Report: A look at BIM adoption in Canada with Omicron

The United Kingdom, United States of America, Australia, Scandinavia and parts of Western Asia are all areas of the globe that are currently leading the way when it comes to the adoption of Building Information Modelling. However, a new article shows that Canada are ready to join the pack.

The Vancouver Sun have published a report investigating the rising level of understanding regarding BIM in Canada and have spotlighted Omicron, a design and construction firm based in British Columbia.


Omicron are leading the BIM charge in Canada and use 4D BIM on most of their projects, including a new secondary school in New Westminster. Cameron Kemp, an engineer at Omicron, spoke about Canada’s construction industry. He said:


“I think our industry is very slow to adapt and change. Part of it relates to the technology. A building tends to be a large beast, and software and hardware to make it all work has only been economically available in the relatively recent past. It’s becoming more and more commonplace where you can see these photorealistic computer images of buildings.”


Kemp also explained BIM’s ‘clash detection’ capabilities, a major strong point of the 3D software, allowing for project teams to spot problems within a plan that they may have not realised on a 2D drawing.


“It helps look for interference problems where an electrical conduit and a mechanical duct and a structural beam might be all in the same place and you wouldn’t necessarily catch it on a flat paper drawing but when you see it in the 3D model, the software … will draw your eye to the fact there is a conflict and you can fix it.”


Another positive of BIM was also made apparent in the article, time management. Kemp provided an example of how one of Omicron’s senior construction superintendents managed to cut a project’s construction time down by a considerable amount. He explained:


“He [the superintendent] watched it go up in the animation and thought ‘There might be some different way of doing this’ and went back and changed the schedule. By doing so, he cut about three weeks out of a schedule that was about 12 months long. That’s a fairly significant improvement on the schedule just by watching the animation and changing sequencing and refining.”

The rest of the extensive article can be read by clicking this link.


Are you surprised Canada is not already at the forefront of the industry when it comes to BIM adoption?