BIM: Planning is necessary

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The digital networking of processes, products and stakeholders around a construction project by means of Building Information Modeling-BIM opens up significant opportunities and advantages.  In order to make full use of these, however, the implementation of a project by means of BIM itself must be thoroughly planned and a common understanding of all parties involved reached, according to industry representatives at the Expert Talk of the consulting, planning and project management company Drees & Sommer Österreich.


According to data provided by Google and Autodesk, the total volume of data available for digital planning projects will increase forty-fold from 6.6 zetabytes (2015) to around 119 zetabytes by 2025.  The currently hardly foreseeable development of artificial intelligence will probably make this figure even more rapid.  “Such numbers show both the possibilities and the potential wrong paths,” says Hannes Asmera, BIM expert at Drees & Sommer Austria.  In his view, BIM is indispensable for maximum planning reliability as well as time and cost savings during the planning and construction phase, efficient running and optimal dismantling planning at the end of the building life cycle.  “At Drees & Sommer, we successfully implement numerous projects with BIM. In doing so, we learned that nobody needs all 119 zetabytes and all conceivable use cases. Rather, it is important to filter out what is relevant for a project from what is available, to find a setup that works over the duration of the project and to establish a common mindset for all project participants,” says Asmera.  In this way, a BIM project can be implemented without much effort and the BIM benefits are realized faster.

Reduction to the essentials

For the implementation of BIM projects, Asmera advises to use basic standard rules, such as BIA (Operator Information Request), AIA (Customer Information Request) and BAP (BIM Project Settlement Plan).  While the former reflects long-term requirements and has a direct impact on AIA and BAP, the BIM project execution plan for Asmera is the most important core document that specifies the entire implementation of a project including the client's objectives.  It is also advisable to focus on the essentials in the use cases considered in a BIM project.  This focus may vary from project to project and client to client, but it turned out that the use case coordination of the specialist trades and quality assurance is indispensable in order to have reliable data for every other use case.

At the beginning, it is necessary to clarify which objectives are to be achieved with BIM and which data is needed for this.  “Therefore, there is no general patent for BIM, because BIM has to be handled differently depending on the client, the project focus, the requirements and the BIM knowledge of the project participants,” says Asmera.  For example, during the extension and conversion of BORG Radstatt, which Drees & Sommer Austria is supporting, the focus was on ensuring that the BIM model and the real building are designed as free of deviations as possible.  For this purpose, the construction progress was measured regularly by laser scan and the construction is compared with the construction target.  This enabled possible deviations to be identified and assessed as early as possible and rapid conclusions to be drawn as to whether and to what extent adjustments are necessary and what costs they entail.

Bringing PS to the ground

Florian Lohberger, BIM Manager at VAMED Engineering, adds: “We have always done what we do in the construction and real estate industry, but with BIM the way we do it is a new one.”

However, digital planning and building with BIM and perhaps one day with artificial intelligence always needs people and basic communication.  “Technically and on the software side, we are well advanced, but it is still about collaboration and the necessary coordination. At the beginning of the project, it has to be clearly defined what is to come out at the end of the project, and all project participants have to pull together. Otherwise, the PS that BIM offers us will never be able to get to the ground.”

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