BIM means a big chance for GCC

Phillip G Bernstein is an architect, vice president of Autodesk, a lecturer at Yale University and an author

BIM will soon be the central platform for design, construction and building operation, largely supplanting the use of 2D drawing.

Augmented by cloud computation, big data analytics and widespread interconnectivity, BIM will be a tool that enables us to ask the important questions and get the answers at every point of the process.

Computations optimisation will become the norm for design and construction practice, and that optimisation will occur in the context of detailed data models that augment insight and decision-making. Process modeling, the procedural overlay of physical modeling will accelerate this insight.

A designer placing an exterior wall in her design will have instant access not just to information about “what” that wall is made of, but “how” it will be fabricated and installed. Mechanical equipment models will simulate location, materiality and performance.

The definition of a “model” will become more robust, subtle and provocative and the design and constructions processes it supports evolve accordingly.The construction sector in the Middle East is booming and the recent developments give a significant boost to the industry as large, important and expensive projects will need to be delivered responsibly.

Further, industry reports show that the GCC building construction market has recovered significantly from the downturn. 2013 has been positive with residential, education and hospitality segments in particular showing signs of growth and a strong recovery.

The GCC should take this once-in-a-generation opportunity to create standards, platforms and processes that are based on the most modern and sophisticated tools available. This will ensure that construction projects are a success and the GCC can establish and maintain a world-class industry for years to come.

Construction is fundamental to economic development and well-being, as buildings and infrastructure create the world we live in. The GCC should strive to do so by ensuring the use of the best possible tools and methods, and BIM is one critical strategy in such an approach.