Do not be afraid of objections
The draft concept for the implementation of BIM technologies causes heated debate in the professional community
Currently, the Ministry of Construction of Russia is developing a concept for introducing a life cycle management system for capital construction projects using information modeling technologies (BIM technologies). According to the creators, this document will modernize the construction industry and improve the quality of construction. The deputy head of the Ministry of Construction Dmitry VOLKOV spoke about what has already been done in this direction, and about the problems that have arisen in an interview with Stroygazete.
Construction newspaper: Is there an understanding of what key provisions the concept of introducing information modeling technologies will contain?
Dmitry Volkov: This is not a document that we will develop, and then we will say: everything, we will implement it, then we will implement it and show the result. In fact, this is a living document, which will continue to be discussed with the professional community and adjusted as necessary. To date, it contains seven main areas. The first is the formation of the legal basis for the existence of information modeling. Something in this direction has already been done. So, in federal law No. 151-FZ of June 27, 2019, for the first time in Russian history, we introduced the concept of information modeling. In development of this law, we are now preparing normative legal acts. The main center of competence in this area is the Federal Center for Standardization of Standardization and Technical Conformity Assessment in Construction (FAA “FCS”).
By the end of the year, five government decrees and five orders of the Ministry of Construction should be developed, which will regulate the creation and use of the classifier of building information, the register of documents used in the examination of project documentation, and establish the basic requirements for information models.
The second direction is the development of a basic element for the development of information modeling – a classifier of building information. Its essence is to assign unique names to all the elements of buildings and structures that we build in the BIM model. For example, a unique name should be at the door behind me. In the world there are a large number of classifiers that can be divided into three generations. The proposed Russian takes into account the best world experience. To this end, by order of the FAA “FCS”, research work is being carried out. At the end of this year, we plan to get the main classification tables and implement a pilot project, next year we plan to give an opportunity to use them to all market participants.
The third area is the development and updating of regulatory and technical documents, primarily standards and codes of practice.
Fourth – stimulating the development of domestic software. It should be borne in mind that the main difficulty in implementing information modeling at all stages of the life cycle is to be able to transfer the model without losing data from one participant in the urban development process to another, and also to transfer the model to the state when it is interested in the “fate” of one or another project. It seems to us a promising idea to transmit information in freely distributed formats, for example, IFC, as well as, in some cases, in the formats of domestic software. Thus, Russian players will receive some support. Now we are considering this option with the expert community.
Fifth, the creation of the State Information System for the Support of Urban Planning Activities of the Russian Federation, and the infrastructure providing information and technological interaction between participants in urban planning activities.
Testing pilot projects is the content of the sixth direction. For example, now, together with representatives of the Sverdlovsk region, we plan to create a BIM-project for the school, which can be used in the future as a standard one. What is important, thanks to the active position of Governor E.V. Kuyvashev, we are able to work not with the project that is to be implemented in the future, but with projects that are already under construction.
And finally, another area is the development and implementation of professional training programs. Russian universities that have construction departments take part in this work, there are about a hundred of them in the country. The basic solution: to prepare bachelors in ordinary construction specialties, and then give them specialization in the field of information modeling. But, perhaps, this will not be enough to train specialists such as, for example, a BIM manager, who is a cross between a civil engineer and an IT engineer. We are currently working on the question of whether it is necessary to create a separate direction in universities for the training of such specialists.
Construction newspaper: Do scientific and educational organizations, business representatives participate in the development of the concept?
D.V .: Yes. For eight months now we have been “running” the concept through various “filters”: an expert group specially created by the Public Council of the Ministry of Construction, individual companies that are already implementing information modeling, the Digital Economy ANO, the Analytical Center under the Russian government and individual expert groups. Naturally, we get a large number of comments and ideas with which we supplement this document. As a result, the version of it that I ruled for the first time in January of this year, and the one that we got now are completely different texts. Here we have significant progress.
Construction newspaper: Not all offers cause unequivocal support among market participants. A lot of controversy has caused the idea of creating the so-called information operators on a commercial basis. Please explain the position of the Ministry of Construction on this issue.
D.V .: Before talking about this idea, I remind you that the basis of information modeling is a common data environment for everyone involved in the design, construction and operation of a building throughout its entire life cycle. However, a small company, for example, a project one, is not easy to create such an environment. Indeed, for this, she must acquire the appropriate software, computers and servers, create an organization standard that sets the conditions for collaboration. In addition, it is necessary to hire specialists who will administer this process; to teach all employees to work according to this standard, in one data medium, to eliminate all errors, conflicts, etc. These are very expensive and complex activities that are difficult for small firms to implement. So the idea came up to create companies, including commercial ones, which will create a common environment in which these small firms can live. We have stated this point of view in the concept. It seems to us that it has a definite perspective. This does not mean at all that the Ministry of Construction plans to start implementing this idea in the near future. We proposed it for discussion with the expert community and we are very closely following everything that is happening in the information space in this regard.
Construction newspaper: Why do you think this idea caused so many objections?
D.V .: Firstly, in the world there are no examples of the implementation of such a proposal in its pure form, there is only “something similar.” Secondly, many experts see a threat of monopolization here. Their logic can be understood: if we begin to create something united, according to common standards, this may mean that only through this “bottleneck” it will be possible to carry out projects. Some believe that creating a common information environment is the business of customers, designers, corporations, and therefore the creation of information operators is simply an unnecessary and unnecessary entity.
Construction newspaper: And what is the price of the issue? How much money will be required to create information operators?
D.V .: We are not at the stage of practical implementation of this idea, and I can not answer the question about the cost of creating such an operator.
Construction newspaper: Is the proposal to create information operators with market size justified?
D.V .: It seems to me that at this stage, no rather than yes. But as technology evolves, the idea itself cannot be rejected. At the same time, I repeat, do not confuse the discussion of the idea with the conduct of scientific research and the preparation of regulatory legal acts.
Construction newspaper: Do you think that counteraction to the plans for creating information operators is connected with distrust, which apparently exists between the regulator and market participants?
D.V .: No, in my opinion, people react this way for a different reason. Namely, because in modern Russian history, concepts that were artificial in nature were repeatedly introduced into practice, and all then lived on in this. People worry and do the right thing. It is clear that any regulatory changes may conceal business interest, and sometimes even the regulator cannot track it, because there are things quite subtle. Therefore, we are grateful to everyone who participates in the discussion related to information operators and, in general, the concept of introducing the life cycle management system of capital construction projects using information modeling technologies. We are very positive about negative objections, because it is objections that create the necessary “potential difference”, thanks to which we can move forward. If only to approve these or those proposals, then we will make mistakes. And when we hear different assessments, including negative ones, we understand that somewhere we need to take a closer look, think, before making a decision. And in this sense, I am very grateful to the colleagues who enter into these discussions, and urge them to continue in the same spirit. We are definitely interested in this.