The new trend – BIM?

Graduation hat and diploma on white background

This blog is the fourth in the series of Middle East construction industry submissions by Deloitte Middle East leaders. For more information, link to the ‘GCC Powers of Construction: Meeting the challenges of delivering mega projects’ report at http://bit.ly/163aZOD

As the Dubai summer arrives like many western ex-pats living in the region my family heads of to the UK. Being the dutiful father / husband I normally travel back with my family which not only serves as a reminder of why I moved to the region in the first place but also provides an opportunity to collect my much treasured professional institution magazines which have been piling-up behind my front door for the past 9 months. Almost without exception every single edition has at least two articles or news stories related to Building Information Modeling (BIM). These include updates on the UK government’s initiatives, debates on project readiness but most interestingly a significant number of items related to BIM education.

When I completed my MSc in project management my dissertation was related to the then contemporaneous issues of vocational training and construction industry professional career awareness and in particular the lack of appreciation for careers outside of the traditional trades. It is therefore very interesting to see BIM now becoming part of the curriculum in schools and the availability of formal University qualification in BIM. Indeed, I note that there appears to be a huge push in general for schools to offer construction related training. I also note that the publishers have not wasted time with dummy guides to BIM now becoming widely available.

If one thinks about it BIM should be very attractive to students or pupils of the digital / multi-media age. It will therefore be interesting to see whether there is the demand out there from the brightest and best students who under normal circumstances would not consider the construction industry as a career. Indeed could we ever see construction / BIM coming to a Dubai school or college curriculum in the future? One could argue that to be a success BIM needs a new wave of professionals with no pre-conceived ideas on issues such as copyright or sharing of information. This as opposed to the existing professionals who may need to be begrudgingly dragged along compared with the new breed of fresh faced professional who will be brought-up in a collaborative synergistic environment.

One particular magazine in the UK uses the tongue in cheek term of “CAD monkeys” for those CAD technicians who spend 9 hours a day at their terminal. Perhaps would we see gaggles of “BIM Buddies” coming over the horizon in the not too distant future – I sincerely hope so!

by: Zane Hedge, director, capital projects advisory, Deloitte ME

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