BIM News

Dubai mandates BIM for most large-scale projects


February 21, 2015 │Hina Navin

Dubai Municipality (DM) mandated the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) tools for most large-scale projects in the emirate last year. The new regulation will apply to buildings that are 40 storeys or taller.

Facilities and buildings that cover at least 300,000 sq ft, hospitals, universities and other special buildings, as well as those being delivered by an international party are also subject to the new rule.

The regulation comes in the wake of increasing global adoption — the European Union made BIM a mandate last month, while Singapore has made it mandatory for all public housing projects.

In announcing the regulation, DM said the decision was taken based on the ability of BIM tools and workflows in improving construction quality, enabling collaboration between project participants across phases, lowering costs, reducing time, unifying specifications and standards as well as cost planning.

Experts view the move as an opportunity for Dubai to embrace sophisticated design technology to build its projects more efficiently and even establish a technology-driven construction industry.

The purpose

Steve Anderson, Design Systems Manager at Atkins, says, “BIM is the purposeful management of information through the whole life cycle of an infrastructure project, not just for a building or during design and construction. BIM starts with the end in mind — the intent and context for an asset and how it will be integrated, operated and maintained. It describes the activity, not an object, and is much more than a single technology or tool.

“It’s a quantum change in practices, processes and behaviours around the infrastructure industry.

“This benefits the construction market to drive efficiencies in the design and construction process.”

The growing importance of BIM stems from governments collaborating with stakeholders to modernise

the industry. “The key objective is to reduce capital cost and carbon burden from the construction and operation of the built environment,” says Anderson.

According to a report by Kuwait Finance House (KFH) Research, a subsidiary of KFH, the UAE’s construction sector is set to grow at an average annual rate of 5.1 per cent until next year. Dubai’s new mandate proves to be both timely and strategic as the KFH Research study also indicates that contracts to build roads, airports, seaports and other infrastructure in the UAE could cross $30 billion (Dh110.19 billion).

With the Dubai Metro expansion and World Expo 2020 in the pipeline, Suhail Arfath, Head of Autodesk Consulting — Middle East, says the emirate will be seeing a lot of major infrastructure developments, and the key challenges when building such huge ventures mainly include delivering the projects on time, at optimum cost and making an impact on residents.

“With the use of BIM, Dubai can improve its overall project deliverables by developing more sustainably, on time with safety and quality in place.

“BIM can help the emirate continue and expand on its global leadership in building and infrastructure — not only improving productivity but also becoming a role model for the rest of the world in terms of sustainability as various successful projects worldwide affirm.

“The region offers the perfect opportunity to demonstrate BIM’s implications for the creation of efficient, sustainable and beautiful buildings that can set a global standard.”

The technology

BIM is an intelligent model-based process that allows architects, contractors, engineers and property owners to plan, design, construct and manage building and infrastructure projects faster, more economically and with less environmental impact, says Arfath.

“The BIM technology turns information into insight, which helps professionals deliver the infrastructure and building project in a much more cost-effective and timely manner.

“The model also aids in predicting what will happen at varied phases of development before the project actually hits the ground, hence the elements of clashes are eliminated.”

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