10 Barriers to a full BIM deployment in the Middle East
The implementation of BIM in Middle East is partial and limited, due to many barriers
Construction industry in the Middle East is talking about BIM everywhere, some have already started the deployment of BIM while others are still questioning the need of BIM. Whether you like it or not BIM came to this part of world and one way or another it has invaded the industry.
1. Misunderstanding of BIM: People are still comparing BIM to CAD
Till now people in industry are insisting on comparing BIM to CAD, is it the right way to look at BIM? Absolutely not, Comparing BIM to CAD is like comparing apples to oranges. BIM is not a drafting or modeling tool introduced to replace CAD, BIM is a collaborative process of generating and managing engineering data through the life cycle of a project, a three-dimensional virtual model is used as a 3D database where graphical and non-graphical data is stored and linked to the elements inside the BIM model.
2. BIM introduced to Middle East region by BIM's software developers
Software companies took the lead of introducing BIM to Middle East. As those companies are interested in selling their products, BIM was introduced to the industry as a software and tools in the form of modeling , clash detection , quantity take-offs , and drawing extraction tools. Which resulted in a huge misunderstanding of BIM as a collaborative business process and limited the deployment of BIM in industry to the usage of BIM tools.
3. Resistance to change
Resistance to change is the very classic obstacle to improve, it is a known fact that people resist change and hate to leave their comfort zone. With the absence of a good understanding of BIM process, it will be always so difficult to convince people to adopt BIM and ditch their beloved conventional methods
4. Lack of BIM specialists in the region
As BIM is new to the region, qualified BIM specialists are rare. Accordingly firms tend to hire and train people on using BIM tools without educating them on BIM process. Most of BIM specialists in the Middle East region are self-trained and refer to literature to enhance their skills and understanding of BIM, this self-motivated type of people is also rare and do not cover industry needs in the region.
5. The variety of international BIM protocols and standards
International institutes like AIA, RIBA and others issue BIM execution plans, standards, and protocols. Those protocols were tailored based on the industry requirements on their regions. Variety of protocols and standards are found when companies within Middle East try to deploy BIM. The big question arises “which protocol or standard is right for us?” obviously this is not the right question to ask, the right approach for companies is to understand their own requirements and define their objectives
6. Absence of certified BIM educational and consultancy institutes
BIM training and education is limited to use BIM software and tools as there are no certified institutions to train people on BIM process and proper implementation of BIM. Available training focuses on the technology part alone. When it comes to use a BIM software you will find experts, and whenever they are asked to define BIM they will always focus on the technology part
7. Being conservative towards information sharing
BIM is a collaborative process and requires significant share of data and information through the project life cycle between internal and external parties involved in the project, however companies in this region tend to be conservative and not so open to share information
8. Treating BIM as a mandatory requirement
Recently authorities in gulf countries started to push BIM into key projects and make it a mandatory requirement which seems like an encouraging factor towards BIM deployment in the region, however as industry was pushed to deliver BIM, contractors started to subcontract BIM job which resulted in additional cost! BIM adds cost to a project! Think about that!
9. None standardized BIM practice across the world
BIM is in continuous improvement and development, and till now there is no standardized BIM practice across the world. True, there is a general agreement on BIM as a concept but when it comes to put BIM into practice it is a whole different story. This is an expected scenario due to the difference in internal and external business environments from country to another, furthermore from one firm to another
10. The need of industry culture change
In fact culture is a global BIM deployment obstacle “According to a survey taken at the Royal Institute of Chatered surveyors conference, 53% of respondents say their biggest BIM deployment obstacle was culture change” BIMForum SmartBrief. Obviously, this is the biggest obstacle for a full BIM implementation in the region too. Top management in firms think of BIM as a tool or a software that can save time and money, while BIM is a collaborative process that requires a major change in the internal work process and culture.
With all mentioned above barriers, BIM (as meant to be!) is struggling to float to surface in this part of the world, however with time those barriers probably will be overcome, when though? It is hard to tell. Meanwhile a conservative and limited form of BIM is starting to form in the Middle East, a version of BIM limited to technology and capabilities of BIM software and tools. Yes benefits are still utilized with this version of BIM, but the major benefits of a full BIM deployment are still a long-shot. Apparently BIM-ers still have a really long journey to go before start utilizing the actual benefits of BIM in Middle East.
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