Client-driven BIM requirement on the rise in the GCC

Client-driven BIM requirement on the rise in the GCC
Nithin Thomas, BIM manager at Shapoorji Pallonji International [image: The Construction Summit 2017].
Published: 29 October 2017 - 1 a.m.
By: Fatima De La Cerna

The number of clients who are requesting that building information modelling (BIM) be implemented in their projects is reportedly on the rise in the GCC.

Speaking with Construction Week on the sidelines of The Construction Summit 2017, Nithin Thomas, BIM manager at Shapoorji Pallonji International, said: “Talking specifically about the GCC, we’ve seen an increased requirement for BIM within the industry, with the request mostly coming from clients.

“And because [the requirement] is client-driven, contractors and the rest of the supply chain tend to follow it.”

Citing Shapoorji as an example, Thomas revealed that in response to this increase in demand for BIM adoption in projects, the company is boosting efforts to raise BIM awareness among its employees.

“We’ve had BIM within the business for the last two or three years, but within the past 12 to 14 months, we’ve seen an increased requirement for BIM, and we’ve embraced it,” he explained.

“We have a specialist team, which looks after BIM for the whole business unit, and [the team] has really been helping us drive business forward.”

Shapoorji, according to Thomas, has a design studio that takes care of all the company’s BIM deliverables, as well as coordinators assigned to projects who are tasked with gathering information and then relaying it to the rest of the team, so data can be processed and used.

“Our [strategy] is to employ a centralised approach to projects instead of having separate teams work on them,” he added. “In a way, that has allowed us to improve on our quality of work and has enabled us to keep our costs in check.”

Continuing on the topic of costs, he said: “One of the things I often get asked is if [BIM] is still an additional cost. Yes, it is, but at Shapoorji, we consider ourselves an early adopter. And we believe that we will see a return on this additional investment, especially since BIM is becoming more and more a requirement.

“The important thing is to see its value to the project and for whoever is implementing it. For example, as a contractor, if I don’t see value in using BIM, [then] it will always be an additional cost for me.

“That is where outlook really matters, and I think the industry is slowly changing, and we hope that very soon, construction would become an industry driven by BIM technology.”

An event designed to allow industry stakeholders to exchange practical and technical information on topics that impact construction costs, including digitisation and technology adoption, The Construction Summit 2017 took place on 25 October, 2017, in Dubai.

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