The Big 5: Gulf contractors still ‘need to understand’ what BIM brings

Paul Wallett of Tekla says contractors need to ‘breathe a little’ amid a regional construction boom

PHOTO: Contractors “need to understand a little bit more about what they need for their own deliverables” when it comes to BIM, says Tekla’s Paul Wallett. Credit: Supplied

Contractors in the UAE are yet to understand the full potential of building information modelling (BIM), and need to ‘breathe a little’ amid a regional construction boom, a leading expert says.

With Dubai Municipality mandating BIM for large construction projects, there has been a scramble to implement the technology, says Paul Wallett, area business director at Tekla Middle East.

But contractors need to analyse the full benefits of BIM, Wallett told at The Big 5 exhibition in Dubai.

“Education is still the paramount thing that we’re doing. Contractors are still, in a lot of respects, exploring what BIM means to them as individual businesses. What we’re trying to highlight, as a solutions driven BIM provider, is to try and find solutions that are fit for purpose,” he said.

“People do rush in, we hear the word ‘mandates’, and obviously the revised BIM mandate came out earlier this year, and again the same questions came up. People need to breathe a little and they need to understand a little bit more about what they need for their own deliverables.”

With construction projects worth $2.8 trillion in the pipeline in the GCC, Wallett said that the industry needed to prepare itself to be more transparent, or it would struggle to push forwards with the collaboration desired by contractors.

“What does hold collaboration back are people’s fear of litigation and the ramification of legal issues,” he explains. “What it hinges on, certainly in this region, is having contractual documents that allow people to work in integrated project delivery.

“Will that ever happen in a strong way in this region? That’s difficult to say,” he said.


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