HKIBIM 2017 – BIM & Reality in Hong Kong

Hello Everyone,
The last week the HKIBIM 2017 Annual Conference took place in Hong Kong. Not long ago we were also doing a post about Redas in Singapore. Similar topic but different news.. The fact that Hong Kong is way behind in the implementation of BIM compare to Singapore is a fact.
What happened in Singapore few years ago is that the government start to push the industry toward innovation and the implementation of new technologies and methodologies as BIM. In Hong Kong this push from the government hasn’t happened yet and still will take a bit longer to happen. But then why are we talking about BIM in Hong Kong? Well the government may has not yet boost the industry to innovate but some users and professionals have already started.
As I mentioned before for me the implementation of BIM is not a matter of innovation. For an ARCHICAD users knowing that this tool has been out in the market for more than 30 years I understand BIM as a natural process for developing projects. Unfortunately most of professionals still see this as a requirement or a mandate from a government, boss, client, etc..
Enough of reflecting, let’s talk about BIM in Hong Kong.
The Conference of this year was called “Transforming BIM to Action”. The event started with the introduction of the Chairman of the HKIBIM Dr Neo Chan and the key note Speech of Mr. Wong Was Lun, Secretary for development of the Government of HKSAR. Afterwards Mr Alex Ho from the CIC went through some of the achievements that the CIC is doing promoting the learning of BIM in Hong Kong. As mentioned in a previous post the CIC in Hong Kong is one of the agencies that is pushing the industry more in this sense.

Member of the New World Construction Team showcasing their  projects
Big achievements are happening when we listen to talk to members of New World Construction Company Limited, a subsidiary from NWS Holdings Limited. They were showcasing alive case studies in which the use of BIM as common coordination platform for the whole team in the construction site. The team proudly exposed how this method was more efficient and what it means to change completely the coordination system when so many actors are involved. As usual the most common sentence here was “avoiding errors”. The benefits that most of professionals can see about using BIM usually are in the construction site of big projects. It is about coordination.
The crucial part here is that the earliest we implement BIM in a project the better. It is better to avoid errors than to find and fix them. Is better to have a good coordination from the start than improve a bad one.

Mr Choi Shing-Iam, Senior Quantity Surveyor/Project Services from the Housing Department
We had the perspective of using BIM coming from Quantity Surveiors and Engineers from the hand of Dr. Ir. George C.K Wong, Technical Director of CivilConnect Limited and Mr Choi Shing-Iam, Senior Quantity Surveyor/Project Services from the Housing Department. From each profession perspective they claim the importance of developing BIM models to serve the purpose of the execution of each discipline. The information inside a model is crucial for both from the beginning of the project and towards the end. I like the term that Mr brought to the event with was the “Quantity Information Model”. Which is a very accurate concept of a BIM model, the quantification of it.
Our small part in these conference as usual is to bring the Design to the conversation.. The same we did at Redas in Singapore and Shenzhen the past month; in Osaka, Japan few days ago, in the HKIA in September, in the BCA in Singapore this summer, as we did in BILT 2017 in spring, etc.. our message is to design better with a better process. And the tools of our time are Algorithmic Design and BIM.
We showcased some of our recent projects using these combined workflows.. From big masterplan feasibility studies that we do in China and a small pavilion that we built in Hong Kong recently. Algorithmic design is already a standard workflow for many Architecture Design firms. To combine it with BIM workflow is not hard and the benefits are many.

We are currently developing some projects in which the opportunity of having a native BIM model in ARCHICAD of the design we developed in Grasshopper is priceless. Working with algorithms gives a lot of freedom and BIM gives the control and accuracy to the project. We also showed a simple example of how to develop different design iterations as a first step for the design and later on how to optimise them using environmental variables. Yes, I think the implementation of BIM is a necessary step in order to have a sustainable design approach.
But this year we weren’t alone talking about Algorithmic & BIM workflow. Mr Francesco Tizzani from Atkins showcased how to use Dinamo in Revit to cross data inside the model. Was a very good example of how to set up rules with an algorithmic tool to modify faster and more efficiently BIM parameters in the project.

As a conclusion I would say that sometimes after these events one has the feeling that everything has been just good words and fancy images. What is really going on? It is true that this year the real case studies were more common among the topics of the speakers. But myself I feel that what we are doing in Enzyme still looks like an alien weird activity even for those who share some of our goals in the implementation of smart processes in Architecture and construction. Yet some of the speakers awake in myself the positive envy that make want to improve my work. I think Hong Kong professionals will be those who will lead the change to BIM and whatever other process that may improve the way we build.
For a tight saturated market as this one in which every square foot needs to maximise the amount of profit over any other consideration, some ideas about smart processes and better construction sound naive. But this only means we have a lot of work to do. Remembering the words of Patric Macleamy in the KCC of 2016 celebrated in Budapest by Graphisfot, I quote “You are changing the world.” Hopefully we may change the way we design and we build in the coming generations for a more bright and sustainable future.
Thank you for reading us!