Parveen Sharma, CEO, BIM Engineers: The industry is entering into a new era of ‘virtual twin’
Technology

Parveen Sharma, CEO, BIM Engineers: The industry is entering into a new era of ‘virtual twin’

Governments and educational institutions are waking up to the potential of BIM technology.

What are the latest trends and scope of BIM in India, and how is it transforming the construction industry?

 Implementing new technologies in India has always been a time-taking process here, but gradually, BIM is penetrating into the Indian construction industry. Now all major private developers and government agencies are pushing for BIM adoption for their projects. BIM adoption in the construction industry has been going on for a decade now. In the AEC industry, with this technology the accuracy of cost estimates and time predictions are improving, and the construction industry is entering into a new era of ‘virtual twin’ where the construction is done in a computer environment before it is implemented on the site.

Governments and educational institutions are waking up to the potential of BIM technology. What are the latest trends and scope of BIM in India, and how is it transforming the construction industry?  Implementing new technologies in India has always been a time-taking process here, but gradually, BIM is penetrating into the Indian construction industry. Now all major private developers and government agencies are pushing for BIM adoption for their projects. BIM adoption in the construction industry has been going on for a decade now. In the AEC industry, with this technology the accuracy of cost estimates and time predictions are improving, and the construction industry is entering into a new era of ‘virtual twin’ where the construction is done in a computer environment before it is implemented on the site.  In which sectors do you see BIM adoption happening the most? What are the trends in railways, marine, smart cities, power, special bridges, any other?  The building construction segment has already adopted BIM for quite a while; now the focus of the construction industry on Infrastructure development, hence the penetration of BIM technology is more in the infrastructure sector, especially airports and metro/rail projects. Do you think the Indian construction industry is slow in BIM adoption? What are the major problems and hurdles causing the slow adoption rate? The Indian construction industry is among largest industries across the globe, so it will always be a big challenge to implement new technologies like BIM. Major challenges are logistics and mindset. BIM requires a very robust environment of hardware and software, which costs money. Secondly, the mindset of the people can’t be changed overnight; it takes time to convince them about new technologies and their benefits. Another challenge is the scarcity of experienced professionals in the field of BIM. I am sure the new generation of BIM-enabled architects and engineers will overcome these challenges in the coming decade. What are the advantages of BIM and 3D structural techniques? Do you think this technology will gain momentum in coming years in India? What are the key driving factors? Any construction project starts with an analysis about its stability, load-bearing and its reaction to natural calamities like floods, earthquakes, fire, etc. The use of BIM has many advantages for structural design calculations - all type of analyses, whether it is earthquake, wind impact analysis, flood analysis or loadbearing calculations. BIM provides more accurate and faster results for these calculations. This technology will gain more popularity in India in coming years because it is faster, accurate and better in compared to traditional calculation methods. The government and the clients are also making mandatory the use of BIM-based design and calculations methods in their projects. As per the industry reports, BIM adoption can save 14-18% cost and 8-12% time of the project.  How is role of a BIM manager evolving? What are challenges faced by a BIM manager today? A BIM manager’s responsibilities are getting bigger with each new project in current times. Now the BIM manager is not only responsible to draft the BIM Implementation Plan (BIP) and BIM Execution Plan (BEP) but also to implement it in compliance with local government guidelines, Employer Information Requirements (EIR), industry standards and overall design coordination and value engineering to make the projects smarter, with better construction quality. BIM managers face many challenges, including the lack of trained manpower and the necessary support environment to successfully implement BIM on construction projects. However, things are changing rapidly, and owners, investors and governments have started to understand the value of BIM.  BIM is usually seen as more relevant for large projects, as it requires a big investment. Does it have scope in medium and small-scale projects?  BIM is used on large infrastructure projects where the construction values are big, and the complexity of the project invites technology usage. However, medium and small projects can also benefit by using cutting-edge technologies like BIM. In any construction project where we are using CAD/computer-based design, BIM can be a useful tool to streamline the design, project management and construction processes. Do you believe Covid-19 has pushed this industry to embrace technology more than ever?  Due to the pandemic, most of the industries are adopting new ways of working, Fortunately BIM is very well adapted to this ‘new normal’, and everything is very well managed using Common Data Environment (CDE) technology platforms, while cloud computing has enabled the industry to save time and increase the efficiency of the coordination process. In a nutshell, the pandemic has provided a big boost to BIM usage across the project spectrum. Lack of expertise and upskilling can be a major challenge.  How is skill or resource availability in the BIM segment? Any views on how we can include BIM in research or academics? BIM-trained manpower is very scarce and costly. Preparing a new generation of experienced BIM professionals has been a big challenge for the industry in the last decade. Fortunately, this is an opportunity for education institutes and now universities and colleges have started adopting BIM training and awareness in their curriculum.  

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