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The two sides of BIM: The role of National Competence Centers

Different initiatives reveal how the main countries belonging to the European Economic Area are systematizing their digital maturity

Published: 19/11/2018

Country: Italy

The development of the Center for Digital Built Britain, the launch of the Nationales Kompetenzzentrum BIM, the advent of Plan BIM 2022 are all clues that reveal how the main countries belonging to the European Economic Area are systematizing their digital maturity. 

A part of them, in all probability, will be an integral and determining part of the Community Industrial Platform for the sector, promoted by DG GROW of the European Commission. What, however, does all of this proves with respect to an evolutionary perspective of the sector? 

If by " BIM " we mean a nominal artifice that evokes digitization in the construction sector, we can detect two different argumentative plans.

BIM: «intrinsic» value of the digitization of the construction sector

The first of these is "intrinsic" to operations, in the sense that the goal is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the processes through the reconstruction to "number" of the largest possible number of events.

It is a matter of translating the actions of the actors involved in the real estate and infrastructural market into a language that the "machine" can understand. Clients, designers, builders, maintainers, managers, users, financiers, licensors and others, are therefore called to obtain "more" "with less".

In fact, there is a pedagogical reading of the digitalization that illustrates the innumerable benefits that would be obtained at the end of the relative transition, which, beyond productivity, would have repercussions on the spheres of circularity and sustainability. Digital applications are increasingly expanding, at every stage of the process and in every segment of the market, in a manner, if not indisputable, at least undisputed.

The fact, however, that the major "conventional" players in the ICT market applied to the sector have now established "platforms", that is to say ecosystems in which the single application appears moderately significant in relation to the overall context, means that which points out in the future is not so much the 'efficiency' of the market as its 'conditioning'.

BIM: «extrinsic» value of the digitization of the construction sector

Although, moreover, legislative measures, such as that linked to the GDPR, may, in a broader context of cybersecurity  (discussed in the draft ISO 19650-5), be a guarantee of protection, the fact that progressively the operators (including users) accept to act through a digital modality opens up a new level, whose «extrinsic» value is incomparably superior to what has been defined as «intrinsic» .

Basically, each actor contributes, for his part, to generate or modify large amounts of data (computable) that, properly correlated and processed, allow to possess, in real time and remotely, a high intelligence of the phenomena and possibly of to have a hidden or explicit influence on them, at the level of the single intervention or of a portfolio of orders , or of the realization as of the fruition .

Digitization: the future of the construction market

The future of the construction and real estate market belongs, therefore, to those who "host", more or less "free" the activities of others, providing data and information that would facilitate the optimality of the choices, in exchange, of course, of the possession of the possibility of orienting those options.

It is clear, for example, that BIM Server and BIM Library will become increasingly useful devices not so much to "make available" data and information (ethical intentions of institutional platforms) as to "capture the attitudes" of operators (business purpose) of economic operators).

If, on the one hand, government policies try to support widespread digital literacy, first of all, Public Demand, on the other hand, a Private Offer is being organized that has the potential, as the transformative transition will extend, to offer new services intimately related to Data Science and the Internet of Things .


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