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Addressing climate issues: BIM for a better tomorrow

Half drought and half abundance tree standing landscape background
Half drought and half abundance tree standing landscape background
Photo: Getty Images

Marcus Christensen Fich

European Chairman – Digital Built Environment Institute

As individuals in the Built Environment, we have a significant impact on every being on the planet. We are designing, building and operating the environment in which we live and the infrastructure that connects them; but we are also accountable for more than 40% of the world’s ongoing energy consumption. As a global industry, we have a tremendous responsibility to restore the wellbeing of our planet.

By Marcus Christensen Fich, European Chairman – Digital Built Environment Institute

Productivity and efficiency gains throughout the value chain have not exactly been stellar throughout the past few decades. Sure, improvements have been made, and a digitization of workflows within design, construction and operation has optimized within each silo, but when it comes to collaboration across disciplines and applying a holistic view of the full lifecycle of our environment, we still have a long way to go.

Building Information Modelling, while it has many names, is a key ingredient in addressing climate issues and the tools we need to get started are already at our disposal.

Three key issues we need to address across the value chain:

1.     We must nurture collaboration; and this is also at the core of ISO-19650. Only by having clear guidelines for project execution and a shared understanding of how we collaborate, can we optimize our output. Now, the high-level standard is one thing, but the real challenge comes from being specific. I can only applaud initiatives across the world that strive to make this very tangible, like CIBSE’s Product Data Templates or Australia’s BIMMEPaus initiative.

2. We need to stop thinking of generic models. Every day, building product manufacturers make advancements in technology that improves energy efficiency and allows for a lower footprint. That might be through using fewer components, simplifying installation, reducing maintenance or improving uptime. We need to value engineered solutions early in the design phase to yield the best solution for both the client and the planet. Content can only become better through collaboration between users and producers; so please be vocal.

3. We need to share design data. In doing this, we can benchmark design intent with actual operation on a global scale. Imagine what advancements we can make by crowdsourcing information from true digital twins. We should ensure that the whole value chain gains insight into the rewards of applying a BIM process throughout, and we want to apply an agile mindset where we iterate and adapt from our success and failure.

Who is Digital Built Environment Institute?

For those of you unfamiliar with the Digital Built Environment Institute, we are a global, not-for-profit organisation driven by passionate volunteers (myself included) that come from all across the value chain. We organize a series of BIM training events across the globe to bring the most innovative and impactful speakers from their respective fields to share their knowledge and experience with the rest of the community; in other words, true ‘by-users-for-users’ events. We are trusted by the world’s leading firms in the AECO space to ensure their employees are at the forefront of the Digital Built Environment.

I hope you will you join us at our next European Digital Built Week in Edinburgh, Scotland, with events starting on October 8th and concluding on October 12th. Let’s break down the silos and make sure our kids will wake up to a better tomorrow.

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