Article Date: 10/25/2013

Will Recent Developments Convince a Larger Share of the Construction Community to Embrace BIM?

By Steve Rizer


It will be interesting to see whether a couple of recent developments involving Obayashi Corp. will convince a greater share of the world’s construction industry to embrace building information modeling (BIM) technology. 


In one development, construction contractor Obayashi has helped complete the “Smart BIM Cloud” pilot project. The endeavor is intended to improve BIM integration and information sharing across the industry. Obayashi, along with partners NEC Corp. and Graphisoft SE, declared the pilot project a success, allowing for “safe and smooth information sharing between stakeholders.”


“A comprehensive IT infrastructure built around advanced BIM Server technology has been implemented that allows efficient access to vast amounts of building-related information, a vital element to help the acceleration of BIM implementations,” Obayashi stated. “A project team consisting of contractors, design companies, construction companies, and specialized construction companies can share building-related information and form a consensus in the early stages for a common purpose -- namely, to build the best building.”


The Smart BIM Cloud implemented at Obayashi is based on GraphiSoft’s latest BIM Server Technology and delivers integrated BIM workflows and company-wide information sharing. Design and construction documents can be accessed from any device (including smart devices and tablets) via the Internet, and information can be obtained on-demand during and after construction, Obayashi stated. “This results in better understanding in the early stages of every process so that the customer’s ideas can be reflected early and helps reaching consensus among stakeholders easier.”


The contractor also reported that during the construction process, “Smart BIM Cloud provides an environment with familiar, fast, and accurate information that can be accessed seamlessly, using the related databases efficiently. The database contains not only a basic model of shapes but also all necessary information about the building, such as specifications, sourcing, various simulations, etc., making the management of the construction process more seamless as well as improving its quality by taking advantage of all this information in the production process.”


In another development, Obayashi announced that it intends to use BIM for every design-build project by the end of 2015. Toward this end, the company recently revealed plans to form a new division, called PD Center (Product, Design, Delivery, Digital). As of last July, the company used BIM in 52 percent of all its design-build projects. Will other contractors follow suit?



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