Work smarter, not harder

March 20, 2018

How do you explain BIM in a few words?

undefinedThe concern with BIM is that each person has a different understanding of what it is. There are so many meanings of BIM on the internet which make it virtually impossible to define the term in a few works. At the moment, a holistic view should consider the 3D models, the modelling process for creating such models and the management of this process.

For me, BIM means working smarter, not harder, while keeping a clear audit trail of activities. I see BIM as an environment that allows continuous improvement, which in turn generates enhanced efficiency and quality both in delivery and operation of built assets and infrastructure.

Why it is important?

Traditionally, in the built environment, information modelling has been a disjointed process. On any construction project, data/information exchanges occur between professionals at different stages of the project lifecycle. As a consequence, different iterations of the same information can be found with different professionals in the team.

BIM environments encourage the use of a smarter method which utilises a single information model, allowing each member of the design team access to the most up to date information. BIM brings productivity gains (swift delivery, reduced cost, improved quality) as well as enhanced collaboration (fostering communication and coordination), and - more importantly - a positive impact on sustainable design, construction and post-occupancy monitoring.

Has BIM been slow to catch on in this part of the world?

Not at all! Where in the past the RFPs for new work included vague references/one liners such as “delivery of the project must be in BIM”, we are beginning to see more explicit definitions of Client and Owner expectations. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai has been awarded the Building Information Modelling (BIM) certification by the British Standards Institution (BSI), rendering it the first government entity in the world to obtain the BIM Kite-Mark PAS 1192-2:2013, BS 1192-4:2014 and BS 1192:2007.

Given the large-scale projects in MENA region using BIM in the delivery of public and private projects, it can be stated that the region is at the forefront of innovation and drives the digital transformation in the built environment (and even beyond, if we talk about Blockchain and digital disruption, in general).

How do you convince clients they need BIM?

Over the last nine years, I have acted as an ambassador for BIM processes for clients, designers and end-users, supporting the business case, enhancing collaboration between individuals and practices, explaining the short term benefits as well as - more importantly - the potential use at facility management. In addition to higher Return On Investment figures, I always advise clients on the unprecedented insight and improved decision-making BIM processes can bring in relation to the performed tasks. Clients need to understand how the large pools of data allow them to enhance design, construction, operation and maintenance of the built environment.

Give us a brief summary of your talk at The Big 5 Heavy

The session will help understand why the construction industry needs to change. It will allow the audience to recognise the key BIM lexicon and assist Clients/Developers/Owners in defining the information requirements for their projects. Supply chain selection, team selection, assessment methods, roles and responsibilities in a BIM environment will all be covered in this talk.

In addition, the session will cover the main components of the Employer’s Information Requirements and BIM Execution Plans, as defined in the British set of BIM standards/specification. The target audience includes both government and private construction clients, cost managers/quantity surveyors, project managers, planners, architects, engineers, facility managers etc.


Nicky Dobreanu gave a talk on BIM Essentials for Project Managers at The Big 5 Heavy which ran from March 26-28 at Dubai World Trade Centre


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