March 15, 2018

The big and open "BIM": the next breakthrough in the smart city

By Baudoin Delaporte, Head of Real Estate Development.

While in Cannes at MIPIM 2018, I had the opportunity to participate in a roundtable called "The tech shift in architecture & design: at the users' service." I share my vision on these topics.

One of the effects of the Internet - and of connectivity more generally - is the extraordinary scope for the intensification of the connections between neighbours it has opened up. Today, based on knowing city dwellers’ habits and their flow of activity, we can see that their consumption habits effectively improve the complementarity of their needs and provided services. The Internet, which gives access to information, reinforces the probability of meeting people with similar interest and shared passions. The history of the collaborative economy is indeed founded on this principal.

Optimising the manner in which a city functions allows us to act on the strongest levels of proximity (at the level of a building or, alternatively, a neighbourhood, for example) by reinforcing relationships and by leveraging information about daily human activity.

Improving the operation of a city or town means giving more exposure to the “anthill city” and supporting adaptation to this lifestyle, the societal transformations involved and the mutations of the city itself. In doing this, the actors of the urban world must today organise themselves in systems in order to facilitate the complex management of this dense, constantly-evolving “collective city”.

Digital technology has the advantage of offering a central model capable of becoming a flexible system used for planning, collaboration and design. It also provides a way to make buildings progressive in their use as time goes on. The building effectively becomes a hub, a service-exchanging platform, a computer capable of overseeing energy consumption, the value production of its businesses and asset management in real-time.

With the help of new technologies that draw on a set of data and, more specifically, software that structures and processes this data, a reference database is created. The urban planner, the architect and the stakeholders of a building programme work on a set of user characteristics specific to a building and its environment.

Building Information Modelling (BIM) technology presents an incredible opportunity by connecting jobs and information, and creating a common urban language. The heart of the tool lies in its open and shared 3D modelling of the digital space. Thus, everything becomes potentially possible in facilitating the construction of scenarios applicable to the building cycle, as well as its business models over time, both present and future.

Economic gains, efficient consumption, optimised occupancy rates, better security… flexible design based on the expectations of the occupants becomes possible. Technological building bricks are used to improve the quality of life of urban spaces.

In its study, Shaping the Future of Construction, the World Economic Forum predicts that : "a minimum 2% increase of initial costs to support a design optimised by BIM will on average lead to life cycle savings of 20% of total costs."

It’s also a facilitator in combining other technologies (machine learning, robotics, 3D imaging) and encouraging the incremental innovation of traditional materials. According to the World Economic Forum, for such a scenario to exist, the industry needs a “BIG and OPEN BIM" that integrates the totality of the value chain and that characterises itself by a complete interoperability of its software.

Certain start-ups, like Case (acquired by WeWork, are beginning to propose this unifying vision of technology at the service of the user.

Disruptive innovation for the construction and real estate industries certainly lies with this “BIG and OPEN BIM". To be continued.

Source: Linkedin

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