Over 300 construction industry heavyweights have been introduced to the Building Information Modeling – Mechanical Engineering Plumbing work flow process after they attended the BIM-MEPAUS Construction Innovation 2013 Forum.
The forum focused on the utilisation of successful BIM practices by domestic and international companies to increase efficiency and productivity through design coordination at every stage of the project lifecycle.
More than $5 billion of Australian construction projects commenced in the last year have chosen to adopt the BIM-MEPAus work flow process, an initiative which according to Ai Group’s Construction Outlook report 2013, has the potential to slash up to $10 billion a year in costs from Australia’s $90 billion construction industry.
BIM-MEPAUS is led by the Air Conditioning and Mechanical Contractors’ Association (AMCA) and aims to achieve significant increases in productivity and a commercial framework for the implementation of BIM through industry adopted software platforms, standards and services.
In addition to significant cost savings, BIM-MEPAUS’s directors believe the initiative has the capacity to cut facilities management costs by 30%, reducing the ongoing management and maintenance of some of Australia’s largest buildings and industrial facilities.
Speaking at the BIM-MEPAUS Construction Innovation 2013 Forum, Mr Sumit Oberoi, Executive Director of AMCA, said that while other countries were utilizing the BIM processes, Australia is leading the way in terms of having the vast majority of major contractors, sub-contractors, equipment and materials suppliers already embracing the system.
“The BIM-MEPAUS system enables traditionally on-site issues to be dealt with more easily during the design phase and helps to eliminate confusion and conflict between contractors, sub-contractors and consultants during the actual construction of the structure,” he said.
BIM-MEPAUS specifications, standards, models and workflows have already been adopted by Australian construction companies such as Lend Lease, and implemented on a number of projects including Barangaroo South, the North Royal Adelaide Hospital and the Adelaide Oval redevelopment.
The Department of Defence has also started to consider ways of adopting the BIM-MEPAUSprocess and is hoping other Commonwealth agencies will follow its lead.
"When we look at the size of our [over a billion dollar] budget and I can get a 10 percent saving, that’s a significant saving for the taxpayer. So we bit the bullet and started to look at research on BIM,” Defence construction contracts director, Bob Baird said at the forum.
The highlight for many who attended the forum was a presentation by Mr Ge Qing, the deputy general manager and chief engineer one of the world’s tallest and greenest buildings, the Shanghai Tower, which championed BIM for design and construction.
“There are so much additional costs in traditional project management mode caused by information sharing issues,” said Mr Qing.
“The bottleneck for the info technology adoption in building engineering is information sharing, and BIM is reliable solution for providing effective approaches of framing info sharing and management platform,” he said.
Mr Oberoi, who has been the key driver behind industry collaboration with the system in Australia, concluded by saying, “We expect the system to drive greater inter-personnel cooperation between architects and designers, contractors and consultants, within an industry that has been traditionally adversarial and characterized by poor communication.”
“As Australia draws global attention for its BIM leadership and expertise, it is also attracting foreign investment, in particular from China.”