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Could BIM be the Key to Sustainability in GCC Construction?

Posted by: Ella Cann
Many of the GCC states are increasingly setting sustainability and environmental targets, for example the UAE Government’s Vision 2021 National Agenda, which focuses on improving air quality, preserving water resources and increasing the use of clean energy, alongside targets to improve infrastructure and provide good housing for UAE nationals.

It is widely accepted in the Construction industry in 2016 that businesses need to introduce BIM (Building Information Modelling) into their practices to remain competitive in a crowded and growing marketplace. One positive aspect of BIM in design and construction which appears to have been largely unexploited however, is the potential for increased environmental sustainability through BIM. It seems to me that increased integration of BIM with sustainable design would enable builders and architects within the GCC region to pursue and reach environmental goals. It’s difficult to accurately quantify the cost benefits of BIM although given that the built environment has a significant role to play in reducing carbon emissions, combatting climate change and environmental destruction it should go some way to supporting the region's environmental objectives.

If we are to encourage sustainable choices in the built environment, the pre-construction and design phases of any project are key, and BIM can be used to suggest daylight analysis, energy modelling and sustainable materials. If we understand these aspects alongside the resources used, we can more easily seek to minimise wasteful practices, not to mention reducing human error.
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