PHOTO - Autodesk Malaysia Country Manager, Tan Choon Sang (CS Tan).
Malaysia's architecture, engineering and construction industry's adoption of building information modelling solutions could help it realise significant business benefits, according to design solutions provider Autodesk Malaysia.
Autodesk Malaysia country manager, Tan Choon Sang (CS Tan) said that cost overruns are an unfortunate reality in the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry industry. "Owners are frustrated when they are required to go over-budget, something that happens all too often, and as a result, they are starting to demand greater accountability and results from designers and builders."
"Delivery methods - such as building information modelling (BIM) solutions - that increase efficiency, and lower costs is receiving increasing recognition by AEC partners and practitioners," said Tan. "BIM helps to manage a construction project's data through a virtual, interactive, 3D model."
He said that BIM, which was introduced the late 1980s, grew from the blurring of functional disciplines between architects, engineers. "This is mainly due to the increasing demands made on building professionals to collaborate
in real-time to manage costs, productivity and efficiency."
"The BIM technology allows architects to design; engineers of various disciplines to build upon the design concept and create; and contractors to visualize and construct - most of which can be completed by jointly imputing various data and information required for the modelling of a project before the first shovel hits the ground," said Tan. "It also minimises the error margin in design and engineering, and helps building professionals resolve any potential clashes before the actual construction begins. A crucial point to note is that BIM not only saves time; it also reduces costs."
"Collaboration-enabled BIM is a powerful process," said Tan. "The ability to leverage design intent models and transform them into a virtual building, including all of the data workflow for construction, allows for levels of understanding and cognition that simply cannot be achieved on a jobsite via unintelligent 2D images. This level of visualisation throughout the process represents a common language that all understand. Its effect stakeholders, especially the project owner in terms of saving cost through the facilitation of faster and more accurate decision-making and the removal of ambiguity in the process should not be underestimated."
Tan said that integration and collaboration between all project teams of separate BIM models, regardless of vendor or file format, into a single model - a virtual construction - was essential to realising efficiencies in the building process.
"Quantity surveying in estimating, design validation (i.e. clash detection), coordination and visual scheduling are all easily achievable via the virtual execution of the entire workflow and construction process," he said. "Performing early estimates of quantities improves the predictable costs of a project and lowers the risk to the design and construction team, and - ultimately - the owner."
"Sophisticated collaboration through advanced 3D modelling technology improves owners' confidence in their design, engineering and construction teams. Such reliability used to be a differentiator in a competitive market. Today, it is becoming a requirement," said Tan. "Increasingly, we are moving towards a state of play that will see industry professionals, consultants and decision-makers integrate BIM into their daily operations - not because it is a nice-to-have but due to the fact that it is a prerequisite and provides license for AEC professionals to operate in a more efficient, competitive and cost effective environment."
Take up of BIM in Malaysia
Tan said that though BIM adoption has mainly been in developed countries, Malaysia's adoption has been developing rapidly.
"A key mover in the adoption and promotion of BIM are government agencies involved in urban planning and infrastructure management such as the Public Works Department (PWD)," he said. "Last year, Malaysian Public Works Department (PWD) director-general Datuk Seri Dr Judin Abdul Karim said at the Building Information Modelling & Sustainable Architecture Conference that BIM is considered as one of the focus areas identified in its strategies. The department will undertake the leadership role in BIM implementation in realising the need for industry's players to move together cohesively and to build up best practices for virtual design and construction."
"PWD will be spearheading the adoption and usage at all levels of BIM software and applications in building design to ensure a more sustainable development, create an environment that is conducive and safe, develop innovative designs and ensure life-cost effectiveness of buildings,"said Tan.
"At Autodesk, we believe that data-driven design and virtual construction will mean that the design-engineering-build-owner team can now create data-rich intelligent 3D models of their project," he said. "They can then leverage that information to gain greater insight, make more informed decisions and create better engineered and looking projects. For engineering professionals, this combination of data driven design and virtual construction within a BIM process offers a powerful new toolset and method of delivering a high quality project on time and at or under budget. This allows them to take out the guesswork and ensure an enhanced level of collaboration between the different stakeholders."
"The Malaysian AEC industry has seen tremendous growth over the last decade and is poised for even greater achievements in the foreseeable future," said Tan. "With large construction projects on the horizon, both from the private and public sector, the adoption of BIM by government agencies such as the Public Works Department (PWD) bodes well for the industry."
"With investments put in to develop local housing and projects like the Greater KL [Kuala Lumpur' Initiative, BIM would create a positive impact in improving efficiency and collaboration, thus limiting wastage that can have a real impact on the overall costs of a project," he said.
"The importance of collaboration and efficiency's effect on the bottom line cannot be stressed enough," said Tan. "The recent announcement by the Real Estate and Housing Developers' Association Malaysia of an increase in the cost of building materials further emphasizes the point and support in the adoption of BIM."
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