MEP ex­perts in the re­gion ac­knowl­edge reg­u­la­tions and im­por­tance of us­ing BIM and drones in projects

MEP Middle East - - INSIGHT -

Peo­ple now know that Build­ing in­for­ma­tion modelling (BIM) is a process in­volv­ing the gen­er­a­tion and man­age­ment of dig­i­tal rep­re­sen­ta­tions of phys­i­cal and func­tional char­ac­ter­is­tics of places. And be­cause it is a process, there is more adop­tion and aware­ness now in the Mid­dle East re­gion. How­ever, is there a man­date for BIM use? Paul Wallett, re­gional di­rec­tor – Mid­dle East and In­dia, Trim­ble, says: “I think peo­ple are now more aware and know it’s a process. They know it’s also man­age­ment of in­for­ma­tion. In terms of ac­tu­ally adopt­ing the use, it is man­dated for engi­neers and ar­chi­tects. How­ever, when it comes to con­trac­tors, it is not re­ally man­dated.” Wallett says that it de­pends on in­no­va­tive con­trac­tors, if they want to adopt BIM. He agrees that the ac­tual us­age of BIM at the level of ex­e­cu­tion is a con­sid­er­ably less. How­ever, it is ap­plied on big projects.

Ed­win Schalk, mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor, MEP di­vi­sion, Trim­ble, adds: “I think the im­por­tant things re­lated to BIM are well un­der­stood and well im­ple­mented. How­ever, peo­ple are reluc­tant in adopt­ing new tech­nolo­gies be­cause they have done things in a cer­tain way.” Wallett agrees there is an in­vest­ment re­quired for BIM. “Whilst you are com­pet­ing to win a project, and it’s not manda­tory [to use BIM], you don’t have to in­vest over­head within the or­ga­ni­za­tion. Also, there’s no will­ing­ness from the con­trac­tor. That’s when you look at the in­no­va­tive con­trac­tors, they say, there’s an in­tan­gi­ble mea­sure­ment of sav­ing on this project. “If we can co­or­di­nate ear­lier and ahead of the project, then we know the sav­ings to be made later on in the project.”

EXPO push

Now with around 700 days to go be­fore Dubai Expo 2020 opens its doors on Oc­to­ber 20, 2020, the projects would need to be com­pleted by their dead­lines. Wallett agrees that BIM would cer­tainly help meet dead­line. He says: “EXPO 2020 is all about in­no­va­tion. So, that’s one of the projects that you would hope to see ev­ery­body adopt­ing BIM all the way through the process. But as we can see, get­ting it down on the sites, that’s kind of the next step. The big­gest cost is al­ways the con­struc­tion and then the life­cy­cle of a project. The key up­front cost is in the ex­e­cu­tion of the project it­self. So that’ where we can help ed­u­cate peo­ple that they can make a dif­fer­ence. They can make a sav­ing. They can, you know, the orig­i­nal es­ti­mate that they started with you would hope that’s go­ing to be ver y close to what they end up with. And then, we know ev­ery­thing is man­aged in terms of the cost.” Wal­let feels that it is eas­ier to con­vince con­trac­tors as they are more open to ask­ing ques­tions. Wallett says: “Engi­neers for sure are all us­ing, some form of 3D de­sign or 3D tech­nol­ogy. Now, we are start­ing to pen­e­trate more into the MEP side. There they’re do­ing things still in a more tra­di­tional way.

“The ro­botic to­tal sta­tions are tak­ing things to the next level, where we are tak­ing a 3D MEP model, putting it into a tem­plate and the robot is di­rect­ing where we should be putting the stake­outs in the ceil­ing. And that’s like a one- or two-man, at most, oper­a­tion, whereas most sites you will go on to­day, you will see that there’s a crew of eight peo­ple for each dis­ci­pline of MEP. For ex­am­ple, com­pa­nies like Trans­gulf and BK Gulf are us­ing this tech­nol­ogy and they are see­ing tan­gi­ble sav­ings that can be made.”


Talk­ing a bit about drones, Wallett ac­knowl­edges that there is an in­creased use of drones in the re­gion; how­ever, there is a lot of ap­proval process to go through. “You need to get spe­cial li­cence. Our part­ner here, Sitech, have li­cences for fly­ing drones around. For ex­am­ple, the spe­cialised equip­ment that you are at­tach­ing. For large sites, you need to have the ap­provals, as they are fly­ing drones on a daily or weekly ba­sis to check progress.”

Last year, the Dubai Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity (DCAA) made it com­pul­sory to ob­tain a no-ob­jec­tion cer tifi­cate be­fore fly­ing drones in Dubai’s air space. The an­nounce­ment was made af­ter recre­ational drones strayed into flight paths at Dubai air­port lead­ing to the ground­ing of pas­sen­ger planes.

For com­mer­cial drones, usu­ally used for film­ing, land sur­vey­ing, con­struc­tion progress etc., it is rec­om­mended to hire au­tho­rised com­pa­nies to ob­tain the nec­es­sary per­mits from gov­ern­men­tal au­thor­i­ties. A No-Ob­jec­tion Cer­tifi­cate (NOC) needs to be ob­tained from the Dubai Civil Avi­a­tion Au­thor­ity (DCAA). This is ob­tained af­ter reg­is­tra­tion, pre-as­sess­ment and prior ap­proval from the re­lated au­thor­ity, usu­ally Dubai Film and TV Com­mis­sion (DFTC).

Peo­ple are reluc­tant in adopt­ing new tech­nolo­gies be­cause they have done things in a cer­tain way.″

Paul Wallett, re­gional di­rec­tor, ME and In­dia, Trim­ble.

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