Globally, digital transformation is impacting the construction industry as well. Trimble has been leading the shift to 3D models and automated construction processes. What are the new digital construction methods being introduced by Trimble?
The digital transformation of construction industry is accelerating at a rapid pace and the industry majors are using Building Information Modeling (BIM), construction project management software, cloud-based collaboration tools to generate highly-accurate and usable information and streamline the flow of this information to relevant stakeholders throughout the construction lifecycle, and even mixed reality solution in a few countries, including a pilot in India. While 3D BIM (design BIM) has been in use for several years now, there is a growing demand for Constructible BIM, which is much more evolved way to allow construction industry to be more efficient and productive. Trimble has also added the fourth and fifth dimensions of time and cost to the conundrum, which allows contractors and developers to manage their businesses more efficiently than before.
While 3D BIM (design BIM) has been in use for several years now, there is a discernible shift today towards Constructible BIM, which is a more evolved method that allows construction industry to be more efficient and productive. Trimble has also added the fourth and fifth dimensions of time and cost to the conundrum, which allow contractors and developers to manage their businesses with more ease and precision than before.
Trimble’s digital innovations in construction technology revolve around constructibility. We have developed a unique lifecycle approach to ensure our customers can successfully realize the full benefits of BIM and automation by emphasizing the 3Cs of construction: Connected, Content-Enabled and Constructible Stakeholders across construction continuum being connected and coordinated at every step, helps improve the project management.
While collaboration tools such as Trimble Connect and Tekla Model Sharing allow cloud-based collaboration and minimize risk and wastage by establishing more efficient and accessible channels of communication between various stakeholders, being content-enabled ensures that the stakeholders are working with up to date information, which is stored in the cloud and is readily available to all. The 3Cs approach thus helps in keeping a check on project timelines, while simultaneously mitigating costly errors and rework.
Can you elaborate on Constructible models for structural engineering? Are these used in India?
When we call a BIM model ‘constructible’, it means that the actual on-ground constructability of the finished model has been considered all the way from the model’s initial conception to fabrication to on-site erection. This is important because by starting the process using a constructible model during the design phase itself, structural engineers are able to identify design issues prior to RFIs. Not only that, they are also able to share the model downstream for detailing and construction planning. Constructible models can even provide an added revenue source for structural engineers, while providing the project owner with a streamlined process that reduces overall costs.
Today, structural engineers are optimally poised to harness constructible models for their own advantage as well as for the benefit of the entire project, starting from design to fabrication to construction.
A significant number of mid and large construction companies in India are already using our technologies to build constructible models. The importance accorded to the constructible models is a no-brainer as they are great enablers for cost saving, time efficiencies and less rework for their projects. Multiple projects such as Chenab bridge (world’s highest rail bridge), Chennai airport expansion, and Navi Mumbai railway station redevelopment amongst others are some key Indian projects where our technologies have been put to effective use.
What are the Trimble solutions adopted by the Indian Construction industry?
At Trimble, we believe all tools – like the teams who use them – should be oriented toward a common goal. We believe that only a single platform comprising all of intelligent solution for automating construction will help create intelligent buildings.
Trimble’s collaboration tools have greatly facilitated the automation of construction process. Trimble Connect, a powerful cloud-based collaboration platform, empowers teams involved in the design, construction and operation of buildings to come together under one umbrella. It provides users with better visibility into a project’s status, reduces guesswork and offers better predictability of the costing and completion of the project.
For architects and design professionals, we offer SketchUp Pro that can be used to map plans and see the planned project come to life as an accurate 3D drawing. A lot had already been mentioned about Trimble’s Tekla Structures, the world’s premier tool for Constructible BIM modeling, structural design, detailing and fabrication.
VICO office from Trimble is a future-ready tool that allows the planner to plan, review and implement their schedule within a seamless workflow. VICO Office extends basic 3D models with constructability analysis and coordination, 4D location-based scheduling and production control, and 5D estimating (cost).
Are BIM solutions now widely followed by the designers and developers in India? What are the challenges?
A belief that BIM solutions are exclusively meant for architects and structural engineers and are not of any help to building contractors was prevalent for a very long time.
However, our Constructible approach makes BIM the most relevant tool at every stage of construction and for all stakeholders involved in the construction lifecycle.
Majority of large construction companies in India have understood the time and cost benefits of Constructible BIM and are now stressing upon the various stakeholders to use BIM solutions in their projects. India has witnessed a steady adoption of technology in construction and the use of BIM in a large number of complex and innovative projects is a testimony to this.
Many AEC companies, including several leading construction companies of India, have already started their journey in transforming the construction continuum by using technology. Though, smaller players are still hesitant to embrace technology but in an increasingly competitive environment, it’s only a matter of time before they realize the benefits technology brings to their businesses and they will be proactive about its adoption much sooner than later.
Contractors for example, have hitherto delayed adopting BIM solutions for several reasons; mostly pertaining to misconceptions on what it entails and an objective understanding of how it can benefit their businesses. Some believe that adopting BIM or 3D modeling will be too much of an effort and will require a lot of change, and especially when business is brisk, they are unwilling to make a change. A few think that they will have to buy expensive computers and/or hire BIM experts. However, once they are educated that most computers used for CAD support BIM modeling, and that current employees can be trained to build and use highly-constructible models, the adoption of BIM is a quick process
– Paul Wallett,
Trimble Solutions India and Middle East