Autodesk’s BIM to reduce time and cost in construction

August 07, 2015 | 12:28
As Vietnam embarks on more capital projects to support its growing population and economy, how can it avoid the project delays and cost overruns that typical of the construction industry?

Hieu Phan, country manager of Autodesk in Vietnam, talked to VIR’s Khanh Tran about how Building Information Modelling and how it can help Vietnam’s architectural, engineering and construction industry improve productivity and reduce project costs.

What are the issues facing Vietnam’s architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) industry?

Throughout the world, building and infrastructure projects tend to be characterised by time delays and cost overruns. This poor performance by the architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) industry is due to a variety of underlying causes including fragmented industry structures, adversarial contractual relationships, lack of collaboration within project teams, and poor management of project supply chains and information.

A recent study has shown that major capital projects worldwide have a 60 per cent failure rate in terms of meeting cost or schedule targets. For infrastructure projects, some estimate the gap between the demand for critical infrastructure and the capabilities to fund that demand is as much as $30 trillion.

These challenges are not unique to Vietnam alone, but factors like the steady rise in population as well as the increasing urbanisation and number of households will increase expenditure in the residential sector over the next ten years. Therein lies the opportunity for Vietnam to leverage advanced building solutions and technologies to ensure projects are completed on time, and on target.

How does Building Information Modelling (BIM) help address these issues and challenges?

About 25 per cent of infrastructure project costs are tied to change orders, requests for information (RFIs), rework, and design clashes that are not found until construction begins due to a silo approach to project delivery.

The power of BIM lies in information and what can be done with that information. At any point in the lifecycle of the project, the information is available and up-to-date, helping teams reduce time-consuming errors and rework. The model and the information it contains is actionable or computable, enabling the models to be used for analysis and simulation to guide a design team’s decision-making.

Project teams can explore “what-if” scenarios to test alternatives and optimise constructability. Models can be used to assess the sustainability of a project by incorporating social, political, cultural, and economic information. High-end visualisations such as still renderings and movie files can be generated from the model to support public outreach efforts.

The models can also be used in subsequent processes, such as costing, construction simulation and planning, digital fabrication, or automated machine guidance operations. Eventually, the models can be used for commissioning, operations and maintenance, facility management, and to support future renovations and upgrade programs.

BIM helps everyone working on a project coordinate and communicate more seamlessly. With all project team members working on the same project model, knowledge transfer is streamlined, leading to improved accuracy and reduced rework. The 3D nature of the model and the wealth of information it contains helps to better convey design intent from the office to the field, reducing changed orders and field coordination problems.

It seems like BIM effectively helps reduces the cost and time required for the construction process. Have many firms in Vietnam have used BIM?

In Vietnam, BIM was previously only leveraged by architects and engineers in foreign companies. However, today more and more local companies are sharing their positive experiences using BIM software tools and workflows process. I can also take BinhThienAn (BTA) as a typical case to share with you. As you may know, BTA is a key player in Vietnam’s infrastructure and construction industry and they have embraced Autodesk BIM software in building the “Diamond Island” project, which is expected to be a new architectural symbol of green design in Ho Chi Minh City.

Current users of BIM report significant project benefits, including reduced conflicts and changes, improved project quality, lower cost of planning approvals, and reduced timeframes for delivery of projects. As more and more local firms start to adopt BIM for local projects, therein lies great potential to advance the industry in Vietnam.

Besides promoting BIM in Vietnam, what’s Autodesk’s general strategy in the country in 2015?

We plan to have more activities and proactively and closely work with our partners in the market to bring our best technologies to customers and users in the market.

Thanks to rapid advances in technologies such as diverse as drones and photogrammetry, cloud-based software and sensors, the world of building and infrastructure design and management is rapidly evolving to become something that only a few years ago might have seemed like science fiction fantasy.

In 2015, we will see these technologies become more powerful, more productive and, as a result, see greater adoption in the design and construction of buildings and civil infrastructure. As these changes take place in the year ahead and beyond, we can expect to see a better-designed, more sustainable built-environment emerge around us.

We are also transforming our business model to make it easier for customers to take full advantage of our broad portfolio of solutions. From next year onwards, Autodesk is moving our business away from selling perpetual licences of products and toward an entirely subscription-based product offering and relationship with our customers. Desktop Subscription offers customers the most flexible access to their tools, and their data, from any device, and at any time, and without geographic restrictions.

Desktop Subscription also makes it easier for companies to introduce new tools into their workflow, without the high upfront investment, so technologies like cloud-based collaboration are much more accessible. Companies can pay for these tools as they go, so the cost can more easily be charged to a cost center or on a project basis.

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