BIM on Building site

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About the project

Building Information Modelling (BIM) allows making elaborate, information-rich models of building designs. However, there is no easy way yet to couple these models to what is actually happening on-site, during a construction. The BoB project aims to create a 2-way link between BIM models and the actual building, improving building efficiency and avoiding costly errors

BIM, from design to the actual construction

The advent of Building Information Modelling (BIM) propelled the construction industry towards more digitization, a much-anticipated leap.

BIM includes a process of information management, collaboration, and digital delivery, using coherent object-oriented models shared among the stakeholders in a building project.

Today however, BIM is mostly used during design and planning. But it could also be used during the entire building life cycle. Especially for construction, its advantages are not yet fully exploited. That is what the BoB project has set out to improve.

BoB image

Current shortcomings and opportunities for BIM

The main challenges and opportunities for using BIM during the construction phase are:

  • The digital models are insufficiently used on-site, and this for a variety of legacy reasons. As a result, the models and the real situation on the ground get decoupled, leading to errors and the need to redo some of the work.
  • Information is spread over multiple data sources and subcontractors, each using their own tools for estimates and progress reports, resulting in a very scattered view on the construction process.
  • Decisions and progress management are based on gut feeling rather than objective data or reporting. This impacts the construction, disrupts schedules and material streams and leads to cost overruns.

Making the link to construction

  • To achieve these goals, BoB plans to implement these innovations:
  • The automated recognition of activities such as pouring concrete or excavations. Onsite cameras are already used and coupled with machine learning (ML), but detecting complex activities will require new ML approaches.
  • Mapping the state on the construction site to the planned BIM. This way the planning can be benchmarked and continuously followed up. Such qualitative comparisons require camera images to be automatically and accurately mapped on BIM models, which is still challenging and which BoB will study.
  • A bi-directional link is needed between on-site insights and BIM models. This requires an innovative approach to dynamically manage information models and connected data sources.
  • Validation of BIM models and their on-site connection in the field.

“Using BIM during the actual construction phase will allow changes to be made virtually and instantly, reducing the risk of costly mistakes. To enable this, the BoB project aims to analyze the on-site activity in real-time, process the data with AI-driven technologies, and connect these real-time findings to the BIM models.”


BoB will digitize the monitoring of construction projects by connecting and enhancing Building Information Models with real-time on-site progress and activity data, analyzed with AI technology.

BoB is an imec.icon research project funded by imec and Agentschap Innoveren & Ondernemen (VLAIO).

The project started on 01.01.2022 and is set to run until 31.12.2023.

Project information


  • Balloon Inc.
  • Bouwbedrijf Dethier
  • D-Studio
  • Willemen Groep


  • imec – IDLab Data Science Lab – UGent
  • imec – IDLab – UAntwerpen
  • imec – IPI – UGent


  • Project lead: Django Liénart
  • Research lead: José Oramas
  • Proposal manager: Siegfried Mercelis
  • Innovation manager: Eric Van der Hulst