BIM Adoption in Nepal (Part 1) - Nepal BIM Forum

BIM Adoption in Nepal (Part 1)

The term Building information modelling (BIM) is defined as the way to use information technology to establish the building lifecycle processes to provide a safer and advantageous environment for its occupants, to find a solution for the least impact on the environment from its presence and to operate the building efficiently during its intended lifecycle. The BIM is defined as a verb or adjective phrase to describe tools, processes, and technologies that are facilitated by digital, machine-readable documentation about a building and its performance, design, construction, and operation. It is the method to blend description of building efficiently among the stakeholders for a better understanding of the building performance during its intended period of existence.

It is said that’ Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ This is the current situation of the construction industry in Nepal. Nepal has been practising an obsolete method of working in the construction business. Globally, BIM has already existed for more than twenty years. The growth of the BIM technology had been slow after its inception but the construction industry today is adopting BIM at a fast rate. The level of adoption rate in North America has increased from 28% (2007) to 71% (2012) where contractors gave the highest adoption rate (74%) as compared to the architects (70%) and the engineers (64%). In 2016, in the United Kingdom, the government mandated the application of BIM. Therefore, the adoption rate is has increased from 60% to 95% for the last three years (Waterhouse R and Philp D, 2016). The adoption rate is even higher in Nordic countries like Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The number doesn’t lie it’s a concrete proof that BIM had proved its importance in developed countries. It’s unfortunate to admit Nepal is lagging behind in adaptation of BIM, till date there is no project completed in Nepal using BIM tools. As per the research conducted by the centre for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE) in 2007, financial benefits in BIM-based projects during the design and construction phase yields the following results:

  1. 7% reduction in project completion time
  2. 10% of cost saving
  3. 40% elimination of unbudgeted changes
  4. 80% time reduction to generate a cost estimate
  5. 3% cost estimation accuracy within 3 %

The model workflow for Nepalese’s Building construction if BIM is adapted is explained in brief below:

The sample model project can be modelled as a 3D model in BIM software. The data extracted from software can be exchange from Pre-tendering phase to after the construction phase. The Architectural 3D model can be converted in a neutral file format (eg: IFC) and plans created from the architectural model can be transferred to the Structural engineer.

The Structural Engineer then create its own Structural 3D model with reference to the IFC and plans from Architect. The structural engineer makes sure the modelled created from the architecture can withstand for the intended period of life. The 3D model is constructed provided by the structural engineer like materials types, sizing of materials, size of rebar etc. Different types of accurate detail information can be drawn out from the 3D model. After completion clash check is done to check if there are any clashes in the model which is proved to be very useful in construction to overcome errors at the construction site. Along with structural engineer, electrical and pipes designer can use the IFC provided by the architect to create electrical and pipelines in the structure. The structural engineer then can combine the plan coming from electrical and pipe designer and make necessary holes in slab and walls as needed in plan drawing.

The construction contractor can also make scheduling of construction and required manpower and tools for certain task with a 3D model which make the working schedule more precise and effective. As scheduling is done before construction the contractor has clear knowledge about required manpower and materials during different steps in construction. Furthermore, different simulation can be carried out in model created from BIM software like wind simulation, Fire simulation, Earthquake simulation, Energy consumption simulation which will give the clear picture of the performance of the building during different scenarios.

Nepalese AEC industry has all the reasons to adopt BIM but still, Nepal is not even in the process to adopt BIM in Nepalese AEC industries. The government has no motivation in adopting BIM and many people from the AEC industries are unaware of the potential of BIM implementation in Nepal. To change the current ineffective workflow in Nepalese AEC industry BIM must be adopted. The possible motivation factors for BIM adoption in Nepal can be as follows:

  1. Enhancing the level of BIM knowledge among the different stakeholders.
  2. Convince government bodies to adopt BIM in the AEC industry
  3. Launching a BIM training program
  4. Facilitate educational facilities for the purpose of supporting their use
  5. Introducing courses related to BIM in the academic curriculum
  6. Government policies to make BIM mandatory
  7. Promote local awareness of BIM benefits through online courses and training
  8. The government should support companies who are adopting BIM
  9. Complete analysis of the life cycle of a project to convince the client about the potential final return
  10. Allocation of financial funding to support the cost of BIM adaption
  11. Contracting with a specialist with experience in BIM field