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Building information modeling (BIM), an integrated system of creating and managing information about construction projects, is on focus at the Big 5 with a series of presentations and workshops under its 'Technology in Construction' agenda
BIM enables users to make more informed design decisions, build more efficiently and cost effectively and maintain buildings with greater care. It allows different departments to work coherently on a project by indexing their work in centrally located BIM data. The system is being increasingly adopted in the construction industry worldwide.
Big 5 presented a series of lectures and workshops on different aspects of BIM implementation by international experts. In his presentation 'BIM as an Information Management and Design Process', Waleed Eliwa, BIM manager at the Design and Architectural Bureau described how the use of the BIM system can help companies save time and money by increasing design value and decreasing design risks.
Djordje Grujic, design manager at City Diamond Contracting, noted that the use of BIM can increase productivity by up to 400 per cent in his lecture, 'BIM there, done that'. However, he pointed out that potential of the technology still remains largely underutilised in the construction sector. According to him there are only bubbles of professionals who recognise and are reaping the benefits of this technology.
According to an industry survey, about 80 per cent of the participants in the sector were aware of BIM technology, but only 25 per cent of projects are executed using BIM modeling and applications. The key reasons include the low availability of skilled staff and cost of implementation.
Grujic also pointed out that implemeting the right software is pivotal to driving productivity in construction and argued for the need for an open BIM system.
The Dubai Municipality updated its mandate regarding the usage of BIM modeling and applications systems in 2015 and has announced plans about expanding the adoption of BIM for Emirati construction projects. Dubai Municipality's BIM mandate is "to follow up on the latest construction trends from all over the world, for all the benefits that come to all parties involved, from project owners to consulting firms and contractors and government departments." They are encouraging BIM "because of how much it lowers the cost of construction projects and the time taken to finish them; and increases the level of coordination between the engineers working on designing and implementing the project, and their counterparts in the management, funding and manufacturing involved in the project." With this move, there has been an increased interest in the technology in the region.
With its focus on BIM, the BIG 5 aims to provide regional and international expertise that is key for implementation to the industry players.