Alexander Dobrindt: Focus on Germany’s planning and building digital future–Intensive work on the implementation of BIM

December 22, 2016 - Corporate News Industry Insights
Alexander Dobrindt has been Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure since December 2013. Based on the background of the digitalization challenges in the world of economy and society in general, he stressed the digitalization challenge in German’s planning and building industry, the implementation of BIM in the industry, and the power of the “Country of Things”. A lot of intensive work remains on the road map.

Planning and building is a German core competency. The German construction and real estate business launches thousands of successful projects every year with highest national and international reputation. Most granted European patents out of this field provide an enormous added value to the German society and serve as robust foundation of its prosperity. Thus in this context “Made in Germany” means efficiency, speed and highest quality.

The digitalization is now challenging everything that has been achieved in the world of economy and society in general. With the digital revolution, now the substance is at stake. In a nutshell: one clear fact is that those who are not willing to digitalize, will be left behind. From the human’s electronical interaction with each other at the starting point of the digital age to the objects’ direct connection and the materialization of Internet of Things (of “everything”) today, the rapid progress of digitalization is the most telling witness of the challenges coming along with it.

Germany is a leading industrial nation, the global number one in the field of engineering and automotive and the country to set international benchmarks in infrastructure and construction. “The digitization challenges our core competencies.” says Mr. Alexander Dobrindt, “Now we must be the ‘Country of Things’. It is up to us, to optimally leverage and transfer our particular strengths and technical expertise into this field.”

He believes that the construction, building and real estate industry is a true key sector for German economy. And digital technologies facilitate enormous potential in optimizing quality, efficiency and speed for the entire planning, building and manufacturing process.

IT technologies in large-scale projects will promote an early networking with a close cooperation and ensure an intensive communication of all stakeholders. Various alternatives for planning will be digitally visualized, processes standardized, transparency ensured, realistic risk assessment proposed and thus, as a consequence, construction time and costs substantially reduced.

A new digital culture of planning and building is needed to unlock this huge potential in Germany. A core element for success is the “building information modelling” (BIM), which is a digital platform that channels all relevant data, architectural plans and construction progress for all involved protagonists. BIM is a virtual blueprint of the entire construction cycle of a building. From design over to the construction and up to the overall operation, the processes are reaching an entirely new dimension with BIM planning and construction. The construction site is emerging into a cooperative, intelligent data cloud—with a significantly improved data quality, a narrow and timely interaction of all stakeholders with more transparency, higher efficiency and a real time cost controlling of the project. This minimizes risks, saves valuable time and reduces construction costs remarkably.

“We want to make digital planning and building in Germany to become the standard. Taking the role as property owner, principal and client public authorities must clearly go ahead and implement this cultural change as frontrunners. Together with the German economy, we have therefore launched a comprehensive digital initiative.” says Alexander Dobrindt. “In 2013 we put a reform committee “Large-Scale Construction Projects (Bau von Großprojekten ins Leben gerufen)” in place. The general principle of our 10-point action plan is: First digital, then physical building. We are already testing BIM in four pilot projects on the road and for the railway – and did already realize as a matter of fact: We are faster, more efficient and cost-effective.”

The German government thereon has developed a three-phase, step by step approach that will implement BIM to become the standard for large-scale infrastructure projects by 2020. Until 2017, the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure will work on the preparation to set the standards, implementing guidance documents, clarifying legal issues and offer training for their profession staff. For an extended pilot phase by 2020, the Ministry has initiated additional projects in October 2016 for all transportation modalities, which will test BIM implementation in a variety of different planning phases.”

Overall a bundle of 24 million euros will be spent to test and implement the technology in 13 railways, 10 roadways and one waterway project. From 2020 onwards all new transport infrastructure projects of the federal government are supposed to be planned, built and implemented on the basis of BIM, which means: all services delivered must be based on digital 3D models. The costumer may request for additional dimensions – for example the integration of time and cost (5D model).

Mr. Alexander Dobrindt also reveals that his goal is to make other parties use BIM as an example for smaller projects, by the German Länder and municipalities.

“I am absolutely convinced that, in close partnership between business and politics, we will succeed in keeping planning and building in the global-digital age a true German core competence.

Together we take off to the next German Wirtschaftswunder, to the digital economic miracle – with the power of innovation and competence, with structural steel and concrete and with data and algorithms.”

Read the original article on Handelsblatt Journal

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