TEESSIDE University, a world-leading authority on construction research, has teamed up with a Middle East university and multi- national construction technology company to cut costs and raise efficiency in the construction industry in the Gulf.
The university, along with Qatar University and service provider Hochtief ViCon, has organised non-profit events to raise the knowledge base for Building Information Modelling (BIM).
Professor Nashwan Dawood, director of Teesside University’s Technology Futures research institute, is part of the bid to develop a knowledge hub for BIM in the Middle East and improve the Gulf construction industry – centred on Qatar.
The events are seen as particularly important to the Qatar construction market and 3D Building information Modelling is a hot topic as preparations begin now for the run- up to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar – the first Arab state to host the tournament.
According to financial analysts up to £138bn could be spent on stadiums, facilities and transport infrastructure.
BIM creates 3D models which allow live up-to-date information which has multi-purpose functions such as tracking cost, time, use of material and execution space utilisation to support planning tasks, coordinate designs and visualise complex designs. The software tools can be applied to projects ranging from infrastructure to stadia.
Prof Dawood’s team collaborate with teams all over the world and the tool has been used to rehearse builds on major building projects, including bridges and gas rigs.
He said: “One of the problems there has always been in construction is the element of having to ‘suck it and see’. You start to do the work and then suddenly there are a lot of problems. Now we can simulate the processes in advance on a computer screen in 3D, work out how things are going to be done and communicate this with the supply chain.”
Prof Dawood estimates this can save around 5-7% on projects and help contractors ensure they deliver to deadline. He said: “You can virtually iron out problems before they happen. It increases the confidence of clients and therefore increases investment. BIM is effective for managing construction projects during their lifecycle.”
There will be three more events in Qatar over the next 12 months based on what Prof Dawood says are the four pivotal components for the successful use of 3D modelling for construction: processes, people, technology and policy.
He said: “These events are taking place at what is recognised as the fastest period of expansion in Qatar. It will be exciting to see how much BIM can save in time, energy and money.”