New awards to celebrate innovation in the sector

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By RMBA CEO David Kelly

I think, unfairly, the perception of the construction sector is often of it being reluctant to innovate, and dragging its heels towards embracing technology.

But this perception is changing with the introduction of Building Information Modelling (BIM).

BIM is now becoming commonplace on New Zealand construction sites, and is transforming the way we manage commercial and complex projects. It is delivering the step change in productivity and efficiency we have been looking for.

To celebrate New Zealand’s take-up of this transformational technology, we are holding the first ever BIM Innovation Awards at Constructive Forum 2019.

We want to celebrate the outstanding collaborative teamwork the sector is delivering with BIM.

BIM software improves collaboration between designers, contractors, developers, manufacturers and engineers.

And in many cases now, using BIM is one of the key requirements from clients. We expect the proportion of projects using BIM in 2019 will rise to 67%.

An opportunity to build twice

BIM offers a way to manage the ever-growing complexity of buildings by collecting and comparing information — and anyone working in the industry knows how complex modern buildings are.

BIM gives the opportunity to build twice. First, we prototype everything digitally. This allows us to mitigate any issues before we build on site — minimising construction delays and project costs.

BIM provides a way of building the large projects our towns and cities require in a more efficient and productive way.

BIM has come a long way in New Zealand very quickly. While design consultants have embraced BIM, we are now seeing greater pick-up across the construction and operation phases as well.

For many in the room at our first Constructive Forum in 2016, BIM was a recent technology. But at last year’s Forum it was clear most large projects use BIM.

Many of the larger projects that entered our 2019 Commercial Project Awards, such as the library in Christchurch and schools in Auckland and Queenstown, relied on BIM, and this really did contribute to their successful delivery.

As a sector, it is great to see that we are moving and innovating. We need to embrace new technologies and share our knowledge and learning if we are to improve sector productivity to deliver the quality buildings that meet people’s expectations and requirements.

As more people use BIM, more people become aware of it and can see the value of it.

These awards are an opportunity to recognise the teams who are successfully collaborating using BIM software during the design and construction stages of their projects.

We hope that having these awards will encourage more people to get involved in the conversation around BIM, and get more people doing it.

Entries are now open for the awards, and we will announce the winners at this year’s Constructive Forum on September 12.