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Markets in upheaval – planning the future with BIM

Given the digitalisation of the building industry, building information modelling (BIM), the IT-supported working method, is becoming an increasingly vital tool.

BIM is being increasingly employed particularly in technical building-equipment design, in the execution of major projects, and in maintenance during the operating stage, and it assists all those involved in a project to achieve a better complete overview. If engineering practices, architects, construction companies and installation technicians intend to remain market participants in the future, they should orchestrate and develop their BIM expertise now.

Digital turnaround brings more efficient processes

The market is undergoing considerable change: this is confirmed by "Digitalisation of the German Construction Industry", a study presented in June 2019 by auditors and corporate consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Of 100 business surveyed in the building, plant construction, planning and design sectors, around 60 percent stated that over the last 12 months BIM had been required in calls for tender. In the area of technical building equipment the implementation planning for construction projects in general, the production and geometric visualisation of a virtual building model, and the capture of a building's total  relevant data, were all very much on the agenda. About one half of German construction companies had already gained experience with BIM and just under 80 percent intend to apply BIM in the next few years. But, according to the study, most lack a fully-developed strategy. Lack of specialist staff and high capital investment are seen by those surveyed as the greatest hurdles. Moreover a significant proportion of those surveyed cannot estimate the costs. Only about a quarter know the level of capital investment. Yet the businesses surveyed see the future benefits: the use of BIM can lead to more efficient workflows, shorter planning and construction times, and better collaboration between all players.     

What are the benefits created by BIM?

Source: PwC Deutschland, Digitalisation of the German Construction Industry, June 2019. Use of BIM leads to more efficient workflows and better collaboration
Source: PwC Deutschland, Digitalisation of the German Construction Industry, June 2019. Use of BIM leads to more efficient workflows and better collaboration

All participants must implement BIM now

In discussion about BIM the erroneous view is frequently prevalent that a 3D design is already a BIM integration. "This shows a lack of information management", complains André Pilling in describing the situation. Pilling is the managing shareholder of DEUBIM GmbH, a corporate consultancy specialising in digital transformation in the construction and real-estate sectors. "Planners and architectural practices, medium-sized companies must face the situation here and how if they don't want to be excluded from the market." Developments demonstrate this clearly. The orchestration of BIM and big data, through the integration of existing information, including building information-management systems (BIM) in future, will be recorded and documented in a legal watertight way.

Pilling has brought his expertise as a BIM manager and co-author of a BIM Guide to the medium-sized business sector. "There is not much time left. A planner or architect will only be able to handle a BIM project successfully by using structured information management and the developer by using the specifications set out in the 'Client Information Requirements' (CIR)", says Pilling.

Through open standards and specifications for the BIM working method it will be possible in future to have a product database covering all manufacturers, to make planning easier. It will rely on standardisation for the provision of the product data, in conformity with the building Smart Data Dictionary (bSDD). In the international characteristic-feature server, for example, the illumination level of an illuminant will have an unambiguous international code, to which each manufacturer can orient itself. Planners, tradesmen and operators will thus have a unique record of a traceable documentation and revision during the operating stage, right up to maintenance planning and beyond the lifecycle. 

Presentation in front of a whiteboard

BIM at Light + Building 2020

Under the top topic of "Pioneering" Light + Building will bring areas together which promise great potential but which are not yet fully established in the market. These include the "digital twin – BIM", a cross-trade interface for all players engaged in system integration.

The leading international trade fair, which will be held in Frankfurt from 8 to 13 March 2020, offers a neutral information platform for this purpose. A guide will help the visitor to navigate interactively through the wealth of information, the BIM process will be shown along the “planning-building-operating” value-added chain and experts will be available for direct exchange of ideas and information on all topics and all questions arising from the everyday situation.

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