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BIM: Changing the future of the planet


Published: 11/06/2019

Friends in the Built Environment,

We have a significant impact on every person on this planet. Not only are we designing, building and operating the environment in which we live and the infrastructure that connects them; we are also accountable for more than 40 percent of the world’s ongoing energy consumption. As a global industry, we have a tremendous responsibility to restore the wellbeing of our planet.

Productivity and efficiency gains throughout the value chain have not exactly been stellar throughout the past few decades; sure, improvements have been made, and a digitization of workflows within design, construction and operation have optimized within each silo. But when it comes to collaboration across disciplines and applying a holistic view of the full lifecycle of our environment; we still have a ways to go. Building Information Modelling, while it has many names, is a key ingredient in addressing climate issues and the tools we need to get started are already at our disposal.

Here are three key issues we need to address across the value chain:

1. We must nurture collaboration; and this is also at the core of ISO-19650. Only by having clear guidelines for project execution and a shared understanding of how we collaborate can we optimize our output. Now, the high-level standard is one thing, the real challenge comes from being specific. I can only applaud initiatives across the world that strives to make this very tangible, like CIBSE’s Product Data Templates or Australia’s BIMMEPaus initiative.

2. We need to stop thinking of generic models; everyday, building product manufacturers make advancements in technology that improves energy efficiency and allows for a lower footprint, be it using fewer components, easier installation, reduced maintenance and improved uptime. We need to specify value engineered solutions early in the design phase to yield the best solution for both client and planet. Content can only become better through collaboration between users and producers; so please be vocal.

3. We need to embrace the sharing of design data – so that we can benchmark design intent with actual operation on a global scale. Imagine what advancements we can make by crowdsourcing information from true digital twins. We should ensure the whole value chain gains insight into the rewards of applying a BIM process throughout – and apply an agile mindset where we iterate and adapt from our success and failure.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Digital Built Environment Institute, we are a global not-for-profit organization driven by passionate volunteers (myself included), that comes from all across the value chain. We organize a series of BIM training events across the globe to bring the most innovative and impactful speakers from their respective field to share their knowledge and experience with the rest of the community; in other words a true by-users-for-users event. We are trusted by the world’s leading firms in the AECO space to ensure their employees are at the forefront of the Digital Built Environment.


I hope you will you join us at our next European Digital Built Week in Edinburgh, Scotland, with events starting October 8th and concluding October 12th – lets break down the silos and make sure our kids will wake up to a better tomorrow.

Marcus Christensen Fich

European Chairman – Digital Built Environment Institute.
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