"There's no way back to simple systems!"–Taking stock of the 9th BIM User Day in Duisburg, Germany



The 9th BIM User Day at buildingSMART took place on May 24, 2012 at the Fraunhofer inHaus2 Center in Duisburg. The event, which was fully booked out with approx. 130 attendees, was supported by HOCHTIEF ViCon GmbH which assisted with the construction of the building completed in 2008, from the first sketches to planning construction with BIM methods and technology.

All players agree that demand for communication and information on the subject of BIM (Building Information Modeling) remains high. This is also confirmed by the occasionally heated debates around fears, prejudices and responsibilities on the part of politicians, Chambers, federations and building contractors. Several times on the day there was mention of the British government, which has recognized the advantages of the BIM method, and has just announced that it wants to exploit savings potential of 20 percent with regard to public-sector building: There are plans to become the world leader in BIM, and all public-sector projects are to use BIM in 2016. In Germany, the public-sector is still a long way from introducing the corresponding norms and open standards for openBIM that might give the impression that they do not conform to the HOAI (Architect and Engineer Fee Table). In the meantime, the BIM pioneers are no longer voices crying in the wilderness–support is being provided from various sides including the Chambers of individual federal states.

"There's no way back to simple systems!" was the assertion from Gerd von Spiess, of the Dortmund-based engineering firm Spiess&Schäfer and Chairman of the NRW Engineers' Chamber (Construction), in his opening speech. "The five dimensions of construction and growing demands with regard to stability, fire protection, noise protection or energy efficiency are causing 3D CAD to be replaced by object-oriented BIM." He said that one of his Chamber's jobs is to communicate the advantages of BIM and model-oriented planning to its members. To this end, there are BIM seminars, as well as the Deubau trade fair with its own, very well-attended BIM specialist conference.

Dirk Schaper, spokesman of the Management Board of HOCHTIEF ViCon, Essen, who recently attended the BIM User Day in Qatar, said: "Pressure is being applied to the market by building contractors who want to understand their buildings better." Schaper talks about BIM-supported production, mobile devices and applications that are increasingly providing efficient support to the BIM process, building on a data pool. "I believe that this is the right way," Schaper says. "A lot of work can be spared with mobile devices and, at the same time, project data can be networked better. Processes are becoming faster and more measurable." Schaper adds, however: "It is important to have a dedicated coordinator for bigger projects. For this we need BIM Managers."

Senior Construction Manager Stefan Szemkus from HOCHTIEF Hamburg talks about BIM and the construction of HOCHTIEF House in Hamburg which has a GFA of around 22,000 square meters and was completed this year. Szemkus, who just a few years ago had no use for BIM, is meanwhile a firm convert. That is due not least to the "clarity of data": both those involved in the project and non technical people can understand the project quickly, while project data are immediately available for evaluation, allowing individual analysis.

(Text/photos: Heike Kappelt txt-pr, extracts)

You'll find presentations and photos of the event at: http://www.buildingsmart.de/2/9-BIM-Anwendertag.htm


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