Digitizing construction industry: the efficiency of projects might significantly grow

It is indispensable that the projects become faster, more predictable, more sustainable and more cost-efficient and this can be achieved by changing over to digitalization of the construction industry, including BIM, i.e. model-based building information management. The essence of BIM approach is to switch over to process-oriented operation and structured data collection. In the framework of BIM methodology many software and applications provide data, so e.g. the construction costs can be tracked transparently and simply or even forecasted more accurately. According to KÉSZ Group, one of Hungary's technology-controlled and innovative groups of companies focusing on construction industry and possessing one of the widest portfolios, this is needed more than ever in the current uncertain economic environment. Moreover, the new construction and investment framework act to come into force in January 2023 may also give an impetus to digitalization.

The sustainable, efficient and cost-efficient methods gain more and more ground in construction industry and digitalization has a greater and greater role in predictability and transparency of processes. One of the efficient solutions is, among others, application of the BIM methodology.

It also turned out from KPMG's 2021 Global Construction Survey that although many construction companies are aware of the benefits of digital solutions, so e.g. the Building Information Models (BIM), only 44 per cent of them use these in the course of each of their projects. The survey mentions also that, according to the companies asked, BIM is the most gainful investment in addition to the Project Management Information System (PMIS) and advance data analysis.

Plenty of data assists in avoidance of errors
BIM (Building Information Management), i.e. model-based building information management means construction of buildings by a virtual building model. In fact, it is about a variety of software and applications that provide data to each other and are able to store and display them in a systemized way. So the data are available, updatable, queryable and correctable simultaneously. A great advantage of BIM processes and models is enhancement of efficiency and the possibility of prevention of errors both before and during design, manufacture and construction.

A well-built BIM model is like a three-dimension databank in which the relevant pre-defined information is available in respect of each building element. It provides information, among others, about the required and integrated technical properties, the scheduled and actual manufacturing, transport and installation dates, the costs and, moreover, the waste management information. The same information gives great assistance in designing, preparing and implementing a new project. Accordingly, time, energy and money can be saved.

More predictable costs, more transparent operation
Due to the increase in raw material and energy prices and in the current uncertain circumstances, provision for predictability of projects and containment of costs are more important than ever - use of the BIM methodology renders assistance to us in all of these fields. The BIM models used during design, manufacture and construction contain real-time data, so the technical requirements become clearer, the decision-making process may become faster, changes can be tracked during much less time and, last bur not least, costs become more predictable. The current status of the projects can be tracked transparently and up-to-date, however, in fact, the whole construction process becomes transparent owing to BIM" - said László Szalados, Deputy Chief Technical Officer of KÉSZ Group.

Digitizing construction industry: a change of approach is needed
However, in the opinion of László Szalados, in order to be able to utilize all the advantages of BIM, a significant change in approach and methodology is needed in the whole lifetime of projects. The purpose of KÉSZ Group is to use this methodology on Group level as a pioneer in BIM methodology in the domestic industry and by this it will be able to enhance its competitiveness significantly.

The company's BIM strategy was approved in this January. The first step of this is to map and record the relevant operating processes and then to change them to a BIM-based one. Perhaps it seems to be simple but it cannot be implemented without profession-specific short- and long-term goals, exact campaigns and an ecosystem supporting introduction of BIM. In the case of KÉSZ Group, its operation includes all operators of the construction value chain since it is engaged in design, manufacturing, installation and operation activities alike. So the various sectoral and member company action plans should be harmonized also on Group level for the purposes of achieving optimum operation. The objective is to establish such a unique but universally applicable BIM-based operating system, which can be adapted, without exception, by each member of the Group.

Specialists are needed
According to the new construction and investment framework act to come into force in January 2023, in Hungary no state project may be implemented in the future without involving the customer and the operator. To support this, compulsory use of BIM in design is required. Therefore, the regulations relating to operation of the construction industry should be made sooner or later BIM compatible. Just for this reason, the Group's objective is to contribute to and to take an active part also in setting up a BIM professional standard. Simultaneously with this, the demand for manufacturer-specific BIM content is continuously increasing, storing already such data as product information, installation guides, energy consumption, ecolabels, operating costs or product lifetime.

Creating and implementing BIM ecosystem and satisfying the regulatory requirements represent an enormous challenge, however, its market return is clear. Apart from the above, availability of more and more companies using the BIM methodology and more and more specialists possessing BIM knowledge is prominently important for KÉSZ Group. KÉSZ Group supports this by both the BIM Scholarship Program launched jointly with the Budapest University of Technology and Economics and training courses organized for its own employees. This year near 700 employees took part in the BIM training courses organized jointly with the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.