Professionals must lead in promoting Middle East’s BIM use

BIM

The design and build industry must take the lead when it comes to implementing BIM across the GCC but government’s must also do more to promote its use.

That was the major conclusion of the BIM Summit 2015, held at Dubai’s Address Downtown Hotel and attended by 200 delegates from across the fields of architecture, interior design and engineering.

Panelists and speakers looked at subjects as diverse as how the technology will progress into the future, how it can be used to better understand the building technologies of the past and how it can be used in a more collaborative way.

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“There is a sense of energy when I tell people who live in different countries that the UAE has a BIM mandate in place – but there is also a sense of confusion,” said Muhammed Jabakhanji of Alpin Ltd.

On stage a panel debating the issue of BIM as seen by Dubai Municipality said it was almost two years ago that the regulations were brought into place. But details of the exact projects they apply to have been constantly revised – and discrepancies occur between their binding of designs by architects and construction by engineers.

“For architects it’s 40 storeys – for structural engineers 20,” panelists were told. “So what if it’s 30 floorss high?”

The panel agreed that BIM should involve everyone from clients through to end-users and should be fully integrated – an approach described by Jabakhanji as “aim for the stars and land on the moon”.

Andrew Darlington, BIM manager at Ramboll added: “Very little of the details has really been explained. The levels and targets are not really defined.”

The summit contrasted the UAE’s situation with that of both Singapore and the UK where BIM usage had increased in a gradual fashion as its parameters were explored and clients, architects, engineers designers and end-users became more familiar with what it can offer.

While agreeing that authorities could do more, Levi DaCosta, senior architect with P&T, said the industry itself could do more.

“It’s about people – they can do this,” he said as a panel looking at collaboration across the industry agreed that the design and build business itself should take the lead in the market place.

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