MasterBuild Africa

BIM and the Future of Nigeria Building Industry

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With the recent advancements in IT and technology in general, numerous innovations have been seen across different industries, which have reshaped the way businesses and various activities are carried out. As a result, a more competitive atmosphere is developed among business owners whose main theme song is not working hard, but working smart considering the fierce race against time in the business world.


BIM: A business approach to building and construction activities

[Credit: Julian Lopez]


To keep pace with the ever changing business environment and to remain competitively relevant in the business world, business enterprises are exploring diverse business models to enhance the way business activities are conducted and how the outcomes of such activities are presented to create more monetary value-oriented results for their prospective clients. With similar focus by today’s building experts, the traditional building design philosophy has evolved several times to keep pace with the escalating standard of living and ever-changing human taste for comfort and visual aesthetics in architectural structures, which now characterizes the building industry. Thus, building designers and allied building design professionals are continuously looking for ways to optimize the entire building design process for proper coordination and utilization of resources to ensure on time delivery of projects as envisaged.


Paper-based design versus BIM-based design



However, with the introduction of computer-aided design (CAD) system in 1970s, conventional drawing board – paper approach was quickly replaced with computer drafting system approach which helps to ease the complexities and the challenges faced by building designers during design. But as the design process gradually move towards the adoption of integrated design approach (the whole building approach) in delivery of building projects, the need to extend the functionality of the CAD system beyond its drafting function arises which lead to the development of building information modelling (BIM) system. Although, BIM system involves the use of computer technology in the design of building structures (3D modelling and digital visualization of building projects) just like earlier CAD systems, but the system is beyond the computer technological tools (software applications) employed in its implementation. The BIM system is a strategic business approach in building design which seeks the collaboration of architects, engineers, manufacturers, developers and contractors with view of improving the efficiency and accuracy of the design, construction and management of the construction projects.

Sadly, in spite the huge success recorded with the implementation of BIM approach in the overall building design and construction processes around the world, Nigeria building industry is yet to fully harness the full benefit that comes with deployment of BIM solution in building design and construction activities. In the report of Agele J. Alufohai (President, Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors)


Building Information Modelling Process

[Credit: Autodesk]


on “Adoption of Building Information Modelling and Nigeria’s Quest for project cost management”, he stated that the adoption of BIM system in Nigeria building industry has been very slow. However, he noted that the use of BIM packages has been seen among architects in the industry but such packages are only use for enhancing the visual quality of their presentation.

With the shifting concern of building industries around the world towards sustainable design approach with the aim of reducing energy, operation and maintenance cost, reduced building related illness, increase the productivity and comfort of building occupants; reduce waste and pollution and increase building and component durability and flexibility which can only be achieved through the implementation of integrated building design approach through the deployment of BIM system throughout the project life-cycle. As such, Nigeria building industry professionals as a whole should seek for ways to encourage the adoption of such approach to drive the overall performance of the industry towards international best practice.


Written by Fisayo Animashaun


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