A Year is Not Long Enough

October 24, 2017

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We spoke to Djordje Grujić, Design Manager, City Diamond Contracting, ahead of his presentation at the Big 5 Talks in November.

What will be the main point of your Talk?

Updates of the tools of the trade should not change according to a calendar date, but should follow the requirements of the users, not the ideas of the software vendor's marketing departments. Ideally, the timeline is 18 months.

Who will benefit most by attending your Talk?

Design/BIM/technology managers; principals; owners; people involved in operations planning and software and systems acquisition.

What are the current trends in design software?

There is a strong movement towards BIM software. In the authoring sphere, algorithmic modeling applications are becoming mainstream. In the presentation sphere, the emphasis is moving towards virtual environments, like BIMx. What is also notable is that more and more authoring and management is moving to the cloud, with results still to be evaluated.

What is the adoption rate in this region?

If we talk BIM, it is conservatively estimated at 25%. But just having and using a particular package does not mean you have actually revised your work processes to the required level and that you are ‘BIMming’. There is nothing wrong in using BIM enabled tools "only" to produce and coordinate documentation, but it is a bit like driving a Porsche or a Ferrari in first or maybe second gear. The contractual environment also does not help.

What are the challenges for designers in the transition to newer technologies and software?

The contractual and legal base of the industry, resistance to change of company procedures ("we are doing it this way"), coupled with the level of talent available and the lack of awareness that BIM implementation is not about the software, but the working processes.

On a plus point, the training facilities are at a very high level. Architects, engineers and designers in general also do not like change, even when they are aware of the advantages, especially if they perceive that change to generate a significant cost while they are not clear how to include that cost in the running expenses.

What is the impact of yearly software upgrades? How can this be addressed?

It can be very detrimental and damaging. Any BIM enabled software is a complex system, that can fully work and deliver the ROI only if the basic parameters and templates are set and the procedures are followed. The lead time for that is not less than 30-90 days. Projects run for years and the overhead of managing the upgrades, especially of multiple software systems, is significant - while rarely included in cost plans.

Also, developers do not have the required time for testing and developing the software, thereby generating the infamous 80% label (at the time of the delivery, any new feature is at best 80% done).

Djordje Grujić, Design Manager, City Diamond Contracting will present at the The Big 5 which runs from November 26-29, 2017 at Dubai World Trade Centre. For more information on the Big 5 Talks and the rest of the education programme at this year's event, visit the website.

SPEAKER: Djordje Grujić, Design Manager, City Diamond Contracting 
WORKSHOP: TECHNOLOGY TALKS
TIME: 13:40-14:40
DATE: 28 November 
WHERE: Conference Room in Zabeel Hall 6

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