Smart city smart construction

03 Sep 2019

Studies have shown that one of the main reasons BIM is not being enthusiastically adopted by the Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry in developing countries is the lack of return and value for money in its investment1 2 . This paper speculates and looks beyond BIM level 1 and 2 to BIM level 3, Smart City management and Big Data analytics to highlight the potential of investing in BIM technology. BIM level 3 is the integration of electronic information with full automated connectivity and web storage. BIM Level 3 proposes a construction industry that is smarter and more digitally-enabled than BIM level 23 . At present information in a BIM is supplied by professionals during building production processes. It is not often that large, varied and unstructured information is used in a BIM. It is argued that BIM will in time take advantage of Big Data generated by the Internet of Things, drone imagery, mobile devices and sensors that provide real-time digital information. Ismail4 refers to the so-called ?5V? in Big Data: volume, variety, velocity, veracity, and value with an emphasis on volume, variety and velocity. Volume, variety and velocity indicate huge amounts of data acquired constantly which become very difficult to store and process. At present a single BIM model used for design, evaluation and planning does not use unstructured information and Big Data infrastructure. However if BIM is expanded from a single building model to include buildings and infrastructure in an entire city where geo-referenced buildings and real-time information are linked then BIM models can become future Smart City models. Due to the volume, variety and velocity of information generated by a Smart City model Big Data analytics becomes essential. A BIM model is traditionally centred on information while a Smart City model is centred on the flow of information. The extension of the BIM model to a Smart City model will require young construction managers who have grown up with digital technologies to take advantage of this new wave of innovation and its evolving markets. In the following sections of this paper, the role of BIM in the digital revolution, the Internet of Things, Big Data and Smart Cities are highlighted. Next, BIM implementation in China and South Africa is reviewed using three recent surveys. Big Data and Smart City infrastructure is presented as a catalyst for BIM implementation and motivation for construction firms to start investing in BIM in the long term. It concludes with the proposition that BIM can benefit from Big Data infrastructure and suggests that BIM will probably expand from a single model that focuses only on one building to multiple building models in an entire city