Abu Dhabi Municipality is considering to adopt building information modelling (BIM) technology for all construction projects starting this year.

According to Louay Dahmash, head of the Middle East subsidiary of US-based Autodesk, countries with nation-wide BIM mandates already benefit from reduced design errors and omissions, improved construction productivity, and reduced construction costs and project delivery timelines, among others. “The same benefits will be evident as the BIM mandate is implemented in Abu Dhabi,” Dahmash tells MEED.

The executive added that new technologies like BIM are arriving at a fortuitous time, when construction projects are becoming increasingly expensive and complicated, forcing managers “to explore innovative solutions that improve costs, timelines and overall efficiency”.

“Digitising the construction process and connecting teams with a common data environment improves collaboration and facilitates efficient decision-making,” says Dahmash.

The executive, however, cites that the use of BIM will bring certain challenges. “The adoption of technologies such as BIM requires a culture change, as shifting from a 2D to a collaborative 3D environment requires some new skillsets and mindset,” the executive explains, adding that BIM entails an entire process.

Research conducted last year by Autodesk and Dodge Data & Analytics, also US-based, found that architects in the Middle East use BIM on 30 per cent or fewer of their projects. The research also found that 79 per cent of respondents that are current BIM users expect to use the software on more than 30 per cent of their projects within two years.

Dahmash says that the UAE’s vision to be at the forefront of the global technological revolution will make the BIM adoption process smoother and faster than most other places around the world. “When such initiatives are mandated from the government, implementation and adoption takes less time, as you already have a foundation wherein government entities envision technology-led change,” the executive concludes.

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