Collaboration between the different stakeholders of a construction project enables them to design and operate a 3D model filled out with data – also called the ‘digital twin’ – throughout the life cycle of a building, from design and construction to maintenance. It allows both consolidation and enhancement of information throughout the life of the building. But BIM is not just for new constructions, as it can also be implemented with existing buildings to make operation easier, whatever the scale. In theory, the process seems full of opportunities for construction industry, and a breeding ground for new businesses.
What are the current developments of BIM, and what challenges will constructors have to face in the years to come? On the 24th of September, Leonard’s foresight group on BIM displayed a status report of their work on the subject.
A work in progress
If BIM was reduced to its digital mock-up function until recently, it’s now assisting the construction players throughout the life cycle of building: design, construction, operation, to deconstruction.
However, the diversity of stakeholders in project is a real obstacle for the data gathering and the broadening of BIM, as their interests about data differ on the matter. If the contracting authority is convinced of the importance of investing in a BIM process, he is still searching the best way to measure the ROI and the value added on the long term. The builder shares the same position, as BIM represents an important investment in a short period, without any added value for the construction site. Though, data gathered at this stage are highly valuable during the long term of building operation. Builders now have to change their mind and agree to invest for this essential gathering of information on construction site. To make sure BIM will be a success, it is compulsory to reward the efforts made upwind to produce valuable data downstream, and acting as an agent of value-added redistribution.
From BIM to BOS: in construction too, user creates the value
Working on the long term, actors from facility management and maintenance know how useful BIM can be for their activity, boosting productivity, creating value and guaranteeing extended longevity for the building.
The building data can also be turned into new services. The emerging concept of BOS (Building Operating System) aims at transforming the relation between the building and its residents. In the manner of Amazon, which built its success on analyzing the habits and behaviors of its users to sharpen its offers, BOS improves the building based on what it learns from occupants’ uses. This learning process first makes easier the correction of malfunctions that the users noticed and provides useful information for the creation of new services suiting their needs. The ‘operating system of the building’ will let new offers emerge and could end up as a key differentiating factor on the real estate market. Will the construction and real estate companies that don’t bet on new data infrastructure expose themselves to the risk of losing their market as Nokia did when Apple launched the iOS platform?
BOS, a key issue for VINCI
A necessary condition for the rise of the “smart building”, BOS has a great potential for the future of several lines of business of VINCI. The group aims at becoming a pioneer of the new approach by making Archipel, the Group’s future headquarters in Nanterre, France, as the first fully BOS-implemented building. The 4,000 collaborators that will work on the site will also be the first users of the Archipel’s operating system, which delivery is expected in 2021.