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‘the benefits of digitalisation in energy efficiency in buildings are undeniable: the foreseen effects of digitalisation are, at the very least, increased productivity and reliability (exemplified by the time and cost reduction due to digital automation) vis-à-vis improved collaboration, since digital data facilitates inter-organisational collaboration.’
New article on “Build up”, the European portal for energy efficiency in buildings gives overview of digital transformation of construction industry, bringing shift in skills requirements, use of BIM for more efficient use of resources and energy efficient buildings, with wide range of EU funded projects investigating the effects in entire building sector.
As part of the sustainability planning within BIMcert and with other EU BIM projects we have collaborated to form BIMalliance. The primary aim of this is to enable BIMcert to develop an exploitation plan in collaboration with other partners. This collaboration also enables all partners in BIMalliance to share materials, modules and learning material. One example of this is partner ITeC, a member of the Spanish Chapter of BuildingSmart, which have a great activity related to BIM (https://en.itec.cat/services/bim/). They have joined BIMalliance in order to develop their digital library of BIM materials (https://metabase.itec.cat/bim/ca/filter?src=butBim), and their BIM object creation standard (https://ecobject.com/), They with all the other partners share our goals of establishing a common BIM scope in Europe, to develop skills and certification etc.
The four BIM projects BIMcert, BIMplement, Net-UBIEP and BIMEET are collaborating under the title BIMalliance to explore areas of mutual opportunity and to minimise the energy footprint in construction.
1.1 Focus of work
- Energy targets, energy savings – Energy week presentation
- Dissemination and communication
- Accreditation and certification – utilise databases
- Future Collaborative opportunities
1. Energy targets, energy savings : To determine the position of BIM in European Energy and Climate Roadmaps beyond 2020; to explore fields of coordination and support actions, research and innovation, as well as potential funding sources for the activities,
2. Dissemination and communication: Establishing a common communication and collaboration platform of the 4 projects (e.g., linking their web pages; sharing information about the Alliance common work, organisation of joint events, etc.), in order to provide better informing and multiple use of individual projects’ stakeholders and followers.
3. Accreditation and certification:To initiate a common pan-European recognized certification scheme of BIM and EE skills in AEC industry (buildingSMART option to be considered)
4. Exploitation of results: To prepare and distribute a survey via the common platform / united web pages / for assessment of the progress on BIM maturity and acceptance, as a result of the activities of the 4 projects; to develop a common report with guidelines for future actions.
Minimising the carbon footprint of energy use in construction. Stimulating the demand for energy skills.
BIM can assist EU construction to be more green, energy efficient and to attain better skills. Net-UBIEP Project Coordinator Anna Moreno, said: “BIM is based on collaboration. We need to share and integrate our knowledge to reach a better life. This is the main objective of our BIM alliance. Partners of different projects dealing about the use of Building Information Modelling to improve energy performance of buildings decided to share their achievements and go together for the exploitation phase. Welcome to our 50 partners of 20 European countries who decided to join into the BIM alliance for a common exploitation!! “
BIMalliance seeks to continue the work started by the BUILD UP Skills (BUS) initiative that started in 2011. BIM is the first truly global digital construction technology and is going to be deployed in every country in the world. It is a ‘game changer’ and we need to recognize that it is here to stay. BIMalliance will act at market level, further develop road maps, and qualification frameworks and stimulate the demand for energy skills across the entire construction supply chain.
BIMalliance seeks to stimulate the role BIM plays within digitalization of the building sector. The group recognize that without the integration of BIM into the primary processes of the industry and the public sector, the uptake of energy skills will be slower and less effective.
A recent report by the RSUA BIM Task Group, chaired by Peter Monaghan, Change Manager, Southern Regional College, described a general feeling of optimism amongst its members who have implemented BIM Level 2 within a project. The report recognised the benefits of BIM Level 2 (though difficult to measure fully) in areas such as project visualisation, stakeholder engagement, clash detection and co-ordination of M&E with the building structure/fabric. Improved construction sequencing and buildability were also identified as BIM Level 2 benefits.
The report encouraged the development of resources by Construction & Procurement Delivery (CPD) to assist public sector employers in the implementation of BIM Level 2. It recognised the important role that employers have to play including the provision of ‘Employer Information Requirements’ (EIRs). The Task Group felt that there was a lack of BIM experience amongst employers and that this was reflected in the low number of informed EIRs being produced. This was considered to be a major barrier to the implementation of BIM Level 2.
The report highlighted the need for fee structures to be ‘re-profiled’ to reflect the additional early stage work now required in a BIM project in order to gain many of the latter stage benefits. The Task Group also felt that the Northern Ireland construction industry would benefit from the sharing of ‘lessons learnt’ through local BIM Level 2 case studies.
RSUA supports CPD in their goal to encourage BIM Level 2 adoption in public procurement processes. Procurement Guidance Note (PGN) 03/15 is seen as a valuable contribution towards achieving this goal. BIM has in the past been misunderstood by some as merely a 3D modelling process. Those RSUA members with experience in implementing BIM feel that the information management aspect is equally important.
RSUA sees collaboration through BIM as a positive step for the construction industry although it will not be without its challenges until all parties in the process have gained both knowledge and experience through education and application. Recognised BIM qualifications, informed by the industry, will help increase the number of BIM professionals available to meet these challenges.
How important is this “BIM-thing”? There is a lot of talk about the “digital transition” of the construction industry, and the adoption of BIM (Building Information Modelling), but how serious is this? Is it a “nice-to-have”, “optional extra”, for construction projects, or is it something more crucial, or vital than that? Who should be concerned about this? And why?
ArcDox have been providing BIM consultancy, production, training and support services, for over 10 years in Ireland, and have extensive experience in implementing BIM on projects.
“We have proved, over thousands of years, that we can construct buildings and infrastructure without using BIM or digital tools”, says Ralph Montague, “That’s not the issue – the issue is the cost of not using BIM and digital tools. Traditional work processes are slow, costly, cumbersome, problematic and even dangerous. Over 30% of the cost of construction is waste. Over 70% of projects either end up over budget, or over time, or both. Productivity in construction has hardly increased at all, over the past 40 years. People are literally dying on construction sites. And there is a huge environmental impact from construction, contributing over 40% of carbon emissions. So yes, we can build without using BIM, or digital tools, but there is a huge cost to not improving the way we work.”
BIM is about providing “Better Information”, using the best available digital technologies and processes, so that people can make better decisions, more quickly, and more confidently. This is digital information that many people can search, query, understand, use and reuse. BIM is about cutting down rework, abortive work, unnecessary duplication of work. Cutting down waste. Creating safer work environments. Doing things quicker, cheaper, and better. Improving productivity and output. Helping to save the planet. In that context, BIM is more than just “nice-to-have”, or an “optional extra” , it is incredibly important.
Who should be concerned about this? Everyone who interacts with the built environment (buildings and infrastructure). And that is almost everyone. But most importantly, those who are investing capital in buildings and infrastructure. They should be concerned about getting better quality buildings and infrastructure, for less cost, and with less impact on the environment. And “better information” at the end of the project, to be able to use for the full lifecycle of their buildings. And all the professionals in the construction industry, who serve those investing in the built environment, should also be concerned. You could say that they have a professional responsibility to be concerned and use best available techniques and practices. We are living in the digital age, and BIM is available and mature, so why would you perpetuate out-dated practices that are costly and dangerous?
Co-Ordinator of the Construction IT Alliance (CITA) BIM group