When will BIM reach its full potential in the GCC?
Although BIM technology is not new to the construction industry, the process of implementing it across all projects is still evolving, especially in the Middle East.
When BIM first emerged in the market, the contractors merely saw it as a tool to generate 2D drawings for design changes. However, as the construction industry began to adopt models for better coordination, ontractors and consultants started to realise the importance of BIM. Today, regional experts say that one of the major trends in BIM that they have seen across the region – and more widely around the world – is the use of related processes to prefabricate entire building components.
Faiza Kottikollon, founder and chairman of KEF Holdings, says: “Traditionally, the impression has been that modular and prefabricated building components constrain the limits of the design, but through the use of BIM, the flexibility in design increases hugely. No matter how unique the design is, by using BIM, we can identify how the model can be constructed, and then produce and install it.”
The UAE-based holding company is currently executing all of its ongoing projects with BIM level-two standards, and working towards the doption of BIM level three. One of its current projects is the construction of world’s tallest clock tower for its client, Infosys, at its Mysore Campus in India.
A significant advantage that comes from using BIM on a construction project is the ability to visualise the expected and the actual progress throughout the entire lifecycle. Communicating a project schedule visually is a useful when it comes to facilitating onsite collaboration with sub-contractors.
Ravikumarr KS, director for international operations at Oman-based S&T Interiors and Contracting, says: “The adoption of BIM is a trend that continues to grow. As jobsite regulations become tighter, prefabrication practices become safer and more cost effective, and technological improvements are fine-tuned towards specific industries or trades.”
Over the last 18 months, S&T has used BIM on three projects in Oman and two projects in overseas markets. The three projects in Oman consist of a large residential complex, a hospitality project, and a premium mixed-use development in Muscat. Two projects are ongoing, and construction documentation is currently in progress.