The construction industry is rapidly going digital, with BIM becoming an important part of it. BIM is allowing more intelligent use of resources and optimization of workflows, leading to productivity and profitability.
While many countries are going all out in its adoption, countries like India are yet to catch up.
As Mr Amarnath CB, Founder, India BIM Association, puts it, “We have about 30-40K people who are using BIM for projects, but most of the people providing these services are for the global markets, there are a very few who are providing the services for Indian projects largely because they are not able to convince clients about the benefits of BIM. When we talk about the level of development, it’s mainly for modeling, scheduling, estimation, and not for construction tracking or FM usage etc. There is a need for providing information about how this can be adopted for various stages of projects.”
In India, a few companies are delivering BIM services to the global sector, but they are being delivered only through subcontracts. Things should happen way beyond this, like adopting BIM for the complete project lifecycle. Currently, in India, the benefits of BIM are restricted to design and not carried forward to construction and FM.
Amarnath says, “Most of the time clients are confused because they have to pay more for the design but they are not aware how to actually use BIM during construction and FM. Hence clients hesitate in adopting this.”
Ignorance is not bliss
Not many in India are aware of BIM and its advantages. BIM is producing a completely new scenario for how people must collaborate for projects, and we do not have skilled workforce to understand the nitty-gritty. With respect to AEC industry, architects are always working on new technologies but how about understanding each and every player’s requirements and collaborating on these aspects? BIM is the tool that can support all of these requirements. However, to facilitate better collaboration, coordination and communication among the people involved in BIM projects, the people involved must be fully aware of the benefits and this can be achieved only through better education. To have more skilled people on board for BIM projects, education on BIM should be introduced at the university level. This, in turn, will facilitate its adoption.
Work on Pricing
The companies in India that are providing BIM services have priced it on the higher side considering it as something special. The clients to are not aware of how to save money using these services in a proper manner. These problems are making BIM getting labeled as an expensive practice to adopt.
Stronger policies required
Things need to improve at the policy level for better adoption. Most of the policymakers or owners are not aware of BIM or even if they know, they don’t know what to expect out of it. Unless we have a top-down model, adoption would remain an issue. Amarnath adds, “If we consider the national building code there is a rule that BIM must be used in construction, but it is not clear, so we need to have guidelines in India to have clear-cut details about what kind of BIM needs to be delivered and what should the client expect out of the project.” India can learn from countries like Spain, where two ministries are working on implementing BIM in their job.
There is no doubt that the situation is not so favorable for BIM adoption in India. But, with time, things will look up. The benefits of adopting BIM in construction cannot be denied and thus the adoption will not stay denied for long.