BIM in Russia: how not to make a thousand mistakes

BIM in Russia: how not to make a thousand mistakes
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Is BIM implementation on Russian construction sites economically efficient? This issue was discussed at the recent Autodesk University Russia 2016 event.

The BIM-informational simulation in construction, the development of which was ordered by President Putin following the State Council sitting on construction issues in May, is being more and more widely used on construction sites. Autodesk — the largest international developer of software in the sphere of industrial and civil construction — has been acknowledged as one of the most convenient BIM-platforms. The Tenth Conference of Autodesk University Russia 2016 took place in the Congress Center of the Radisson Royal Hotel in Moscow. The advantages of BIM-technology and benefits of the technology’s usage in the industry were discussed there.


Expensive at the first stage, then efficient

Within the round table, dedicated to the first Russian research on BIM application results, the difference between the domestic and western experiences of the technology’s application, as well as the calculation of its economic efficiency and implementation, were discussed.

The Deputy Director of the Construction Economics, Management and IT Systems Institute of the Moscow State University of Civil Engineering, and PhD in Economics, Tatiana Kisel,  presented the basic conclusions of the research carried out by MSUCE and the “Konkurator” company, which has worked for a long time in the sphere of BIM popularization.

— When we decided to evaluate BIM implementation efficiency in Russia, we came across some problems of assessment, Tatiana Kisel said. — And one of the problems is the impossibility of determining the size of the main entity of the companies using BIM.

The second problem, according to her, was the unwillingness of some companies to speak openly of the economic effect from BIM implementation. Analysts addressed a great number of organizations but were answered only by several dozen of the most active BIM-users.

BIM in Russia: how not to make a thousand mistakes

Nevertheless, specialists managed to point out the main trends connected with BIM implementation. One of the most serious problems today is high initial investment, which is rather problematic in these unstable economic condition.  On average, the cost of one automated workplace is from 200,000 to 1 m roubles.

Another problem is the lack of qualified staff. Also, some inactivity in the personnel and management of enterprises was noted, as some are reluctant to use new methods.   But there are results at the enterprises having introduced them.  Net present value (the index characterizing investment efficiency) decreased by 25% at the enterprises introducing BIM, the results of the analysis showed.

Enterprises are confident about the project design’s total term decrease by 40%. And though the development of a project at the stage of the investment project becomes longer and more complicated, further stages are significantly faster.

Besides, the specification documents development term decreases: time losses in making inquiries for additional information and project amendments decrease.

The author of the research confessed that different companies observe different total effects of BIM implementation: some gain significant advantages, while others are on the way to a rise in profitability due to the new technology.


Nobody should be forced!

Why should a project designer make efforts in applying BIM if many customers adopt a 2D-project or even a “prehistoric” printed version? What is a project designer’s motive in working according to modern standards, if there is no regulatory base for BIM? The head of the “Konkurator” company, Marina Korol, was confident: “Nobody should be forced! They will understand it and become ready.”

Actually, each user has his own motivation for changing to the new technology. But the decision is up to the customer. He should understand that besides expenses for project design, he will have expenses for its correction - and the latter may be equal to the former.

BIM in Russia: how not to make a thousand mistakes

So, if you are sure that you will manage without mistakes, you do not need BIM, in fact. If not, simulation will help you!

Meanwhile, those who have tried implementing BIM do not want to go back.

— It is like changing from a car back to a horse, —the BIM-manager of the Scanska international company, Alexei Zolotov, remarked.


Why a product manager for construction?

Different solutions for construction process control via new devices and digital information about the object were presented at the “BIM for construction” booths.

Сonsistent Software Distribution (CSD), for example, showed off their «BIM-booth CSD» project, created on the basis of a real object, which demonstrates all the advantages of the Autodesk BIM-tools application.

So, what should one start with to implement BIM? First of all, with motivation: to understand why it is needed, Alexei Zotov, Director General of the “IBIM” company, thinks.

— If we had a reliable means of efficiency calculation, nobody would have to be convinced, Alexei reasons. — Say, the head of a company was told: your company will get 25% more profit. Would he refuse?

But it is more complicated than that, as construction is the interrelation of several parties - customers, project designers, builders and operators - they often cannot understand who will profit and what profit will be made.

The role of a product manager appears to be important, as he can take on the project from the very beginning and fulfill it to the very end, being responsible for the final profitability of the project.

As a result, BIM will allow the developer and the customer to improve the apartment layout, the interrelation of sold and technological areas (the so-called loss-factor), and to make correct zones on the territory, in which they will save quite a sum of money.  


Outcomes are not equal

— The outcome of BIM application depends on how it is used in a company, Alexander Boitsov, the Deputy Head of Business Development at the Bonava company specializing in construction in Saint Petersburg and Scandinavian countries, thinks.

According to him, the effect of BIM implementation in different countries is different, and it even differs in various cities. Speaking about Saint Petersburg, we found success there in designing multistory houses with BIM technology. Due to BIM-simulation we managed to avoid a great many mistakes in developing engineering communications: 36 instead of about 1,000 three years ago with a similar project! The result is clear…  

To achieve the final result, a customer should clearly determine the task for the contractor. People should be taught constantly and BIM outcomes should be analyzed, otherwise BIM will stay on the server for project designers to take drafts.