BIM in Switzerland

An Industry on the Move

Building Information Modelling has well and truly arrived in Switzerland. The industry is realigning itself as major players are making the digital transformation and more and more clients are demanding BIM on their projects.

Here you can see all the posts from BIM in der Schweiz

BIM in Switzerland

15. January 2018
In an interview with Swiss national newspaper, Tagesanzeiger, Mark Baldwin explains how the swiss construction industry is changing. (Source: Smart Media, Tages Anzeiger, 15th January 2018. Text: Matthias Mehl) PDF download for print here Building Information Modeling (BIM) is sustainably transforming the construction industry. In this, experts agree. But what concrete effects this process will have and how Switzerland can assert itself in the digital revolution raises many questions. That’s why we talked to BIM expert Mark Baldwin about the opportunities and challenges of digital architecture – and what mental hurdles the industry must overcome. Mark Baldwin, you are on the board of the Swiss Chapter of buildingSMART and, as head of BIM-Management at Man and Machine Switzerland AG, are engaged with the topic of about Building Information Modeling. What is BIM for you? BIM should be seen in the context of the entire digitalization, which currently covers all areas of the economy as well as private and public life. Simply put, BIM is the digitization of the construction industry. How far is Switzerland in terms of digitalization? The importance of this topic is general understood. In April 2016, the Federal Council passed its “Digital Strategy”. This concerns the digitalization of the entire economy and is not specific to the construction industry. Nonetheless, the strategy is relevant to construction and has a direct impact on its activities. In short, the strategy’s goal is to give Switzerland a leading position in the digital world. BIM plays a key role in bringing the Swiss construction industry to a higher level. But is the Swiss construction industry ready? There is a digital scorecard that assesses Switzerland in different aspects of digitalization. For example, in the field of “basic digital infrastructure” we are very strong and achieve a score of 93 percent. The sectors “ICT” and “International Competitiveness” are also rated very well. Although the construction industry is not specifically analyzed in this index, the assessment of “Industry 4.0” – with a score of just 29 percent – makes it clear that there is still room for improvement. And how far is Switzerland compared to other countries? In my career, I have had the opportunity to observe the development of BIM abroad – in Europe, but also in the Middle East, Asia and Australia. In most of these countries, the BIM methodology is well established. And I have to admit: Switzerland has been a late adopter. So are we already behind in the process? We have to catch up, but Switzerland is certainly on the right track. In the last 18 months, BIM has developed strongly. Now much more is being done – and not just talked about. Are there differences in how BIM is implemented in different countries? Yes there are; and they can be traced back to the respective cultural-differences. In Anglo-Saxon countries, for example, innovation is more driven by pragmatism. One sees potential for improvement and seeks to realize this. In the German-speaking countries, however, and especially in Switzerland, the approach

BIM in Switzerland – recent facts

18. December 2017
Where does Switzerland stand on the subject of BIM? Did you know that the Federal government launched a digital strategy in April 2016? The aim of the “Digital Switzerland” strategy is to position Switzerland as an innovative and future-oriented economic and research location in the digital age. A digital scorecard has been developed assesses the Switzerlands readiness for digitalization in different sectors. We are already very well positioned in the Infrastructure and International Competitiveness sectors, but the so-called ‘Industry 4.0’, with a score of 18%, still has potential for development. Here, the topic of Building Information Modeling plays an essential role for the construction industry. From a Swiss point of view, there are various networks and committees dealing with digitalisation and to which one can orient oneself. Netzwerk Digital (the Digital Network) is a platform representing key industry associations, SIA, CRB, KBOB, IPB and Bauen digital Schweiz that was founded in december 2016 with the aim of coordinating the digital transformation in the planning, construction and real estate sectors. In late 2017, the Swiss Engineering and Architectural Association (SIA) published their BIM Whitepaper on BIM (Merkblatt 2051). The SIA also has a Central Commission for on BIIM. Bauen digital Schweiz (Building Digital Switzerland) is a interest group for all companies and associations relating to the the construction sector. The purpose is to show best practice across the entire value chain and to create appropriate guidelines and templates for the industry. Recently, Digital Switzerland has released a series of resources and practice guidelines. Among other things Switzerland maturity model (Stufenplan), as well as a guidelines for BIM execution plans and contracts. Last but not least there is the buildingSMART. BuildingSMART is the organization that develops the world’s openBIM standards. Among other things, the IFC. Many of the specifications from buildingSMART are ISO standards and are further standardized by CEN and thus also relevant for Switzerland. Switzerland has its own buildingSMART Chapter, through which we are represented in the various groups and can therefore also influence them. When the “Digital Switzerland” strategy was launched in April 2016, Federal Councilor Doris Leuthard said the following, I quote: “Digitalization is a reality, here and now. The conditions for Switzerland to master this change successfully are in place. We have very digital digital infrastructure, we are well educated and we are innovative.” And in the area of ​​BIM, I think we are also on a positive path.