DCA Architects Pte Ltd

DCA Architects shares their experience in BIM implementation and how BIM has benefited them.

1. Q: Your company has applied for funding under BCA’s BIM Fund. Without the funding, would your company have embarked on BIM? If yes, why and if no, why?
A: We have applied and utilized BCA’s BIM DCA Architects Pte LtdFund for upgrading the company’s BIM-related IT infrastructure and part of the costs incurred in training and consultancy. Our company would implement BIM without the funding as well since we have found that combining the BIM tools, Autodesk Revit Architecture and Navisworks in the construction documents phase helps us identify and correct potential problems among the different design and engineering disciplines early on, thus creating more coordinated documents and a smoother construction process.  As contractors continue to shift toward practices rooted entirely in BIM, our ability to provide a quality model is a valuable tool to help our clients save time and money.

2. Q: Some of the challenges faced by companies in implementing BIM are the change of mindset and manpower training. In these aspects, how does your company help the staff to transit from 2D to 3D modelling and motivate them to go for training? What are the training programmes that your company has or intend to put in place to build up your staff members’ capability and capacity in BIM?
A: The most important thing is to have a positive mindset and to believe that the long-term benefits outweigh the short-term challenges. The most experienced BIM modeller who will work directly with the architect has assigned at the start of each project to develop the majority of the BIM model. This is an opportunity to share and strengthen the intellectual resources of each project team by allowing the more experienced BIM specialist to mentor and provide technical guidance and share about BIM software and other digital tools.To build up our staff members’ capability and capacity in BIM, we have arranged both external training based on the BIM projects and regular in-house training conducted by in-house BIM specialists.  We have also created DCA BIM Refreshing eLearning web page locally without internet access. Staff can make full use of the various lessons, taking part in in-house tests and retrieve information related to BIM easily on the page to upgrade and validate their knowledge in BIM.

External Training Programmes are:

  • BCA’s BIM e-Submission Hands-on Training
  • BCA’s BIM Modelling Certificate Course
  • BCA’s BIM Management Certificate Course
  • BCA’s Specialist Diploma in BIM Course
  • Autodesk Revit Architecture Fundamentals Course
  • Autodesk Revit Architecture Advanced Course

In-house Training Programmes are:

  • Professional Mass Modelling Training
  • BIM for Sustainable Design and Energy Analysis
  • Autodesk Revit Architecture Certification Preparation Hands-on Training
  • Project-based Customized Hands-on Training

3. Q: Can you give us one or two examples of other issues your company faced when implementing BIM in your projects and how these were overcome?
A: Some of the examples of other issues we faced when implementing BIM in our projects are:

  • BIM authoring time is longer at the initial stage.
  • Guaranteeing reliable output especially when projects get complex and with very tight deadlines to meet.

Ways to overcome those issues are:-

  • What to plan when setting deadlines such as suggested schedule for Schematic Design & Design Development stages shall be longer time period for BIM projects and it can be shortened in Construction Documentation Stage.
  • Most experienced modeller should be assigned at the start of the project and less experienced modellers can be added to the team to complete the construction documents at later stage.

4. Q: Can you share with us some of the lessons learnt in your company’s BIM implementation and what are the things that other companies should look out for when implementing BIM?
A: Some of the key lessons learnt in our company’s BIM implementation are:

  • This is not an individual task and needed support from Management team as well as young employees who are interested in BIM since they will be the main technology end-users.
  • The high-end hardware resources needed to run BIM tool (Revit) efficiently.

The following things to look out for BIM implementation:

  • Let go of traditional CAD thinking and mindset.
  • Define a core BIM team with members who are eager to learn and allow to lead the way in BIM implementation.
  • Develop a process that leverages on existing tools and skills while moving into BIM.

5. Q: With BIM becoming more widely adopted in the international arena, how will your company prepare for this new era of using BIM technologies for projects?
A: BIM is the next generation in documentation for architects.  By using BIM tool, we can produce better-coordinated set of documents and drawings quickly and all our design changes can be incorporated consistently.  As such, we want to make sure we maximize the software’s capabilities in order to deliver the highest quality drawings and documents to our clients.  As we are working towards full BIM-based documentation from current 2D based practices, we try to inculcate BIM to all architects and technical supporting staff to be able to expand further and explore into new architecture forms.  As the productivity target for the construction sector has been revised upwards and must attain 20 to 30 per cent productivity improvement by 2020, we target to achieve more than 20% productivity improvement for all of our future BIM projects.

6. Q: What else do you think BCA can do to help the industry move beyond just 3D modelling and project collaboration in BIM?
DCA Architects Pte LtdA: Besides the creation of BIM Guide Series for all disciplines, an interactive version of part of the Singapore BIM Guide should be developed as a plug-in to aid BIM implementation.  Extensive training of BIM managers and experts with technical and organizational know-how is also needed to facilitate a customized system configuration and administration.