Can BIM enhance trust in Client Consultant Relationship

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This research examined the relationship between the client and the construction industry consultant and found that a measure of the success of this relationship was the level of client satisfaction with the consultants overall performance. A critical review of consultants’ performance found that clients were dissatisfied with the consultants’ performance, which was also found to have detrimental effect on the overall performance of the project. Therefore, project performance can be enhanced with the selection of an appropriate consultant. A review of related literature further shows that trust was found to enhance client consultant collaborative relationships, through acts of commitment, team working and effective communication, all of which contribute to the success of the project. Additionally trust can facilitate collaboration in the relationship by enhancing the selection process. There is a growing necessity to examine the impact of BIM on relationship management aspects pertaining to project success. In relationship management, BIM has a role to play in assisting clients to communicate effectively, timely and concisely and can result in the reduction of design risk. Furthermore BIM is of primary importance for successful design collaboration. Whilst an abundance of literature already identifying that BIM can deliver improved performance, there is a lack of literature on how BIM can enhance competence based trust in client consultant relationships, and therefore the project success. This paper presents a comprehensive review on the attributes of competence based trust and the role of BIM in supporting these attributes. The research methodology for this paper, adopted a electronic client survey. The survey was designed to elicit information from clients on the importance of competence based trust in consultant service. The findings of the client survey identified that clients ranked expert knowledge, communication and cooperation as key attributes of competence based trust in client consultant relationships. These attributes can be supported through the adoption and integration of BIM. Furthermore this research concluded that BIM can enhance the client consultant relationship and improve project success. These findings may ultimately accelerate the uptake of BIM.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 12 Nov 2015


  • Collaboration
  • Client
  • Consultant and Trust


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