BIM Academy blogs: Sydney Build Expo – Where is BIM in the Boom?

Sydney Opera House. Credit: David Iliff
Sydney Opera House. Credit: David Iliff

Whilst growth rates in the construction industry across most of Australia have tapered-off recently, Sydney’s construction sector continues to boom. But where is BIM in this boom? Claire Bowles, Project Manager at BIM Academy takes a look.

2015 has seen the rise of BIM being smartly adopted on Sydney projects including the Moorebank Units Relocation Development. This involves a $870 million, 60 building powerhouse successfully completed by Laing O’Rourke in October 2015 that will house the Army’s School of Military Engineering and Land Warfare Centre amongst other facilities.

At Sydney Opera House, AECOM lead a consortium including BIM Academy and Ecodomus to deliver a ground-breaking interface to link traditional building management control systems, building information databases and Building Information Models. These are just a couple of examples which underline a broader trend that BIM is becoming the norm in design, construction and asset management in Australia and following in the footsteps of precedents in US, UK and Asia.

“From my experience of BIM within the Australian construction industry, the majority of companies and clients seem hesitant because of the lack of a BIM mandate from government,” explained Graham Kelly, Senior Project Manager at BIM Academy. “There are, however examples of real BIM excellence in Australia that are educating industry, driving value to clients and users and creating an environment to drive further benefits across industry.”

Whilst the benefits of BIM are applauded by representatives of industry and government, and BIM is actively encouraged on most government projects, a BIM mandate in Australia is yet to be seen. Can the Australian construction industry embrace BIM without a mandate?

In James Cameron’s first article as the new executive director of ACIF he outlines the ‘3 Priorities for Building and Construction in Australian in 2016‘. There is little mention of BIM or indeed collaborative working. He hints at the importance of better quality data for informed decision making in the context of forecasting but misses the opportunity to advocate digital engineering and construction.

Sydney Build, the leading construction expo for Sydney seems like the ideal opportunity for our BIM Academy team to test the thinking of the community on BIM in Australia. What is the general consensus on a BIM mandate? Do we adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach or are we missing a golden opportunity to become smart digital leaders? I will be attending the event, live blogging and tweeting from the BIM debate and also interviewing delegates to test the question ‘Why should Australia embrace BIM in 2016?’

The BIM open debate will be taking place on Day 2 on 11 March 2016 and will be tweeted live and recorded to share with those unable to attend the event. Following this debate BIM Academy’s very own Will Joske will deliver a thought provoking presentation on ‘the future of BIM’.

If you would like to meet up with Claire in Sydney, tweet her on @bimacademy to set up a meeting. The team would be delighted to meet and have a chat through how BIM could streamline your business, add value and assist with better decision making in 2016.

To keep up to speed, follow BIM Academy’s tweets from the Sydney Build Expo either by following @bimacademy or searching under the #SydneyBuildBIM.

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