KUCHING: The construction industry is moving away from the time old 2D AutoCAD design programmes to the newer 3D Building Information Modelling (BIM) system that is expected to help modernise and upgrade the local construction industry.
BIM ,which is already adopted in the many construction industries around the world such as the UK and Singapore, is said to be a process that promotes better communication and cooperation between all parties within a particular project which in turns improves productivity and reduces rework and conflict during the project.
Lending credence to these claims, Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd’s (Rakuten Trade) vice-president of research, Vincent Lau, said that BIM services have a track record of being able to minimise and reduce costs within projects as it is able to simulate the construction process in digital format and ascertain if there are any clashes in drawings and plans prior to the commencement of construction.
“This would ultimately save projects precious resources as they would be able to minimise potential mistakes and the extra repairs or demolition needed to fix them,” he told The Borneo Post.
“HSS Engineers Bhd is one of the leading engineering firms which have been using BIM services for their major infrastructure projects.”
Adding to this, CIDB chief executive officer Datuk Ir Ahmad ‘Asri Abdul Hamid underscored the need for the construction industry to adopt BIM as projects are becoming increasing complex and competitive.
“Hence, BIM is crucial for players as the use of BIM offers a cost effective and time-sensitive solution as compared to the traditional process of construction.
“This is because BIM allows for updated data to be automatically associated with the entire design model and thus allows for a more dynamic process that considers every variable in the construction process,” he explained.
However despite the overwhelming amount of potential benefits and advantages in utilising BIM in projects, Lau guides that the adoption rate is still rather low.
Some industry experts have commented that the reason for this slow adoption is due to the lack of trained professionals in BIM and the high costs of its software and implementation.
“You can have someone who is very experienced in BIM but the project still won’t run because everyone needs to know how to utilise it. From architects to technical officers to administrative assistants, everyone who is involved in the project will need to be knowledgeable or have some degree of knowledge on employing BIM,” explained a local structural engineer who declined to be named.
On this matter, Works Minister Baru Bian said that the government would be working to create a BIM ecosystem that would address these issues and more.
Transformation Plan (CITP), the BIM ecosystem has been developed to set up a sustainable environment and to maximise the use of technology, optimise mechanisation, increase skilled workforce which will reduce the cost of the construction industry and prolong the life cycle of infrastructure through five main areas.
The give main areas are: mandating BIM usage in public projects valued over RM100 million; promotion and awareness programmes; assistance towards players for adoption and integration; creation of training programmes to develop BIM personnel and the enriching of BIM resources through the establishment of MyBIM.
To develop BIM personnel, the works minister highlighted that efforts were already underway and that 7 BIM training modules have been developed and endorsed by a panel of industry experts in 2016.
The modules are currently available at the six building academies (akademi binaan) across Malaysia and six universities – Universiti Malaysia Perlis, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Pahang, Universiti Malaysia Sabah in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and Swinburne University in Sarawak.
Not only do these courses teach the concept and theory of BIM for architectural and structural modelling, they also provide modules on BIM coordination and management. Other institutions like polytechnics, public skills training, and Giat MARA are also offering their own BIM courses in efforts to help produce more BIM professionals.
The creation of MyBIM under CIDB is also one of the main intiaitves to building and ecosystem and CIDB guides that the platform is designed to be a one-stop resource centre that will provide the industry with a cost-effective avenue for implementing the 3D design process.
“It features state-of-the-art facilities that enable users to model and visualise building projects in a simulated environment and houses the National BIM library where users can download and use any of the BIM objects and materials listed in the library.
“As of today, the total number of BIM components including pre-approved plans, industrial building systems and medical and manufacturing products are approximately 7,400 components,” said Ahmad ‘Asri.
And to increase accessibility of BIM and its resources for smaller-cap players, Ahmad ‘Asri added that there are plenty of subsidised trainings offered at the MyBIM centre in KL and subsidies available for companies in their efforts to train their employees or purchase BIM software.
“Industry players also have the option of using BIM software on a pay-per-use basis at the CIDB MyBIM centre, instead of purchasing the software,” he added.
“Moreover, subsidised trainings are also on offer at MyBIM Centre, which covers numerous levels of BIM proficiency trainings.
“These subsidies are provided by the government as a means of reducing the high-costs of BIM adoption, particularly for SMEs looking to adopt BIM in their processes.”
With plenty of avenues for learning, it seems like our construction industry is all set for an upgrade but change doesn’t happen overnight and it might still be a ways away until the entire industry is on board with the new technology.
To this end, Baru guided that his Ministry will continue pushing the agenda through the continued collaboration with industry stakeholders.
“The Ministry will intensify our collaboration with other ministries, agencies and private sectors not just to provide the expertise and skilled workforce but to also ensure that experts and skilled workers are available in the market to meet the demand of the industry.”