The Architecture, Engineering, and construction (AEC) industry in any country is responsible for the construction, repair, and alteration of buildings, roads, structures and other properties in the country.
The alarming cases of collapsed buildings in Nigeria only point to the sub-optimal constructions which fall short of global standards. In the past three years, over 75 buildings have collapsed in Nigeria resulting in the loss of lives and properties. A case in point is the collapse of the Akwa Ibom church in December 2016 which claimed 200 lives. Collapse of buildings in Nigeria has been attributed to weak foundation, poor quality materials, structural overloads and incompetence of construction workers.
Developed countries have adopted the use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) technologies in both small and large scale capacities. BIM is an intelligent 3D model-based process that equips architecture, engineering and construction professionals with the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, manage and construct buildings and infrastructure.
Using a BIM methodology improves collaboration and ensures a new level of control over projects of all sizes. Better project outcomes are achieved through a complete flow of information among applications and across distributed project teams for greater accuracy.
In a bid to embrace the global construction trend, the Nigeria Institute of Quality Surveyors (NIQS) has called upon the government to support the development of Building Information Modelling technologies through funding and implementation of laws for the construction industry.
In a press release by the institute, the advantages and use of the BIM was explained.
The short comings of physical representation without parametric characteristics have been addressed by BIM, the interoperability of BIM made it receptive to all software based on its model. BIM is amenable; evolved significantly to make it applicable for all professionals in the built environment. Its adoption and use would not only enhance profit and productivity but also increase efficiency and effectiveness”
The institute urged all the stakeholders and professional bodies of the construction industry to create awareness on the adoption of BIM for projects.
All professional bodies in the built environment should assume the new roles defined by BIM and adopt it in their service delivery. The Bureau of Public Procurement should encourage and subsequently make use of BIM mandatory on projects of certain magnitude as a starting point, and the need to incorporate the concept of “GREEN” into implementation of BIM.
One of the challenges facing the adoption of BIM in Nigeria is the limited availability of BIM professionals. To this effect, the NIQS has urged the National Universities Commission (NUC) to incorporate IBM into universities curricular.
With BIM, there would be less need for rework due to errors and omissions in all stages of construction. Virtual design and construction with BIM create the potential to identify problems earlier in the building process. This factor brings about the reduction of time, materials and cost. The adoption of BIM technology by the Nigerian construction sector would not only speed up projects and curb unnecessary wastage of building resources, it would also ensure the construction good quality infrastructure.