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Face to face: Turning to BIM

Turning to BIM

Raguram Jayaram, Building consultant, Bentley Systems Middle East.
Raguram Jayaram, Building consultant, Bentley Systems Middle East.
Daniel Frawley, Chief technology officer, Aretas.
Daniel Frawley, Chief technology officer, Aretas.

Why did you choose the Build Smart conference to showcase your service?

Raguram Jayaram, Building consultant, Bentley Systems Middle East, answers Participating in this conference reinforces Bentley’s commitment to BuildSmart alliance and interoperability. Bentley has long supported open standards such as IFC, and enthusiastically continue that support – as evidenced by our active participation in the IFC development efforts and at the board level of BuildingSmart. This conference is about the practical, working side of the BIM process and has attracted people who wanted to know how to make the best use of BIM in the industry.


We are proud to share our expertise and experiences in BIM interoperability through this conference.


Daniel Frawley, Chief technology officer, Aretas, answers Aretas chose to sponsor the Build Smart conference as an extension of our membership of Building Smart ME.

We were among the founding members, as it is the leading organisation dedicated to providing a framework for BIM standards across the AEC industries. It’s defining the path for interoperability.

What was the reaction to like from delegates?

Raguram Jayaram answers There was a lot of interest. People increasingly understand that BIM offers significant benefits, in a whole range of ways, to how they operate going forward.


They realise the value of a good, open and, most importantly, transparent platform on which to work collaboratively to efficiently and profitably deliver quality buildings with reduced risk.


Daniel Frawley answers We were very pleased and happy to see a diverse group of professionals with a direct interest in construction and BIM.

Aretas has positioned itself outside the traditional single software vendor scope and, as such, is providing services to firms across multiple BIM delivery tools by selecting the right tool for each particular task.

How aware is the Middle East construction industry of BIM?

Raguram Jayaram answers There’s an improving knowledge about BIM in the industry, but it’s still often mistakenly considered as a design software – real BIM goes so much further than that, and is actually more a methodology that is enabled by and incorporates new design and collaboration technology. As building professionals in the Middle East adopt BIM, more awareness is required regarding data interoperability and co-ordination between various participants in the design and construction process. BuildingSmart is a great organisation for advancing that needed awareness!


Daniel Frawley answers Knowledge of BIM does exist in many Middle East firms. Those with an eye to the future are already using it within their firms and we’re also seeing it used on very high profile developments.

The next step is for these firms to exchange information inherent in BIM with one another and related professionals as part of normal project delivery.

How effective a framework could BIM be for the region?

Raguram Jayaram answers The UAE is currently a shared market, not following a single standard.


BIM, together with open standards and interoperability would result in more productivity gains and reduced risks in the industry.

Users in this region, utilizing Bentley’s MicroStation V8i BIM platform can effectively use the information in multiple formats and standards to support interoperability. Bentley’s well proven dynamic collaboration environment ProjectWise V8i benefits from a federated data model approach and is extremely well suited for various types of construction projects executed in this region.


Daniel Frawley answers BIM has the potential to radically improve project delivery here.

Potential benefits of coordinating construction information are far ranging in scope and firms can exploit opportunities at a very early stage if they’re prepared to address BIM from within and adapt their business and their processes.

Does the region have the BIM expertise required?

Raguram Jayaram answers The market is something of a mixed-bag right now, as with any change. But there are certainly many users that have a high level of expertise in BIM , and we have some wonderful project examples we could share from this region. It’s important to note that a key to getting the best value from BIM is when it is used in a team.


It’s not best as a tool for individuals. As a team, you share knowledge, deal with issues and iron out all potential problems as early as possible.


Daniel Frawley answers The Middle East is reaching a critical mass of BIM knowledge. Presently, there exists a community of skilled BIM professionals which is only getting stronger as firms continue training of existing staff in these new processes.

Firms who are proactive in this approach are becoming self-sufficient in delivering their projects in BIM.

Is the BIM revolution as much about education as implementation?

Raguram Jayaram answers Education needs to be continuous; it’s not a one-off, one-time-only course. Just as architects , engineers and builders all continuously are learning about new materials and equipment for buildings, so they should keep current with design technology. Most in the industry are now aware of BIM, but many need to learn the best means to implement. Bentley’s professional services department is committed to educate our users towards successful BIM implementation.


Daniel Frawley answers BIM skills are on the rise although a common misconception is that it’s just adding another software program or tool.

We can’t use existing 2D delivery methods with a BIM process. This has an impact upon business processes and the adoption of BIM within firms.

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