BANGALORE, INDIA: Building Information Model (BIM) technology presents a great opportunity for the construction industry, as managing construction projects with BIM can result in substantial savings for businesses.
The model envisages virtual construction of a facility prior to its actual physical construction and helps to analyze potential impacts and ambiguities well in advance.
Praveen Rao, CEO, ElecoSoft India explains the reasons behind the comparatively low adoptions of BIM technology in the construction projects in India and its impact on the overall project delivery process.
CIOL: IT adoption in the construction industry is remarkably low. What holds them back from investing in IT?
Praveen Rao: The key reasons that holds people back from adopting technology is the cost factor. Construction companies see it as a cost rather than an investment that would help them solve some of the issues that they encounter in completing projects.
The industry tends to solve the issue by assigning more manpower to solve the problem which doesn’t always work. Also, project managers, sometimes are apprehensive over adopting non-traditional methods of delivering projects.
However, the situation is changing with the rise of new-generation stakeholders who understand the latest technology and believe that IT adoption is a priority with any construction company or project. In India. There has been rapid growth of the real estate, be it in metros or tier two cities which is pushing companies in the sector adopt IT-enabled services for greater process efficiency and to solve issues that prevent projects from being delivered on time.
CIOL: More than half the construction projects face cost overruns and time extensions. How effective is IT in dealing with these problems?
PR: With the intense competition and shrinking bottom lines, real estate orgnaizations need to generate real-time management reports and observe business closely. It becomes utmost important for companies to invest in the right project management solution. Especially for companies handling multiple city projects, project estimation solution that help manage high material wastage and increasing land prices are growing popular.
Vendors must offer better project management solutions that guarantee higher operational efficiency for companies. Innovative and flexible pricing models are also vital to cater to a large audience, especially as solution providers look to tap the SME and unorganized segments.
Having realized the potential in the market and the challenges faced by the industry, we have launched ASTA Powerproject, which will provide Project Managers the option to visualize projects at an early stage, giving owners and operators a clear idea of design intent and allowing them to make real time changes to achieve the outcomes they want.
CIOL: How effective is BIM in construction project management?
PR: BIM is a concept based on 3D modeling that creates the project in 3D format and takes it to the next level by connecting the 3D world to a time bound schedule. The integration helps the manager play with time, cost and other factors to enable him to see visually what change will take place to the project.
BIM has been very successful in reducing the complexity of the tasks involved as well as preempt situations that may happen. An issue affecting one sub-contractor will highlight this to the rest of the team hence allowing for re aligning of tasks and resources.
Though, BIM is more predominantly used the aerospace and telecommunication industries, the use of BIM in the construction sector is primarily being driven by practicing architects and consultants in the industry, who are rightly utilizing the technology to increase work efficiency, save time and resources.
It redistributes allocation of effort, placing more emphasis on conceptual design. Other direct benefits include easy methods guaranteeing consistency across all drawings and reports, providing a strong base for interfacing and enhancing visualization/communication at all scales and phases of the project.
CIOL: How is mobility impacting the construction industry?
PR: When working on multiple projects on different sites- a solution is required that can be accessed by the Web and on a Cloud based platform through their tablet or smartphone. Mobile access over various devices and usage flexibility are also required as project managers need to be on top of each project’s progress in real-time.
Asta Powerproject can be accessed on the go already and the entire solution will be soon be available on the cloud. Asta’s users can make changes and updates which are displayed in real time and can be viewed immediately allowing for managers to react according to the situation.
CIOL: What is the growth prospect for IT enabled construction in India?
PR: The construction industry is growing at an exponential rate. A recent Frost & Sullivan study says that the Indian construction market is estimated to reach INR 1,152 crore by 2018, which explains the potential for growth of technology usage in the sector as well.
Government regulations are also expected to come into place to reflect the concerns raised by delays and lack of accountability with regards to citizens’ taxes and time being spent on projects.
This is where we believe BIM will come into play as well as other IT enablers to create the ecosystem for growth. The rising demand for cloud services also point towards the rise for IT enabled construction in India.