As an African foundation, the BIM Institute understands that African enterprises face specific challenges that may not be shared globally. A naturally conservative business environment coupled with often poor construction and education standards across the continent can make the decision to introduce new technologies into an organisation a daunting one.
The rewards of adopting BIM systems are endless, from increased productivity and time saving to enhanced designs that minimise their environmental impact and engage the artificial intelligence (AI) tools increasingly included in the software tools. Yet, implementing BIM (both the software and the processes) is not without its learning curve. Local challenges that African firms face when considering BIM implementation include:
- A lack of local demand for BIM
- A steep learning curve to build up BIM expertise
- Entrenched 2D drafting practices
- The lack of ready pool of skilled BIM practitioners
The lack of BIM skills and knowledge has been addressed by hundreds of firms across the globe and Africa afford to buck this trend. The BIM Academy Africa* has launched two training and certification courses for industry practitioners. These courses bring BIM practitioners across all levels up to speed in the use of BIM technology in a practical environment.
To ramp up BIM capability within the African industry, the BIM Institute with the BIM Academy Africa is also working (in conjunction with various professional bodies and countries) to roll out discipline-specific training.
BIM Institute is optimistic that as more and more training workshops become available through various channels, a community of BIM experts can be harnessed to drive up the proficiency levels of BIM across the African continent.
Building Information Modelling (BIM) includes specialised computer technology that allows a building’s performance to be simulated digitally. Design conflicts can be collectively resolved before building commences, which avoids costly abortive work at the construction stage. BIM not only saves costs and time, but also improves the efficiency of the teams.
BIM also – and importantly – incorporates the professional co-operative working practices enabled by a working model.
This essential tool improves the construction team’s productivity – from the design stage, through the downstream construction stages and throughout the life-cycle of the building.
The BIM Navigator guides architectural, engineering, estimating and construction organisations as they implement BIM. This user’s guide assumes that the business case for BIM (and the decision to implement it within the organisation) have already been made. It is also essential that you have a basic knowledge of BIM’s uses and benefits.* The Navigator lays out a simple strategies that facilitates business’ and professionals’ transition from traditional 2D building plans to digital 3D models. This document answers the question —
“So where do we start and what next?”
The BIM Navigator Tool helps the project team to resolve coordination questions before the project is even initiated. This continues throughout the different construction phases. The project team shares their knowledge and expertise across various disciplines by basing their discussions on a shared model. This model constitutes a single source of truth.
Remember that every organisation and every project is different – this navigator provides generic guidance that should be adapted to your organisation and project’s particular needs.
*Should you require more preliminary support, feel free to contact the BIM Institute. (www.biminstitute.org.za)