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Space & Place is using BIM to design Middle Eastern projects

Jorge Manuel Cunha Vieira, director of technology at Space & Place, discusses the company’s acquisition of KGDMT Architects + Engineers, and explains how it has deployed building information modelling (BIM) technologies in its recent projects

Space & Place has implemented BIM on several of its GCC developments, including the Azaiba hotel project.
Space & Place has implemented BIM on several of its GCC developments, including the Azaiba hotel project.

Could you begin by outlining Space & Place’s major BIM-related advancements in the last 12 months?

In the past year, Space & Place acquired KGDMT and its incumbent BIM capability, and has subsequently and unilaterally consolidated BIM Level 2 workflow for BIM models with consultants and clients.

We have set the relationship standards to achieve fully coordinated models that contractors – and indeed all stakeholders - see as true value, and enable correct information to make informed decisions. To achieve this, clash detection reports come as part of the project package and are part of the scope of subjects to discuss in meetings.

Virtual reality is now part of our working tools, allowing the team to design faster and communicate our ideas with greater clarity to our clients.

How would you assess the response that Space & Place’s latest BIM-centric designs and services have received from GCC construction clients and professionals during the past year?

Feedback from our clients has been extremely positive, as they can see and feel the project in a way that before was difficult for them to understand. Also, the asset information is so flexible and so vast that clients are more confident when BIM models are exchanged at the end of each stage.

Which major GCC projects have Space & Place’s services facilitated with the application of BIM during the past year?

In the GCC, Space & Place has implemented BIM on several projects. These include Alila Salalah Hotel and Azaiba Hotel, and Muscat Hills Golf Clubhouse, all three of which are located in Oman, as well the Al Ghaba pod hotel in Dubai.

However, we have not been able to implement [BIM] to its full potential, due primarily to its benefits not being fully understood by all stakeholders and, therefore, not accounted for in the commercial [aspects of the business].

How would you assess BIM adoption and competence in the GCC, compared to global markets such as Europe?

We are very fortunate to be part of the BIM revolution happening in Europe, and compared to other markets, we feel like we are on the front of the train with regards to BIM-related developments.

Working with the GCC market enables us to provide the latest technological advancements to a region [that] is eager to grow and push the limits of what is considered possible with regard to construction capabilities.

What are Space & Place’s major BIM-related priorities in the GCC for the coming year?

In the near future, we are planning to expand our team to produce in-house multidisciplinary models. This will be our initial step towards achieving BIM Level 3. Augmented reality is also [part of our pipeline], in order to allow us to place BIM models on meeting desks and on site.

Another goal is to strengthen our global market position by investing more time in – and [advancing] knowledge transfer with – developing markets and regions of exceptional growth, such as the GCC.

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Construction Week Middle East 11th Jan 2020
Jan 16, 2020