Integrating building information modeling to project management consultants' role and practice in UAE
Marwan, Abu Ebeid
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The study sought to understand and systematically define how the Building Information Management (BIM) can be integrated into the Project Management Consultant’s (PMC) role and practice in the construction industry of the UAE. To achieve this goal, the study first explored the global construction industry’s performance, PMC roles and BIM standards. Several issues were identified in the Construction Industry ranging from the lack of satisfaction of clients, overall bad reputation of the industry, low profitability, lack of innovation and development and the dire need for lean construction and hence, change. As the Construction industry is a key player in the global economy and nations GDP, these issues need to be addressed and the overall functioning of the industry enhanced. As PMC is the primary stakeholder of the industry, the study then, utilizing semi-structured interviews with the BIM Managers of the various firms, tried to understand the current key practices and trends in the PMCs role in the UAE. Using this data and the data obtained from the global study, another round of semi-structured interviews was conducted which asked what the ideal functions of the PMC should be in line with the BIM stages. Using this information and the RIBA overlay of BIM, a new framework prototype of the PMCs functions with the BIM integration was developed. Thereafter, this framework was tested and validated using ten interviews. Finally, a systematic, detailed and applicable PMC function with BIM integration was developed. The final framework indicates that in the pre-design stage PMC roles include reviewing, editing and commenting on EIR and drafting the project BIM strategy; drafting BIM scope for designer and consultant; and reviewing BIM in designers' pre-qualifications. In the design stage, the relevant tasks include: reviewing and approving the designer's BXP; managing the BIM development process; managing BIM related parts of the contractor's tender process. The tasks for construction stage include: reviewing, commenting and approval of contractor's BXP; managing BIM process, practice and implementation during the execution stage of the project; and managing the coordination between internal and external stakeholders of the project. Lastly, PMC tasks for the close-out stage include: managing the process of handing over BIM deliverables. This research study has identified the optimal practices of the PMC within the BIM function; hence, it has created a new framework on which future research can be directed. In addition, with the practical application of this framework in the construction industry, the existing functions can be revamped in favor of enhanced practices thereby leading to performance enhancement of the entire construction industry of the UAE and subsequently the GCC.