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BIM – Transforming Building Industry

Tekla has won the 3rd EPC World Awards 2012 as an Outstanding Contributor of IT in Infrastructure & Construction industry…..

It is a Privilege for Tekla India to have received recognition for its contribution in the EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) sector as we have been providing BIM technology solution to EPC companies throughout India. This is a substantial appreciation for us given that Tekla was the only engineering software company to have received this award. The company has been making cognitive efforts to provide innovative technology for infrastructure and construction industry. And being recognized and awarded for contribution to the growth of the same industry encourages us to better our services and will help us become the preferred technology provider in the EPC segment.

Solutions provided by Tekla

Tekla is the technology solution provider specifically in engineering segment which is BIM oriented for structural and construction sector. It plays a centralized role in a construction project where multiple players are involved from architects, structural engineers, MEP engineers and last but not the least general contractors who actually erect the structure. Tekla interfaces with all the stakeholders right from the beginning and helps store all the information such as architectural, structural or electrical design inputs in a 3D digital model from design to construction stage.

The information is then available to everyone involved in the building construction including concrete and steel structure designers as well as general contractors who can visualize and have greater control over the project. Tekla also offers construction management module that can help plan tasks and project timeline and manage conflict information by grouping, assigning and prioritizing issues. General contractors using tekla software can plan and manage their process and accommodate changes without delay, enabling project delivery as planned and budgeted. Tekla India software include, Tekla BIMsight software for model-based project cooperation; Tekla Structures software to enable creation and management of accurately detailed 3D structural models regardless of material or structural complexity and Tekla Structures, Construction Management that includes functionality to manage and track project status.

How important is engineering software third party compatibility?

For the construction project to be executed efficiently, unobstructed exchange of information between various applications is necessary for coordination of various building systems. Apart from designers, users like fabricators and CNC machine manufacturers also require integration. The compatible technology solutions not only enable engineers, detailers, fabricators and contractors to seamlessly share information-rich BIM models but also avoid additional costs.

Indeed, Open technology platform is the need of the industry which also helps reduce software up-gradation costs and makes investments in software economical in long run. For instance, Tekla while releasing any software version ensures it’s not only compatible with earlier versions of Tekla software and third party applications but is also compatible with prevalent operating systems and hardware. Also, with company becoming part of the Trimble Group, it will enable our users to conveniently access Trimble’s building construction estimating & project management solutions with Tekla’s BIM software solutions.

While BIM has proven its value in building design and construction, does it also support Facility Management of a building?

Benefits of BIM extend to facilities management also. The BIM 3D digital model stores all the building designs, infrastructure, HVAC, electrical and other details in an easily extractable format. The information is available anytime for maintenance by the facility management team during the building lifecycle. Moreover, the product and asset information stored in BIM models helps in developing a maintenance program for preventive maintenance thereby minimizing the cost and complexity of building renovation and retrofit projects. This aspect has been covered in Tekla software also wherein third party applications can link to Tekla platform for any information on building design or construction to execute maintenance, up-gradation or restoration work.

How does the BIM software contribute to project planning & cost reduction?

One of the key aspects of a large infrastructure and building project today is the large volumes and short time frames. The use of construction management software assists project managers in data collection, in managing details of the work and in scheduling work assignment. Tekla software allows construction engineers and managers to create their own breakdown structures from design & detailing to fabrication and erection. This can then be analysed and optimized to determine the appropriate methods for completing the project and in carrying out works as per priority. Another important aspect is the effective change management which can avoid project delays and resources efficiency regardless of any changes occurring at any point of time. For example, if there is a change in size of second floor of a building during design stage, the change in the foundation size will get automatically reflected in the software inputs. Also, as 30%-40% of the construction budget is allocated to material purchase, by using construction software, the material consumption can be optimized, reducing the overall cost of the project. The BIM software simulation and visualization tools also assist in choosing right kind of materials and products beforehand thereby managing raw material cost and wastage.

What is the level of technology adoption in Indian construction industry?

With growing sophistication of Indian construction & infrastructure industry, there are reasons for being optimistic. Technology implementation has increased in terms of construction equipment, construction software as well as fabrication processes. However, while comparing with the developed countries there still remains a gap. For example, UK government has mandated use of BIM 3D modelling system for all public projects during their design and construction but in India 60% of the projects are still 2D based. In fact, technology companies can play a major role in educating and creating awareness among building construction professionals. Tekla in its endeavour launched Tekla BIMsight about one year back which offers free to download communication software for professionals. This will help users understand the benefits of use of technology and help change their mind-set. In effect, by cutting costs on high end technology, industry players are also losing out on benefits like minimized raw material wastage, time saving, efficiency of resources, adherence to time lines and efficient management of projects.

Another important aspect is the need of involvement of users with the software companies. Most of the software is global software and for them to be more usable for Indian projects, local specifications & industry requirements need to be incorporated. Tekla R&D team in India on the basis of the feedback from its corporate clients develops local tools to add on to the main software making them more productive. Therefore close interaction between the technology providers and the end users will help the Indian construction industry to adopt technology seamlessly.

How is Tekla addressing the challenge of lack of trained construction software professional in the Indian AEC industry?

Indeed, there has been a spurt in demand from engineering and construction companies for resources trained in use of technology and software provider companies need to address that demand. With focus growing on infrastructure & construction industry in India, the necessity of technology implementation in the project delivery and processes is bound to increase. Thus, educational institutes like engineering colleges and IIT are partnering with technology companies to impart design and engineering software training to their students. Tekla provides educational software to prominent engineering institutes without any commercial consideration for students to learn and train on BIM software. Also, Tekla’s suite of 3D Building Information Modelling (BIM) software, Tekla Structures has been included by Tamil Nadu based Sona College of Technology as part of its academic curriculum for engineering students.

In addition, Tekla has in house training programs for companies and has five training centres (Tekla Centre of Excellence) in Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Delhi to create resources for our users. We plan to create a pool of around one thousand qualified engineers by 2013 to be available for the engineering companies.

Future Plans for Tekla in 2013

The Indian infrastructure industry is booming and we have plans to further expand our presence in the country which has already started with opening of new offices. Tekla will continue to focus on its domain area of construction & structural engineering with greater emphasis on steel and concrete structures. We also look forward to providing combined solutions from Tekla and Trimble to our growing customer base and working out partnerships with global technology companies who till now do not have presence in India so as to offer more combined solutions to Indian construction industry. The company future plans also include expanding its operations in neighbouring countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka which are potential markets.

 

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