International experts: More benefits can be reaped from building information modelling

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Singapore, 1 August 2013 - There has been significant progress in promoting Building Information Modelling (BIM) in Singapore. The adoption rate has gone up from 20% in 2009 to 65% today. The IPE commended Singapore for being in a leading group of countries at the forefront of driving BIM transformation and adoption through public and private sector partnership.

Building upon this success, the focus going forward broadens to how Singapore can maximise the future potential of BIM, specifically in the areas of lifecycle benefits such as the operation and maintenance of buildings and assets, as well as transforming construction procurement processes through greater collaborative working.

These were some of the recommendations from an International Panel of Experts (IPE) who were in Singapore from 30 July to 1 August 2013, to discuss how to transform Singapore's built environment sector towards greater efficiency and higher productivity using BIM.

"The construction industry is currently moving towards the re-engineering of its processes to be leaner and more efficient. The BCA is playing a lead role in this process transformation. Singapore stands out in its leadership compared to countries in Europe and possibly the rest of the world. While the first BIM roadmap in Singapore focused on getting people to start using BIM, the next stage is to broaden its application of BIM, especially in the area of the management and operation of existing buildings and other assets," said Professor Stephen Lockley, one of the members of the International Panel of Experts.

The IPE recommended that a national BIM research roadmap be formulated with the two new Centres of Excellence (COE) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU). The new COEs at NUS and NTU should work with government procurement entities (GPE) and private sector stakeholders to develop research in BIM that will transform the built environment sector.

The key value of BIM lies in enabling collaboration among different project partners to jointly develop new solutions, better manage project risk and enhance decision making. For instance, general contractors and prefabricators, such as concrete pre-casters, can utilise BIM to share critical information during the construction process and agree on solutions early during the planning stage. This will translate into seamless and more productive off-site manufacturing and on-site assembly workflow.

However, while the government has taken the lead in requiring BIM for public sector projects, there is a need to get greater inclusion of private developers and asset owners in specifying the use of BIM for their projects moving forward. The IPE proposed successful local and overseas models of BIM adoption to be studied and shared with the stakeholders, to encourage the use of BIM. Furthermore, there is a case to incentivise the development of BIM tools and an information library, to expand the use of BIM to a wider audience, and enhance process integration.

Besides the IPE BIM meeting, an inaugural Government BIM symposium for government representatives from over 10 countries , was organised by the BCA to facilitate the sharing of experiences in the adoption of BIM. While different countries are at various stages of adopting BIM, common challenges were identified such as the need for BIM-related training, as well as the uptake of full lifecycle BIM solutions. The IPE recommended that Singapore should continue to facilitate international collaboration and exchange on BIM planning and deployment at the governmental level.

Co-chair of the International Panel of Experts and BCA Chief Executive Officer Dr John Keung said, "We thank the members of the IPE for sharing their insights into how we can further drive the BIM transformation process in Singapore. Their recommendations would serve as critical inputs to the formulation of BCA's second BIM Roadmap. Moving ahead, we will bring the usage of BIM to a higher level, to maximise the benefits of BIM to the built environment."


Portable document format version of the media release is also available (84KB .pdf)

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