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A green revolution

Buildings – the world’s largest source of carbon dioxide emissions

The global construction industry accounts for nearly 40 per cent of the world’s energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, according to the World Green Building Council. Emissions from cement alone are several times higher than all the world’s aviation emissions.

The increasing urbanisation rate deepens the industry’s negative impact on the climate. The United Nations estimates that by 2050 about two thirds of the world’s population will be living in cities. To accommodate that population, we need to build an entire New York City every single month. In the future, buildings will need to be designed in a smarter way that takes space and resource constraints into account.

The impact of BIM

In many cases, procurement processes, project planning and design are still performed on paper or using CAD. Traditional work processes often lead to expensive and unnecessary information gaps between architects, builders and clients.

Numerous research reports reinforce the economic, process-related and environmental benefits of digitalisation through BIM. Architects and engineers are able to digitally analyse design choices and consequences during the design phase, thus eliminating errors and ambiguities in the design. In addition, it facilitates faster application of new methods. Construction companies can improve efficiency and cut waste during the construction phase and also digitally send important information about the building to property managers.

A key element in the sustainability agenda

This development is driven by government strategies. According to statistics from 2017, there were then at least 26 countries, including the USA and many EU countries, that had either introduced or planned to introduce BIM mandates. Usually, these requirements arise in connection to public procurement procedures. In 2016, for example, the UK introduced the BIM framework for centrally procured public construction projects. The adoption of BIM continues to increase for every year.

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