BIM Infant Industry

A BIM Infant Industry is a concept that refers to a specific stage in the adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) within a construction industry in a particular region, usually a country. This concept characterizes the situation of the

  1. Limited BIM adoption (i.e., only a small number of industry participants are actively using BIM in their projects),
  2. Early implementation (i.e., the industry is in the initial stages of transitioning from traditional methods to BIM workflows and practices), and
  3. Challenges and resistance (i.e., implementing BIM projects can be challenging)

Challenges and resistance are likely to be due to factors such as

  1. Lack of awareness and understanding of BIM benefits,
  2. Insufficient skilled professionals and resources,
  3. Resistance to change from established practices, and
  4. Difficulty in achieving the desired return on investment (ROI) due to initial costs and complexities.

Identifying an industry as being in its BIM infancy is important for several reasons. Importantly, this identification allows the development of specific and targeted strategies and support mechanisms to foster BIM adoption in the early stages. These strategies may focus on the following.

  1. Raising awareness and education about BIM benefits and capabilities.
  2. Developing training programs to equip professionals with the necessary BIM skills.
  3. Providing incentives and support for organisations to pilot BIM projects and overcome initial hurdles.
  4. Establishing clear standards and guidelines for BIM implementation.

Recognising the infant stage helps manage expectations and avoid frustration during initial BIM implementation. Achieving widespread adoption and realising the full potential of BIM requires time and sustained effort. Setting realistic expectations is important for the successful adoption of an innovation such as BIM.

Realising the infancy context also encourages collaboration between experienced BIM users and those in their early stages. This allows knowledge sharing, best practice exchange, and mutual learning to overcome common challenges.

With appropriate support and focused efforts, the BIM Infant Industry can gradually mature and transition towards increased BIM adoption.

I introduced the concept of the BIM Infant Industry through my 2013 paper titled “Assessing the BIM Maturity in a BIM Infant Industry”, that I co-authored with Prof. Chitra Weddikkara. This concept was proposed to describe the specific challenges and characteristics faced by construction industries in the early stages of BIM implementation. My main argument was that recognising this “infant” stage is crucial for developing appropriate strategies and fostering successful BIM adoption. I believe that, by introducing this concept, I have contributed to a more nuanced understanding of BIM adoption and provided valuable insights for policymakers, industry leaders, and practitioners working to navigate the early phases of BIM implementation within their specific contexts.

Recommended Reading

LinkedIn Article on BIM Infant Industry

Jayasena, H. S., & Weddikkara, C. (2013). Assessing the BIM Maturity in a BIM Infant Industry. The Second World Construction Symposium 2013: Socio-Economic Sustainability in Construction (pp. 62-69). Colombo: Ceylon Institute of Builders – Sri Lanka. Mirror Link

AFU: a Framework to Aid BIM Adoption in a BIM Infant Industry

The Affordance-Led Framework of Understanding (AFU) is a structured approach designed to assess the state of BIM affordances at a given moment and study their evolution over time. The term “affordance-led” is used because it centres around the concept of affordances. Affordances represent the perceived, expected, or real opportunities (and constraints) that a technology or system provides to its users. It’s crucial to understand that affordances are not intrinsic to the innovation itself but emerge from the interaction between the user and the innovation. Thus, it represents the complementarity between the user and the technology or the system. This departure from traditional innovation adoption models, which typically focused solely on the “innovation” itself while overlooking the subjective interpretation by users, is a distinguishing feature of the AFU. The subjectivity of what BIM means to different users further emphasizes the significance of this shift.

The AFU is based on a comprehensive framework that categorizes the various states of affordances at any given time. It offers a unified, interconnected framework for comprehending the status and dynamics of affordances within a user’s BIM adoption context. By using the AFU, adopters can assess their position in the BIM adoption process at any specific point and develop strategies to realize the expected dynamics of affordances, thereby ensuring the successful integration of BIM or informed withdrawal from their BIM adoption efforts. The AFU provides a detailed view of the context, enabling experts to focus on critical issues, making it a valuable resource for practitioners seeking to understand the status of BIM adoption within a given setting.

At the early stages of BIM diffusion within an industry, the importance of the AFU is significant because the failure of adoption by a few early adopters can lead to increased user dissatisfaction, negative word-of-mouth, and potential erosion of goodwill among adopters. Negative information spreads more rapidly than positive news, significantly disrupting the effective diffusion of BIM in the industry. Therefore, the success of BIM adoption at the micro-level, for individuals or small groups, is critical for the overall success of BIM diffusion in an emerging industry, often referred to as a BIM Infant Industry in theory.

While we have not explicitly addressed it, after reading this article, you will realize that the AFU can be applied to various other innovation adoption contexts. The AFU serves as a universally applicable foundational framework in the realm of innovation adoption processes. It is not a theory in itself but rather a theoretical framework that can be leveraged to comprehend BIM adoption and decision-making in other innovation adoption contexts. As innovation continues to reshape industries, the insights offered by the AFU will play a vital role in informed decision-making and the promotion of innovation diffusion across diverse sectors. We are optimistic that the AFU will introduce a new dimension to the study of innovation adoption.

This article serves as a condensed overview of the recent publication under the title “The Affordance-Led Framework for Understanding BIM Adoption” in Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, presenting the primary findings from my doctoral research. In this study, a framework was developed to aid BIM adopters, change agents, and other stakeholders in gaining a deeper understanding of the adoption context, thereby facilitating effective strategies for BIM adoption. This research is grounded in the theory of Diffusion of Innovations.

I would like to express my gratitude to my research supervisors, Professor Kanchana Perera and Associate Professor Niraj Thurairajah, as well as Dr Mohan Siriwardena, the chair of the progress panel, for their invaluable contributions that played a pivotal role in the successful completion of my doctoral study. I would also like to express my gratitude to Professor Chitra Weddikkara, who provided guidance and supervision during the initial phases of my study.

Citation to Original Article
Jayasena, H.S., Thurairajah, N., Perera, B.A.K.S. and Siriwardena, M. (2023), “Affordance-led framework of understanding of BIM adoption“, Archnet-IJAR, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

Listing in Research Gate

Application of Lean Principles to Reduce BIM Implementation Costs

It is well known that today’s construction industry is undergoing a major technological advancement with Building Information Modelling (BIM), a transformative technology with associated processes that have shifted how construction projects are conceived, executed, and managed. The benefits of BIM have become increasingly obvious; many have already adopted it, and more are trying to do so. This recognition has extended to the point where some governments have mandated BIM for their public sector projects and building approval processes. However, a critical challenge hindering the effective adoption of BIM is the issue of associated costs, especially when implementing BIM in a less developed economy like Sri Lanka.

One of the promising scientific approaches to cost optimization is the Lean concept. Lean Principles are known for their ability to enhance operational efficiency, improve the quality of products and processes, and reduce waste. All of these factors can contribute to optimizing costs, or in better terms: to optimizing value. Costs cannot be considered independently but need to be evaluated based on the benefits they can deliver. However, not all benefits would necessarily align with the user’s needs. For example, BIM can support realistic visualization of the proposed building. If the client does not require regular visualization of that nature, spending a significant amount of money on a high-end computer system and rendering software is a waste. When the system is designed and set up based on the technology, incurring such unnecessary costs is possible. The concern is further emphasized by the fact that BIM means different things to different users, and their BIM expectations could vary.

Therefore, the value-driven approach of Lean Principles is likely to bring value to BIM adoption in a BIM Infant Industry like Sri Lanka. As a result, it became interesting to identify the potential application of Lean Principles to the cost centres of BIM implementation to efficiently implement BIM in the Sri Lankan construction industry. A study was conducted to uncover opportunities for addressing the major barrier of costs associated with BIM implementation by applying suitable Lean Principles, thus enhancing overall value.

Through a literature review, several cost centres associated with BIM implementation were first identified. The application of Lean Principles to address these issues was determined through a qualitative study involving data collection from experts and content analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten experts who possessed expertise in both Lean and BIM. Since there was a limited number of local experts in Sri Lanka, overseas experts with prior experience in the Sri Lankan context were also included.

From the study findings, it can now be concluded that the application of Lean Principles can significantly reduce the costs associated with BIM implementation in the Sri Lankan construction industry. The study identifies several Lean Principles that can be applied to BIM implementation, including value stream mapping, 5S, visual management, and continuous improvement. The study also identifies specific cost centres associated with BIM implementation and offers recommendations for reducing costs in each of these areas. Ultimately, the study suggests that the application of lean principles can lead to more efficient and effective BIM implementation.

This is a synopsis of an article we published in the Benchmarking journal in 2023. The article is titled “Can lean principles assist in reducing BIM implementation costs? A contemporary application of lean principles to the Sri Lankan construction industry.” While many other studies have focused on using BIM to achieve Lean in construction projects, our study differs by examining how to apply Lean principles to achieve value in BIM implementation, making an original contribution to knowledge.

Citation to the original article

Weerasinghe, L.N., Rathnasinghe, A.P., Jayasena, H.S., Thurairajah, N. and Thayaparan, M. (2023), “Can lean principles assist to reduce BIM implementation costs? A contemporary application of lean principles to the Sri Lankan construction industry“, Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

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Mind Mapping Your Initial Research Interest

Mind mapping is a graphical technique used to visually organize information and ideas. It is a creative and effective tool for organizing thoughts. In this presentation, I explain how you can effectively use MindMup 2, a free tool for mind mapping, to organize your initial ideas when you are starting your research.

Click on double-sided arrow on bottom-right of the presentation to make it full-screen.

Doing Research

New to research? Complete two paragraphs by filling the spaces with the words given. You can try as many times you want. Try to complete with minimum attempts. Think logically.

Green BIM Adoption Framework for Existing Buildings

Green BIM is a standardized approach and an integrated process where BIM design software and BIM-based sustainability software are used to perform comprehensive sustainability analysis of buildings, through the use of enriched building data to optimize building performances [p.25]. It is a digital model-based approach that involves generating and managing coordinated and consistent building data over the lifecycle to accomplish desired sustainability goals. Green BIM integrates sustainable design principles with BIM tools to achieve improved building performances and environmental impacts. The concept of Green BIM is based primarily on the convergence of sustainable buildings and BIM, focusing on integrated design processes, environmentally sustainable design principles, and optimization of green building certification credits.

While enriched BIM data is naturally generated to a good extent in the design and construction process of a new building, it was observed that existing data poses a challenge for the implementation of Green BIM in existing buildings. With the aim of overcoming this challenge, a study focusing on the adoption of Green Building Information Modelling (BIM) for existing buildings was carried out. This is a synopsis of an article published in the journal Intelligent Buildings International based on this study.

The research aims to identify the challenges of generating BIM data from existing building information and to recognize the solutions to overcome them. It also compares the different challenges encountered when applying Green BIM in existing contexts, particularly in buildings that were not constructed using BIM during the design and construction stages. The study provides insights into the practical challenges that arise in these existing conditions and offers a conceptual framework for implementing Green BIM techniques in existing buildings.

A multiple case study involving two existing buildings was conducted to achieve the study aim. The first case is a 13-year-old building, and the second case is 2 years old. Both buildings are three-story educational buildings within a university. The purpose of the case studies was to identify the challenges of implementing Green BIM for existing buildings. The methodology involved the practical implementation of Green BIM techniques for the selected cases. The analysis, comparing one building with new conditions and the other with old conditions, enabled the identification of different challenges when applying Green BIM to existing buildings. The study utilized Autodesk Revit as the modelling tool and Green Building Studio (GBS) for simulations.

The study revealed several challenges for Green BIM for existing buildings, such as errors in drawings, complexity, and excessive time consumption for modelling. It also identified potential solutions to overcome these challenges. Consequently, a framework for the successful implementation of Green BIM in existing buildings was developed based on these research findings. This framework benefits existing buildings in Sri Lanka by providing a structured approach to address the practical challenges of implementing Green BIM in the context of existing buildings.

The framework offers potential solutions to overcome identified challenges. By addressing these challenges, the framework aims to facilitate the successful adoption of Green BIM technology, leading to improved sustainability, energy efficiency, and environmental performance of existing buildings in Sri Lanka. Additionally, the framework serves as a guide for researchers and industry practitioners interested in the development of Green BIM for existing building contexts, contributing to the advancement of sustainable building practices in the country.

Citation to Original Article

Rathnasiri, P., & Jayasena, S. (2022). Green building information modelling technology adoption for existing buildings in Sri Lanka. Facilities management perspective. Intelligent Buildings International, 14(1), 23–44.

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Behind a Great Personality

When young Suneetha Attygalle arrived at Sydney Australia to study her diploma in Orthoptics through a Colombo Plan scholarship, it was her first day away without her parents. Siri, a Sri Lankan who had lived in Australia for five years was requested to help and look after her. He did the task entrusted to him so well, finally marrying her, with the promise to look after her for life. Unfortunately, he had to leave this world too early, leaving her to look after their children alone.

A quiet house surrounded by tall trees at the end of the street, I met this charming lady, Mrs. Suneetha Caldera, wife of late Professor Siri Caldera, introduced by a friend Archt. Nissanka Attygalle. She was Nissanka’s elder sister. Driven by my curiosity I enquired, and she was kind enough to tell me her memories about her husband.

Siri Caldera got qualified as a draughtsman at age of 19. He received a Commonwealth scholarship to study a six year programme in Quantity Surveying in Australia. He completed the programme within four years, and worked the balance two years as a Quantity Surveyor in Brisbane and Sydney. This was the time he met Suneetha Attygalle. They got married in 1967 and were blessed with three daughters. During this time Siri Caldera worked as the Chief Quantity Surveyor at the Buildings Department. In early 80’s, he left with his family to Nigeria for a two-year assignment. He returned to Sri Lanka following an invitation to lead the establishment of a Quantity Surveying degree course at University of Moratuwa.

“Upon return Siri joined the university as the Professor of Quantity Surveying. He worked very hard to get the course implemented, he spent most of his time at the University”; said Mrs. Caldera. “This was the time he got a very attractive offer to work as the Quantity Surveyor for a project in Kuwait. They even came to Sri Lanka to get him to accept the offer. But he humbly refused saying that he had a greater responsibility here. Had he accepted that offer, he could have been still alive”; she added.

“Siri used to call his students ‘my children’, and he asked me to look after ‘our children’, while he was always worried about the future of his children. I did not go to work as it became impossible to look after three girls and all the work at home while doing a job. Siri did not want to stay away from the university ‘for a second’ as he was always worried about the Quantity Surveying being invaded by some others. What he wanted was to keep Quantity Surveying for graduates, his children. I could realize how much he had to fight for this purpose, from the way he came home exhausted everyday. I asked him not to take that much of stress as it would not be good for his health condition. What he told was that it was only until his first batch of students graduates. Then he could hand over the Quantity Surveying Department (Department of Building Economics) to them and live peacefully thereafter”; Mrs. Caldera awakened the memories. Professor Caldera could not witness the graduation of his first batch of students. He died a few months before their graduations due to a heart failure resulted from high blood pressure.

“It was a troublesome time with JVP insurgence; in addition to this sort of pressure, he had to face the internal pressure from forces within the university which wanted to wipe out the Quantity Surveying degree. The extreme stress and tension increased his blood pressure to high risk levels. Still he did not give up his fight; and that fight didn’t leave him any room to fight for his own life. Finally, we lost him at a time we needed him the most. He died in Kandy; we could not even bring his remains to Colombo due to uncertain situation in the country. His demise brought us lot of hardship. I was not working. Our eldest daughter was sitting for university entrance. She happened to give up her higher education and find employment. The youngest was only eleven years old.”

She told me all these with a smile on her face, but I could feel the sadness within. I could also feel the glow on her face when I said that we still have a photograph of the professor on the department wall, and that “Professor Caldera” is a legend – a story being told by senior students to their juniors as a tradition.

She has been courageous to overcome the hardships she faced. Her elder daughter now lives in Canada. The youngest has become a lecturer following her father’s footsteps and now reading for a PhD. Her second daughter is a lawyer, and she’s the one who lives with her mother.

This is a report from an unplanned interview I had with Mrs. Caldera. There can be many flaws in this article due to my lack of prior preparation and lack of time for her to recall the past leisurely. I like to thank Archt. Nissanka Attygalle, for giving me the opportunity to meet Mrs. Caldera, and for the photographs he later emailed me. Finally, I express my heartfelt gratitude to Mrs. Caldera, for her care and understanding extended to her late husband, which in turn enabled him to reach his dreams, even though he could not live to see his dreams coming true. The only way in which we can repay him is to become world-class Quantity Surveyors. That was his dream and I am sure that he must be still looking after us from heaven.

This is a copy of the article I wrote Quantity Surveying Alumni website in December 2012. I thought of republishing here since the QS Alumni website is revamped and the new website does not contain the article.

Civic 2017/18 (UK) Sri Lanka Navigation Map

Civic comes with Garmin European Map loaded with 5 years subscription. I searched a lot and could not find if official Garmin Map for Sri Lanka is available. There were few sources selling the map, but they were likely to be ones created from OSM (Open Street Map). Finally, I decided to try it myself.

Many thanks should go to Dhanajaya Tennakoon who had given clear instructions in AutoLanka Forum. Following his instructions I got it done.


I will share how to do it, but do it at your own risk.

Follow the instructions given in Honda Navigation Updates page only up to Step 2: I mean complete the Step 2, but don’t move to Step 3 yet.

Map update download was about 7GB when I did this in 2018, so better to leave it to download when you have free data. Use a USB stick at least 16GB. An 8GB worked for me, but was barely enough, if the newest update is larger, it wouldn’t fit in 8GB.

Find and download Sri Lanka map from here. Select “Generic Routable (new style)” from first section, and from the second, click on “Asia” drop-down and select “Sri Lanka”. Wait until it finds the download file (it might take a minute). Click on “Download map now!”. From the new page, download the file “” and unzip it get the file “gmapsupp.img”.

Now, there is a file with the same name in “Garmin” folder in your USB stick. Get a copy of this to a safe place in your computer (for future use if need arise), and replace it with the one above (i.e. the renamed sri lankan map).

Once above is properly done, continue to step 3 in Honda Navigation Updates (see above).

Keep the USB stick safe for future use. You can replace “gmapsupp.img” file in it with newer one (download from above source) and update the navigator map by directly going into step 3.

“Do not connect it to any other car, or do not connect USB stick created from other cars in yours, as it may lock the system” – was an advice Dhananjaya had given.

You must know that the Sri Lankan map is exported from OSM project. It is a community based project, so the accuracy of some details may be an issue. But, it is generally good. But, for Colombo I prefer AndroidAuto Google Map since it comes with traffic update.

At the time of writing AndroidAuto is not available for Sri Lanka in Google Play. You can download its APK from APKMirror.

I in fact rarely use in built Garmin map to find the way (i.e. to navigate) in Colombo. But, the Garmin Map is really useful for long distance out-of-city travel. I’m glad that I could get it done.

Another advantage of having the built-in map is, it keeps a record of all your trips with date stamp in map so that you can locate the places you visited. It may of course not be so good if your spouse comes to know about this option. Well, this guide will not help in that. I remind you, do it at your own risk. =)

T2T Flash Diffuser for Portraits

I got my first DSLR recently and started thinking of photography as an art. It was quite amusing to do experiments and to find shots I would say to myself “wow”. I got Yongnuo YN565EX speedlight nearly half the price of Nikon varients; and it was the very first speedlight I had ever handled. It is really a good one as per the reviews I’ve read.

First I used ceiling bounce for portraits since I did not like sharp shadows and rough skin tones the direct flash created. However, ceiling bounce created shadow near eyes, and it made eyes look dull. I tried several options and came up with this homemade flash diffuser, which gave great results. Then I thought of sharing it with you.

I searched through plastic items at home (such as empty bottles, boxes and kitchenware). I used my LED torch light to figure out what effects they give to white light. I found that the Johnsons Top-to-Toe (T2T) liquid soap bottle adds a golden glow to the sharp beam of light; but the bounce light remained white (I am not sure of the science behind it).

Making the diffuser was a bit of trial and error task to me. But you can now get it right at the first time. Get the perimeter of your flash head by making a crown for it using a paper strip. Push the paper crown onto the plastic bottle to mark the perimeter of flash on the bottle. Cut through this line. Soften the cut edge (find your own way, I used sandpaper). Diffuser will not yet fit onto your flash. Now heat the cut edge of the diffuser on kitchen stove while briskly rotating (be careful not to overheat), then push it onto a glass bottle (a wine bottle) so that the cut edge perimeter will expand a little to fit onto your flash. Your diffuser is ready.

I pasted a thick white paper to one side of the diffuser so that I get more light to the front. Note that this T2T bottle is a bit thick; you will have to increase the power of flash to compensate for that. The golden glow added nicely enhances the asian skin tones. Hope you’ll love the results.

STROBIST Blog was a great place to learn about using flash lights for photography. I’m greatful to the authors and contributors valuable knowledge it gave me. I recommend it to you all who looking for starting to use speedlights effectively. Start with lighting 101 Archive from right column drop down items in the blog.

A little advice for reviewing literature

This little guide would help you in doing your dissertation thesis. This is not a comprehensive guide for literature reviewing, instead it address two interlinked important aspects. These ideas occurred to me while I was reviewing students’ write ups of their literature review. You may have already started your review or planning for it. At either stage, these views might help you to do a better review.

When writing your literature review, you have to be very clear about the facts you are presenting. It is important to indicate the reliability of the facts. In literature there are;

– Opinions
– Experiences
– Findings, and
– Conclusions

In your review these should be clearly identified. In terms of knowledge, above is in the increasing order of value. In general Findings through a research study are stronger than experience. Opinions can be merely assumptions in many cases, therefore not the proper knowledge. Conclusions are the strongest because it combines the findings to the current knowledge. However, the general situation may vary depending on the quality of the work. For example, if the findings are combined with poor literature review (current knowledge), the conclusions may become totally unreliable, but findings may be valuable.

This shows the requirement of you to be able to identify the quality of a study. Then you can use the knowledge effectively. That is why we say it is a critical review of literature. You just don’t buy in what is given.

Second point; we should indicate what type of knowledge is presented in our write-up. For example

The opinion of most researchers was that BIM should be implemented as a national policy (Abd, 2006; …) . However, Bimman (2012) suggests that organizations need not to wait for such policy. He has shown that XYZ Architects in Australia has successfully implemented BIM on their own. However, his description about the implementation indicates that XYZ Architects have not gained the full benefit of BIM implementation as their structural engineers and quantity surveyors were not BIM ready.

The above example starts with opinion, then another opinion by Bimman which becomes weak conclusion when combined with experience, then a critical review of the conclusion. You got to think of these things from the reader’s point of view.

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