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News & opinion

16 OCT 2018

A sense of optimism: Our third annual BIM Conference

The third annual RICS Building Information Modelling (BIM) Conference, Kuala Lumpur, convened key players from Malaysia’s construction industry to discuss the adoption of BIM and ambitious plans for the wider implementation of BIM Level 2 by 2020.

Deputy Secretary General (Policy & Development) for the Ministry of Work Malaysia YBhg. Dato’ Abdul Razak bin Jaafar opened the conference with a real sense of optimism. The Malaysian government is keen to see the implementation of BIM Level 2 beyond the initial projects, such as the Klang Valley MRT SSP Line, due to cost savings and efficiencies during the design and construction stages.

Case study: Klang Valley MRT SSP Line project

Director of Planning & Design for the Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRTC) Mr Poh Seng Tiok shared his excellent example of BIM Level 2 implementation throughout the Klang Valley MRT SSP Line project.

This project consisted of 38 individual work processes and 28 groups of contractors and suppliers. BIM Level 2 helped the main contractor to create an informed, fixed and detailed design for the various parties involved, which was used throughout the whole project lifecycle. It helped ensure that the project was delivered successfully, on time and within budget.

An important addition to the project was the common data environment (CDE), which was able to bring users from different locations and disciplines together within the same design platform throughout the whole project lifecycle.

Malaysia Twin Tower

How BIM Level 2 implementation helped ensure the success of the Klang Valley MRT expansion.

Read more

The CDE supports all the design consultants and helps them carry out their design in a collaborative way using common processes and standards. This has enabled over 1,500 users to collaborate on more than 45,000 documents, corresponding to 750GB of design files.

Mr Poh Seng Tiok, Director of Planning & Design
Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRTC)

The success of the Klang Valley MRT project and the use of BIM to anticipate and prevent problems stimulated much debate and question from the floor. There was certainly a sense of confidence in the room that this case study to build upon for BIM adoption in Malaysia.

Read more: A game-changing expansion for Malaysia

The BIM skills gap

However, there are still challenges that the industry must address. The lack of qualified-BIM resources was a topic raised by the audience multiple times, as well as the communication barrier between different professionals. While there was no consensus, there was agreement that this could be due to professionals’ reluctance to upskill themselves beyond traditional work processes, or perhaps the “language” barrier between those that do have the skills and those that do not.

Read more: The social impact of digitising construction

Malaysia’s next steps

To help with these challenges, the Ministry of Works and Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) established myBIM Centre in 2017, which provides training for BIM-related resources. This shows a clear commitment by Malaysia’s government to adapt for the future and enforce their policy that all public projects valued at RM100 million and above must use BIM by 2019.

A move to BIM is a move towards the future. You might not see the profits now, but in the long run, the returns of investment will be much higher.

Ronan Collins, Head of Project Information Management
Gamuda Berhad

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Conference highlights

Highlights from the RICS BIM Conference 2018, which took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

We discussed the implementation of BIM Level 2 in Malaysia and the government's policy to implement it more widely by 2020.