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4th Annual Construction Summit highlights digital transformation

Progress of BIM at the forefront of discussions

| | Sep 18, 2018 | 5:27 pm
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4th Annual Construction Summit

Dubai, UAE, 18 September, 2018: The 4th Annual Construction Summit, held on September 18, in Dubai, discussed digital transformations powering the industry, touching on emerging trends and their impact on modern engineering design, building life-cycle and commercial implications. During his welcome remarks, Paul Wallett, Regional Director – Middle East and India, Trimble Buildings, highlighted the progress of Building Information Modelling (BIM), presenting it as an example of the large strides the industry has taken, which has paved the way for greater awareness towards the solution. Doing a snap poll among the contractors and consultants in the audience, Wallett asked how many are knowledgeable about BIM, to which most raised their hands, followed by a question on how many engineering companies use BIM, to which the number of respondents dropped. Lastly, Wallett asked how many contractors in the room use BIM from design stage all the way until the execution, to which only a handful responded in the affirmative. “That matches with our experience in the industry today,” he said. “This is the key aspect we need to look at and address. If we look at the market pressures and the little survey we did here, as well as current conditions, we need a compelling reason to make a change, otherwise we will continue as we are.”

Paul Wallett

With the global market constantly challenged by trade wars, import tariffs, increasing prices and inflation, Wallett stressed that innovation is more vital than ever. “The big message we’re looking to get across is, number one, technology is here and it’s available,” he said. “We have solutions that cover the whole construction continuum. For every stakeholder, there is some level of innovative solution available to them.” As for the added layer of cost that may come as part of the integrating BIM, Wallet stressed that the benefits outweigh the investment and, as such, it is important to educate the people through platforms, such as that provided by the summit to draw awareness on available technologies, which people can use to optimise their projects.

The next key takeaway that Wallett highlighted is the importance of digitisation and removing the human element as much as possible. “If we look at the Museum of the Future as an example,” he said, “if you put that in a paper-based process, there will be hundreds and thousands of drawings to make this project possible.” The interchange of information needed from the scan to the digital models, as well as rechecking and measuring the necessary components is not a 2D process, Wallett added. “Digitisation is trying to take the information in its digital form all the way through the process, as much as possible,” he said.

In addition to the application of BIM in the Museum of the Future, which was elaborated in presentations from Denis McNelis, Engineering Manager, BAM, and Tobias Bauly, Project Director, BuroHappold, the summit also showcased BIM’s utilisation in a diverse range of projects, namely Warner  Bros  Theme  Park  in  Abu Dhabi, as elaborated in the presentation of Rezan Shahwan, Senior BIM manager Besix-SixConstruct, as well as its applications in stadia around the world, in a presentation led by Nicky Dobreanu, Managing Quality Surveyor, C-Quest,  KEO  International Consultants. The summit concluded with a comprehensive overview of BIM standards around the world and its integration in projects and the role of project management consultants, headed by Marwan Abu Ebeid, Sr BIM Manager, Turner International.


Hannah Jo Uy is Assistant Editor at Climate Control Middle East magazine. She may be contacted at hannah@cpi-industry.com

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