BIM, lifesaver or shot below the water line of the construction Industry?

EBS15 – BIM European Summit in Barcelona, Feb. 2015.

BIM sees itself as the light at the end of the tunnel. A counter-shock for the crisis which has affected 80% of the production of the construction sector in Europe.

Europe bases 18% of its GDP on construction. In Spain the construction sector became known as the “fourth sector”, after the established first sector (agriculture and livestock), the second sector (industry) and the third sector (services). This leads us to think that any minimum influence on this sector would have very profound consequences. The BIM Concept has not only had an effect on the sector but it has also become a vector for transformation. In a radical manner, BIM has become the paradigm of radical change in the sector. It fights for the relation of the professionals and agents that take part in the sector – when the model of stagnation has been the tradition between the different actors: architects, engineers, specialists, consultants …, it strives towards fast track models in order not to lose any time in the project and construction and also to provide greater quality – when the tradition has been never to finish any project or work on time – and it also leads to thinking about the life of a building – when again the tradition was that every stage (project, building, maintenance and demolition) acted as a really watertight entity (such as the compartments in a submarine) in order to avoid any inter-phase interests.


BIM requirements are going to transform products in the construction sector in Europe.

  • Governments in Europe require that the complete chain of those intervening in the cycle of building that they guarantee the efficiency, and later environmental and material costs that are generated in its use. To the BIM concept the PIM concepts (Project Information Modelling) and BEM (Building Environmental Modelling) are added.
  • PIM requires materials and products to have an adequate format in order to be included in the BIM. If the BIM could be summarised in 3D constructive+4D/5D information, the products to be included in the project should contain the necessary graphic elements for each scale of work and the necessary information for each phase of the work (delivery times and maintenance times, 4D; and purchase and repair costs in order to be able to contract and then later manage, 5D).
  • BEM or the introduction of the environmental performance of materials and therefore of their building become essential in order to automatically certify their energy consumption and also their CO2 value. If Buckminster Fuller asked: How much does your building weigh? Now the EU is asking how does your building perform. And it does this not as a whim as the EU must comply with three objectives in the year 2020: 20% reduction in emissions relative to the levels of 1990, 20% increase in renewable energies and 20% improvement in power efficiency. This is something that is required from any sector such as the automobile or industrial sectors – from a car to a washing machine, it is even required of the air transport sector, and now the construction sector is required to assume it.

The 2020 climate and energy package


  • For this reason, the expression “or similar” is going to disappear. BIM is converted into the first prescriber of any construction product. When a product is selected for a project, it will not be possible now to change it because it will have an effect on the delivery dates, in the costs of the building, in the maintenance of that building and in any emissions that are recorded from its use. It will be better to make no changes because we are going to affect – as in fact occurs in any work – in the mechanics of the whole process. A clear example could be that nobody would attempt to change a material or specification of a structure in order not to modify its performance. Now the same occurs for an architectural or construction project.

The inclusion of the construction industry in the BIM process is a necessity. Professionals urgently require that the conscious form of all products and materials that will be used in a building should be found in inter-operational and parametric formats in order to make their use in a direct manner in their project. And it is for this reason that the BIM European Summit in Barcelona will approach this subject in a session dedicated to how the manufacturing industry for construction products should implement this process as a fundamental objective of their strategy for this, the next and the following years. This will be their lifesaver.

Because if they do not do it in this manner, BIM will have attacked their water or flotation line.