Facilitating collaboration and enabling the construction industry to perform better has long been at the core of BIM One’s ethos. The Industrial Research Chair on the integration of digital technologies in construction, initiated by ÉTS, is a chance for us to join companies that innovate and share their expertise to benefit the local and global competitiveness of our industry. We believe in research and education. Wed remain convinced that this digital transformation and the deployment of BIM will require such shared initiatives. Democratizing best practices is the objective of the participants of this chair and BIM One is happy to take part in sharing its’ expertise.
The next part of the article is a translation of the article that originally appeared on the GRIDD website:
Last week, the École de technologie supérieure inaugurated the new Industrial Research Chair on the Integration of Digital Technologies in Construction, heir to the well-known Pomerleau Industrial Research Chair. Professor Forgues and his team, as well as many collaborators and partners of the new Chair, took the opportunity to trace the progress made in a very short time by the construction industry and discuss the major transformations that they await.
The pride of work accomplished
The Pomerleau Chair, whose term expired last December, managed to mobilize leaders in the construction industry to become aware of one thing: it was late and could miss the digital turn. The consequences of such neglect can easily be imagined for a sector that accounts for more than $ 40 billion in investment annually and has more than 400,000 direct and indirect jobs. We can also imagine the repercussions on the whole of Quebec society.
Three letters that speak volumes
The shift the industry is taking can be summed up in three letters: BIM. Building Information Modeling is a construction method based on the use of a multi-dimensional computer model. This approach allows users to document the design of a building, but also to simulate its performance, construction, and operation. One of the great advantages of BIM is that it enables the direct collaboration of all stakeholders: customers, architects, engineers, contractors, asset management specialists, and so on.
Those by whom change happens
Pierre Pomerleau is one of the first leaders in the industry to understand the seriousness of the situation. He is also one of the first to have systematized the use of integrated design and, above all, BIM. For him, the results are "hallucinating" and exceed all expectations: "BIM has made us ultra-efficient, allowed us to win bids and be more efficient in our execution. According to the CEO, "BIM has brought Pomerleau to another place". This place is simply tomorrow.
A new management
BIM is accompanied by a new site management model: Lean Construction. It reduces cost risks by allowing them to be lowered at the time of submission and adhering to them during project execution, and ensures that deadlines are met. One immediately sees the interest that such a model can have for all the stakeholders. Some have already seen its benefits, including the City of Quebec, which has used the services of Pomerleau for the construction of the Videotron Center.
The mission of the new Chair
The Industrial Research Chair on the integration of digital technologies in construction is mandated to "advance the industry as a whole", explains its leader, Professor Forgues. To do this, it will focus on encouraging collaboration in a sector where "factions" prevail. The deep divisions between the various parties in the community are a hindrance to its success. The chair will also stimulate innovation to promote the "industrialization of construction". When asked about this, Mr. Forgues proposed a comparison: "With these new tools, we will be able to adopt approaches that are more closely associated with the manufacturing sector; we can assemble a building on site, a bit like a mechanic or an Ikea product. "
The new face of construction
What might the new construction industry in Quebec look like? The three expected benefits of the new chair give us some clues. First of all, Professor Forgues predicts that it will break down the barriers that exist between the various players in the industry. Second, it should lead to the creation of a culture of innovation in the construction industry. Finally, the new chair should help develop "organizational agility," which will help businesses cope with the rapid changes that come with the use of digital technologies.
The major objective of this initiative that requires considerable effort, investment and know-how, is as simple as it is ambitious: to place Quebec among the top 10 global users of BIM within five years.