Implementation of BIM has proven to deliver major performance improvements in efficiency, design quality, constructability, waste reduction, environmental performance, and capital & operational cost management of built environment projects. Yet BIM implementation in low BIM maturity markets, such as the UAE, is limited to technology applications which fail to deliver the full potential of BIM benefits to client originations. The purpose of this paper is to investigate BIM implementation from a client’s perspective and to present a case study that exhibits a level 2 BIM implementation process in a traditional procurement environment. The study has used a case study approach combined with a literature review. A critical appraisal of relevant literature is presented to highlight key issues hindering BIM implementation for client organizations, especially in developing BIM markets, such as the UAE. The research is collected using an action research approach within a case study, including project document audit, participation in project collaboration meetings and extensive communication with the project stakeholders. The case study is presented in a practice-oriented research format describing the project details, procurement approach, BIM development & management process and benefits achieved for the project client. The paper presents a structured approach to strategically introduce BIM within a low BIM maturity market, creating partnering relationships, empower the supply chain partners and achieve significant BIM benefits with minimum disruption to existing work practices. The paper highlights that although BIM requires a step-change in the work practices of the construction industry, yet it is possible to successfully implement BIM with traditional procurement settings, which may be a critical feature in a certain market or a client requirement. The paper concludes that there is a need for case study based, practice-oriented research work within the domain of BIM implementation. Construction clients in low maturity BIM markets are concerned about the perceived benefits of BIM and its practical implementation within existing business practices, which is addressed in this paper. Overall, the findings of this study are useful for construction industry clients and academia in redefining the existing work practices to incorporate BIM-enabled processes and applications.

This case study document was written by Muhammad Tariq Shafiq, Assistant Professor at United Arab Emirates University, Department of Architectural Engineering. Muhammad Tariq Shafiq is an Architectural Engineer, and his postgraduate qualifications include an MSc in Project Management in Construction from the University of Salford, UK, a PhD from the School of Built Environment, Northumbria University. He is a member of the Pakistan Engineering Council, a Fellow of Building Research Institute UK, and a certified BIM Manager from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

The Construction Industry Council (CIC) of Hong Kong was set up with the main function of forging consensus on long-term strategic issues, conveying the industry’s needs and aspirations to Government, as well as providing a communication channel for Government to solicit advice on all construction-related matters. The CIC developed itself as a Centre of Excellence for BIM, formulating strategies for market transformation and promoting cross-discipline collaboration and wider adoption of BIM. The CIC provides support to the industry in five aspects, promotion on BIM adoption, training, standards, guidelines and specifications, BIM personnel certification and BIM courses accreditation, and BIM-related researches using the CIC Research Fund.

Global Switch Hong Kong is a design and built Data Centre project at TKO. This is a real project example and case study of BIM for Design, Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA). Global Switch Hong Kong is a project with a scope that includes substructure, superstructure, electrical and mechanical, façade, fit-out and maintenance works. It is currently the largest data centre in Hong Kong. As the main contractor, the company Gammon is responsible for all works, which are being delivered with the support of in-house expertise. The project makes full use of BIM for coordination and manufacturing, as well as handover throughout the different stages of the project’s life cycle.