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Building in 3D

Jack Loo | May 23, 2011
Singapore’s BCA is introducing a new 3D design and modelling tool to the building and construction industry.

SINGAPORE, 23 MAY 2011-BIM (Building Information Modelling) is a new 3D design process that allows a project to be explored digitally before it is built. This helps to identify potential clashes in the design stage and reduce costly and unnecessary reworks at the construction stage.

Having seen its benefits, the Building and Construction Authority of Singapore (BCA) is keen to push for the adoption of BIM in the island nation, declaring the establishment of mandatory BIM submissions by 2015 for local projects.

Jack Loo, features editor, MIS Asia, speaks with Tan Kee Wee, centre director, Centre for Construction IT, BCA, to find out more on the future of BIM in Singapore.

What can BIM do for the local construction industry?

BIM can help to build capability, improve productivity and transform the way professionals work. With BIM, professionals can create accurate 3D models for visualisation (so that the client can make better decisions as early as possible) and simulation (e.g. daylight study to determine the amount of neutral daylight that can be drawn into the building to help design a greener building).

The professionals can get highly accurate and consistent design documentation, quantity takeoff and calculation from the model, thereby cutting down a vast amount of manual effort. They can also identify design conflicts and clashes early to reduce costly reworks at the contraction stage. Contractors can use it to plan construction sequences, manage logistics and control resources better. Facility managers can use it to manage the asset and maintenance schedule better.

Can you share some of the activities/measures that BCA is conducting to help push for BIM adoption?

BCA has put in place a roadmap to get the industry BIM ready by 2015. Measures include:

A) Working with institutes of higher learning to train students on the technology to get entrants to the industry ready; rolling out specialist diploma and degree courses at BCA Academy to train BIM coordinators and managers.

B) Allowing professionals who use BIM to make BIM e-submissions for regulatory approval.

C) Encouraging BIM adopters by defraying the cost of adoption with financial subsidies.

D) Requesting the use of BIM in new public sector building projects.

E) Additionally, BCA supported the inaugural BuildTechAsia Exhibition, which took place at the Singapore Expo from 27 to 29 April 2011. The exhibition showcased new technologies, such as BIM, aimed at raising productivity in the construction sector.

Can you give some background on the SG$870,000 (US$ 698,651) committed by the Singapore government and the establishment of mandatory BIM submissions by 2015?

The fund has been committed to help BIM adopters defray the costs incurred in acquiring BIM software, training, consultancy services and hardware. BIM e-submissions offer convenience for BIM users to submit the model without the need for additional efforts in converting them into 2D drawings for submission. Making it mandatory is just a means to an end. The important thing is to let users experience the power of the technology because those who have experienced it would not want to go back to using 2D CAD.


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