet new emergent needs and provide capabilities that instigate the next evolution of society and its organization or institution and transform how buildings are designed, fabricated, used, operated, maintained, and managed. Robotic technologies have been merged with the construction industry, known as construction automation technologies, to create elements of buildings, building components, and building furniture. Industry 4.0 has challenged the construction industry by providing a glimpse of the construction digitization potential with the availability of digital data and online digital access that automatically gather and process electronic data into the value chain on discrete tasks. BIM (within the planning domain), as the centre of construction digitization together with Industry 4.0 (production domain), is able to close the digital gap that still exists and sustain the impact on future building processes.  The relationship of Industry 4.0 as the production domain with BIM as the planning domain acts as the core structure of the cyber-planning-physical system, influenced by the benefits and challenges of Industry 4.0 for the construction industry is illustrated in Figure 2.

Figure 2.   The relationships in the cyber-planning-physical system with BIM as its core. Adapted from previous studies


The bi-directional coordination between the physical domain and cyber domain has the potential to improve real-time progress monitoring and control the construction process, track changes, model updates, and exchange information between the design and operational stages [65]. This is a solution to the infamous construction practice epitomized by the management inefficiencies that result in delays, unforeseen costs, and poor work quality. Since BIM is the core of this bi-directional coordination, its role is to digitize and control the overall process of the construction life cycle. However, for this to be realized, the construction industry needs to accommodate their activities with BIM functionalities, as BIM tools have the potential to be used for managing different activities. BIM functionalities include six components:


(1) Team communication and integration,

(2) Parametric modelling and visualization,

(3) Building performance analysis and simulation,

(4) Automatic document generation,

(5) Improved building lifecycle management, and

(6) Software interoperability with other applications.

The relationship between the cyber-planning-physical system, BIM functionalities, and construction phases is illustrated in Figure 3.

Figure 3. Relationship between cyber-planning-physical system, BIM functionalities, and construction phases.


Ts. Raihan Maskuriy 

Pensyarah ,
Fakulti Rekabentuk dan Senibina,
Universiti Putra Malaysia.


Date of Input: 05/12/2022 | Updated: 03/01/2023 | uswahhasanah


Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 UPM Serdang
Selangor Darul Ehsan