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Expert: Regional BIM 'yet to meet full potential'

Construction Computer Software (CCS) Gulf's general manager discusses the global misgivings about BIM with Construction Week

BIM can help reduce on-site changes. [Representational image]
BIM can help reduce on-site changes. [Representational image]

A regional software expert told Construction Week that the understanding of building information modelling (BIM) is yet to be achieved in the Middle East and globally too.

Advocates claim BIM uptake can eventually result in the reduction of on-site changes to planned design and construction schedules.

Ian Hauptfleisch, general manager of Construction Computer Software (CCS) Gulf, said virtual construction, such as through the use of BIM, can result in enhanced understanding of the design changes required, how they are budgeted, and who pays for them.

The company’s products, BuildSmart and Candy, have been in operation for over three decades, and Hauptfleisch has also witnessed how market sentiment for construction technology evolved during the economic crash of 2008/9.

“BIM in this region and in a lot of the world is still an idea and hasn’t been implemented to its full potential,” he said. 

“A lot of people have different definitions of what it is – some think BIM simply means a 3D model, but it’s all the intelligence in that model and the information around it which is significant.

"I don’t think anyone disputes its advantages, but it’s still an educational process and needs to be adopted by governments and scholastic institutions, as well as be made mandatory.”

CCS Gulf’s general manager said he is optimistic about the scope of BIM uptake in the region, especially in the UAE.

“I don’t think anybody can dispute the advantages of BIM as a total solution, but there’s multiple facets to it,” he told Construction Week

“Somebody has to design what the building is going to look like, and this person is typically very skilled in engineering or architecture.

"The devil lies in the details – you can’t just say ‘it’s going to be a concrete column’. We need to know exactly what type of column it will be, how it will connect to a slab, and so on.

"Those details come with experience.

“So if you take somebody out of university and say ‘go and design me a building’, they probably won’t know the constructability of it.

"Yes, they may put a nice picture together, but the key point is how much it will cost you, and whether all these pieces fit together,” Hauptfleisch explained.


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Construction Week - Issue 742
May 23, 2019