BIM Leads New Mode of Construction - Interview with Dr. Yuan Zhenggang, Vice President of Glodon

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Construction Technology: Two BIM national standards - "BIM Delivery Standards" and "BIM Classification and Coding" had been compiled at the end of last year. What's the progress of the compilation, and what impact will they have on the development of the domestic BIM? 

Yuan Zhenggang: The topics were grouped together last year. Glodon and Tsinghua University joined in the BIM topics at the construction phase. The compilation of the two national standards revealed two meanings: first, greater attention will be paid to BIM. The formulation of BIM standards allows people who do not understand or do not value BIM to realize the arrival of BIM times, thus promoting the application of BIM in the industry; second, the importance of BIM standards in the industry will be improved. BIM is not single software, and involves a lot of information products, which requires appropriate standards to regulate the relationship between them. It is expected that completion of the two standards will play a huge role in promoting the development of the BIM industry chain. 

Construction Technology: What new breakthroughs have been made in the development and application of the domestic BIM since you were interviewed last year? 

Yuan Zhenggang: There was a lot of publicity for BIM last year. BIM was discussed in the entire industry, making BIM a hot topic. But the importance of BIM is recognized only as a concept, and there is no real understanding of the actual application of BIM. Although enterprises are willing to understand BIM, few of them invest in it. This year, enterprises began to increase investment in BIM for its practical application in a project, which is a breakthrough from theory to practice, and also indicates that BIM truly enters the stage of virtuous circle. 

Construction Technology: Are there constraints or bottlenecks in current promotion and application of BIM, how does Glodon solve them? 

Yuan Zhenggang: The emergence of new things is bound to be a phase of understanding, acceptance and running in. First, people have relatively strong traditional values, so their degree of acceptance for new things is not high. Chinese traditional concept determines that people strive for perfection, so they are unwilling to accept the challenge of new things. BIM is a new thing, and certainly needs improvement, so we should have a tolerant and open attitude towards it, and should make great efforts to continuously improve it. Second, it involves China's project management system. In China, design is separate from construction, while owners require considering the entire project, so it is necessary to seek a way to solve this problem. 

The value of BIM is to improve the overall project management by means of information technology. BIM can organically coordinate investors, designers, construction side, supervisor, and project advisory body's project management work. Any professional staff of any party can obtain the required information from the same database in the same BIM, which avoids the risk of data loss or error due to tediousness in the process of data transfer, and saves time and cost, thus greatly improving efficiency of project management. BIM advocates the management of the lifecycle. 

As the whole lifecycle solution provider in the field of engineering construction, Glodon has always been emphasizing that BIM is not just software and technology, and it is also a process. This process in the construction industry can change the existing work mode, work habits and project management so as to achieve higher efficiency and lower cost, and to reduce conflict and improve the degree of construction coordination. BIM's involvement in the process of architectural design and construction improves the efficiency of the whole building design cycle in terms of program selection, preliminary design of green building simulation, collision check of construction drawings, engineering quantity statistics at budget estimate phases, and construction simulation at the completion phase. 

Construction Technology: BIM Server is the core of the application of BIM technology. What aspects is its importance reflected on, and can Glodon provide BIM server services? 

Yuan Zhenggang: The importance of BIM server for the application of BIM is self-evident. With BIM server as the core, a complex building process can be established into a system. Everyone within the system can share information with others, making the information flow, rather than the previous single information field. With the support of the BIM server, the software corresponding to the process involved in the construction can work together, using each other's information to optimize their part, so every detail can make the building impeccable. 

BIM Server is a product of Glodon. Our service mode is more flexible. Selling or leasing is both available, subject to customer needs. 

Construction Technology: What are the advantages of BIM technology in promoting green construction, and is the combination of BIM technology and green construction Glodon's new measure to comprehensively promote BIM technology? 

Yuan Zhenggang: BIM is greatly relevant to green construction. For example, the use of BIM to shorten construction period and save cost is very consistent with the concept of green construction. In addition, in the construction process, BIM can make the construction scheme more reasonable, maximize conservation of resources and reduce the negative impact on the environment. 

Glodon has always been concerned about the lifecycle of a project. Green construction is only part of it. The buildings are now increasingly high, and so are the environmental requirements. 

For the characteristics of the large high-rise building, the complex system facilities, large operational energy consumption, high requirements for indoor environmental quality, large emissions load, safety constraints of the use of renewable energy and centering around land saving, energy saving, water saving, material saving, indoor environmental quality control and operation management, Glodon is also studying such topics as optimizing structural design, simulating visual indoor natural lighting and creating a comfortable indoor thermal environment to achieve green relay and sustainable development of buildings. 

Construction Technology: What is the specific application of BIM in construction? 

Yuan Zhenggang: BIM can make complex engineering visual, use virtual three-dimensional model to simulate construction, achieve the coordinated work and three-dimensional collision detection between various types of work, discover and adjust the design in a timely manner, avoid construction waste and reduce risk. The most accurate engineering foundation data can be obtained through BIM. The data can be decomposed into the level of component and material to achieve effective control of construction costs and cost management of the whole process. Through BIM, the engineering data sharing and reuse can be easily achieved. Information can be truly shared from the grassroots to the top like the construction site-project department-branch-group headquarters. 

Construction Technology: Glodon Building has been completed. Can you introduce the specific application of BIM in this project? 

Yuan Zhenggang: Glodon Building applied BIM technology in many ways. The project required full application of BIM. Our BIM-related products were also subjected to testing in this project. Upon request, we used BIM from the design stage and made a design model to observe whether the program was reasonable and scientific. Once flaws were found through comparison, the programs could be revised simply and conveniently, which is the advantage of BIM. After the program was finalized, we made a lot of simulations, such as simulation of energy consumption, light, escape in case of a disaster, and fire fighting. We found a staircase was narrow, which was not conducive to escape; through elevator simulation, we ultimately determined installing 3 elevators is the most appropriate way; we also made parking simulation and so on. During the construction phase, Glodon's various kinds of BIM software were fully applied, such as site layout; using consistency check, we could check the level of the collision between the professional models, and analyzed the possibility of collision; process calculation could dynamically calculate the project quantity corresponding to a stage, thus calculating the price, which helped the settlement of general contracting and subcontracting. 

Construction Technology: It is a new media age. Does BIM combine these new media like mobile phone and iPad? 

Yuan Zhenggang: Yes, this is the direction of our research. The model is displayed on the mobile phone and tablet, which is more convenient for management. Decision-makers can put forward their views anywhere. Glodon model browser GMS2012 is software that allows you to view and manage BIM and component information on the iPad. Managers can use their fingers to zoom in/out and translate the model. You can also use the navigation pad to walk and look inside the building, or click on the small map to jump and arbitrarily browse models. You can even click on any element in the model to view its type, materials, size and other attribute information. In this way, managers can know the progress of the project anytime and anywhere to better guide the construction. 

Postscript: In more than half an hour of conversation, Dr. Yuan clearly described a grand blueprint of BIM guiding the construction change. Efficiency, conservation, environmental protection brought by BIM is the direction of future construction. The door of a new construction mode is open. 

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