buildingSmart Forum 2014



„The digital construction as a driving force for the industry” was the heading of the 18th buildingSMART Forum which took place on the 13th of November 2014 in Berlin. 320 participants engaged in debates over changing processes through the data-digitalization, role perceptions, communication and partnership in planning, construction and operation of buildings. Everyone agreed that the industry will soon anticipate a major modification. A concept therefore was composed: the establishment of the “Bauen Digital GmbH”, where opinion leaders (associations) and probably enterprises will work together to actively and promptly shape the future of the German construction industry.

For Dirk Schaper, ViCon’s Managing Director and the speaker of the Executive Committee of the buildingSMART e.V., managing BIM with the holistic approach has been day to day routine for many years. His clear statement is: “Together!”, because cooperation and the “amazing depth of information” generated through the BIM method offer great opportunities, new business models and added value for the construction industry, especially for designers and architects. His petition is also addressed to the public authorities in Germany to considerably stimulate the industry and send the signal about the importance of the BIM initiative and its potential.

René Schumann’s experiences are also based on collaboration; “3D models unify people”. René has been ViCon’s Managing Director in Qatar since 2009. He and his team have been engaged on several large scale projects to further extend ViCon’s leading position in the region. The importance of BIM as a common project language is particularly appreciated in multinational teams, where all project details are made comprehensible and transparent for all stakeholders. For the past six years ViCon has developed a 3D Infrastructure model for an entire city based on ViCon’s Five Components approach: People, Process, Technology, Policy and BIM Manager. Every developer involved in the project needs to submit a 3D model in order to get a building permit. Once completed the entire city will be available on a mobile device. For Mr. Schumann establishing a common project language and employing BIM Managers who determine the strategy and ensure the earliest involvement of the BIM method, is essential for the project’s success. He also sees the urgent need for action regarding BIM education and qualification for personnel.

The president of the buildingSMART e.V. Siggi Wernik also agrees that the focus shifted from technology to strategy; BIM as a cross-sectional-discipline leads the way to digitalization of the construction value chain. He sees BIM as a dynamic application inducing industry changes, which are extremely necessary in Europe and Germany in particular. He has been one of the driving forces behind the German BIM Task Group hoisted by leading associations and the buildingSMART initiative, to create awareness amongst the industry and especially the public authorities. “We need a mandate from public employers!”

More information about buildingSmart Forum 2014

The German Task Group was initiated by the „Reformkommission Bau von Großprojekten“, an expert committee founded in 2013, which consists of 35 experts from industry, science, public authorities and associations. Dr. Hansgeorg Balthaus, General Manager of HOCHTIEF Engineering GmbH is e.g. one of them. The commission was assigned to deliver tangible strategies for the planning and execution of large scale projects in order to improve cost transparency, cost accurateness and adherence to schedules. The seven teams of the commission are supposed to meet eight times and deliver the final report in 2015. One of the work teams is dedicated to BIM and all relevant strategies. This group consists of some board members and associates from buildingSMART.

According to the last preliminary report of the ”Reformkommission Bau von Großprojekten“ from the 7th of October 2014 the BIM-working group prioritized the following core statements:

  • BIM as a cross-sectional-discipline will improve the following scopes: Adherence to schedules and cost plans paired with increasing efficiency, Target-oriented decisions of decision-makers, Increasing acceptance of the general public
  • Activate existing potential to prevent the German construction industry from falling behind
  • A BIM platform should be created
  • Public pilot projects are necessary

Following the recommendation some pilot projects were already announced at the last meeting of the ”Reformkommission Bau von Großprojekten“ on the 13th of October 2014 under the direction of the Federal Minister Alexander Dobrindt. The Minister for Transport and digital Infrastructure emphasized: “Construction projects bare risks, but they become controllable through early identification and methodic considerations. [..] The complexity of large-scale projects has been increasing. [..] Modern digital construction will help to manage cost and schedules. Based on four pilot projects we will test the potentials of the digitalization and scientifically evaluate our experiences.”

The Deutsche Bahn AG, Germany’s railway institution, will test BIM on two projects in the design and two projects in the construction phase; e.g. the Rastätter Tunnel embedded on the Karlsruhe-Basel project and the Filstal-bridge. All projects will be scientifically assisted and evaluated. In the past few weeks some meaningful and interesting activities have been kicked off around the buildingSMART Forum. As a direct result of the Forum the Digital Bauen GmbH is on the industry’s imminent agenda to seriously promote BIM in Germany. The reason is obvious: to wait and see will jeopardize the future.

René Schumann, HOCHTIEF ViCon Qatar W.L.L., (c) Lichtschwaermer
Dirk Schaper, HOCHTIEF ViCon GmbH, (c) Lichtschwaermer

© Lichtschwaermer 

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