BIM as strategic lever for city-wide digital transformation in Medellin, Colombia

January 20, 2023

Diego Giraldo has emphasized the value of teamwork in implementing BIM. Diego is BIM Manager at Empresa de Desarrollo Urbano (EDU), the Urban Development Corporation of Medellin, in Colombia. He was speaking at the Global BIM Network’s second annual General Assembly on December 1, 2022.

EDU is a public entity that implements 70 percent of the projects of the Mayor’s Office of Medellin. It works in a technical and contractual arrangement between government, community and territory using BIM and City Information Modelling (CIM) methodologies.

In his presentation, Diego shared insights into leveraging BIM as part of a wider transformation strategy for the city of Medellin. He also provided practical examples from pilot projects on how EDU is collaborating to support wider transformation in Colombia, and across Latin America.

Asked to share a key takeaway message from EDU’s work, Diego highlighted the need for teamwork. He said this is especially important for implementing BIM in a public entity. “BIM is not just about knowing how to model, and how to manage the tools and work in a digital environment. It’s also about having the capacity to work in a team.”

Diego told attendees at the Assembly that EDU carries out architectural urban design in-house. “But we outsource the entire technical package, where we contract all the technical designs, and we also conduct a bidding process for the execution and construction phases.”

Diego said EDU generates far better results from working hand in hand with contractors. “Sometimes we forget that the most essential part of BIM is working in a collaborative fashion as people aimed at the same goal.”

Commenting on leveraging BIM as part of a wider transformation strategy for the city of Medellin, Diego said that within his organization, BIM and CIM methodologies have become great allies for public projects in the city. This has been done through the integration of GIS platforms, database systems, computational operations, public space modelling strategies and three-dimensional modelling software.

EDU’s successes have encouraged other public agencies in Colombia to start adopting BIM and CIM methodologies. These include the Instituto de Desarrollo Urbano (IDU) of Bogota. Together, these agencies are now contributing to a national vision calling for all digital transformation issues in the construction sector to be addressed by 2026 for better use of available resources and greater productivity.

You can watch recordings of the Global BIM Network’s second annual General Assembly here.

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