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Technology

How BIM is bridging the gap between design and site teams

As the scale of infrastructure projects in Australia gets bigger and bigger, Vlad Milicevic, director of APAC region at Revizto, believes an integrated collaboration platform facilitated through building information modelling is key to unlocking the full potential of the industry.

As the scale of infrastructure projects in Australia gets bigger and bigger, Vlad Milicevic, director of APAC region at Revizto, believes an integrated collaboration platform facilitated through building information modelling is key to unlocking the full potential of the industry.

The construction sector does not have a great track record when it comes to digitalisation. Despite its sheer size and scale, construction is still in 2021 among the least digitised sectors in the world, according to McKinsey Global Institute’s digitisation index.

In Australia, the Office of the Chief Economist categorises construction among sectors with the lowest rate of digitisation, behind sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and mining.

But, with the projects becoming more competitive and project owners demanding greater efficiency and transparency from contractors, Vlad Milicevic, director of APAC region at Revizto says industry players that fail to adopt BIM will soon struggle to compete.

‘‘BIM is set to become such a core tenet of project delivery that, regardless of how large your business is, if you’re not capable of delivering projects in a BIM framework within five to 10 years, then you’ll be very much behind the eightball,’’ Milicevic says.

‘‘For businesses to start reaping rewards from the BIM methodology, they need to move forward and invest in it now, rather than putting it off – which will only hurt them in the long term.’’

Revizto is cloud-based visual collaboration software for contractors, engineers, architects and owners/developers. It allows the entire project to be accessed in both 2D and navigable 3D environments.

Traditional reasons for the slow adoption of technology within the construction sector include the lack of industry guidelines, complex solutions, long onboarding processes and general resistance to change, Milicevic says. Finding good digital engineering talent and BIM managers is also a challenge, with some businesses opting to train people up from within.

A further challenge with cloud environments can be where project data are hosted, which is why client data in Revizto are hosted in Australia and never leave Australian shores.

‘‘Innovative technologies and their adoption are highly linked to the increase of productivity in our industry,’’ Milicevic says. ‘‘The government, construction businesses and technology providers all need to work together to bring the industry forward, rather than lagging behind on digitisation.

‘‘The future is digital by default and there’s an important education piece here, so we’re driving those conversations from our side around what BIM brings to the table.’’

Even when businesses do adopt the technology, some people in the industry make the mistake of assuming that BIM only needs to be applied by their technology people back at the office.

‘‘Some people think that the business can adopt BIM but, out on site, they can continue to do things the way they’ve always done them – like carrying around paper plans or shuffling files around via email,’’ Milicevic says.

‘‘To reap the full benefits of BIM, everyone on a project needs to adopt and deploy BIM methodologies and technologies, regardless of whether they are in the head office, site office or out on site.

How Southbase is using Revizto to achieve better workflows in construction projects

Southbase, a New Zealand owned and operated construction company, is one company embracing the digital transformation journey to stay ahead of competition.

Southbase’s digital journey started around 2016. Since then, the number of BIM projects they have carried out with help from Revizto has increased from a single project to 56 in total, with the company’s projects surpassing a value of $1.4 billion in just eight years since its inception.

Benny Huang, Digital Innovative Manager at Southbase Construction, says the decision to implement BIM at Southbase was primarily aimed at improving productivity and gaining better performances, while maintaining a connected construction environment.

While traditionally the construction industry has been hesitant to adopt digital technology, Huang says demand from the industry, as well as improvements in smart hardware, such as tablets, PC and mobile apps, has encouraged Southbase to embrace digitalisation.

“At Southbase, our digital transformation is divided into the pre-construction phase, the construction phase and education and training. In the pre-construction phase, we use Revizto for project visualisation, improving coordination for clash detection, and better collaboration and communication amongst the team,” says Huang.

For Southbase, using a single-platform cloud platform with the ability to host multiple model formats has offered many advantages.

“Our site team can use the 3D model to gain better understanding of the design compared to when they used a 2D model. This eliminates the need for a lot of back-and-forth communication, saving us time in the process. With all of the files hosted in a central space on the cloud, it also helps the team easily access the files from anywhere,” Huang says.

Lastly, Huang says education and upskilling the Southbase team has gone a long way in facilitating the digital collaboration.

“With the training and support that we receive from Revizto, as well as our internal training, we have been able to build our in-house digital skillset. What’s more, we are also using our Revizto licences to help our clients engage with us better. The best thing about the Revizto licence system is that it allows us to control which functionalities we want to use, so we have a lot of control on our licences, and we can share them with our clients to help them along on the digital collaborative journey.”

Visit revizto.com and southbase.co.nz

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