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Views of the development business community on BIM technology

picture:3D model of elevated railway ©Dassault Systèmes Co., Ltd.


『International Development Journal』2020 May edition
BIM Special

MLIT creates national guidelines

The discussion on the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) / Construction Information Modeling (CIM) in the Japanese construction industry became earnest when the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) launched “i-Construction” using the information and communication technology (ICT) at construction sites in FY2016 to improve productivity. In Japan, BIM is used in the field of construction, and CIM is used in the field of civil engineering. However, both are ICTs that utilize 3D data, and the technical content is the same except that the utilization cases differ.
As of FY2018, there are already 630 cases of utilization in Japan, including 291 cases for research and design work and 339 cases for construction work. By 2025, the MLIT has announced a policy to standardize the use of BIM / CIM in domestic operations. Toward that end, in March 2020, the “BIM / CIM Implementation Guidelines for Ordering (draft)” and “BIM / CIM Utilization guidelines (draft)” was announced.

JICA verifies results by introducing tests

In the Official Development Assistance (ODA) project, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) used ICT in 2017 to sort out the areas in which various advanced technologies including BIM / CIM are effective. They conducted project research on the ideal ways of utilizing ICT for ODA.
In addition, due to the active movement towards BIM / CIM utilization in Japan, JICA has begun to consider utilizing it in ODA projects. Specifically, in 2017, for loan aid (yen loan) projects, and for grant aid projects in 2019, CIM has been introduced on a trial basis from the planning / design stage in some infrastructure projects, and for some projects already in the construction stage, and is continuing verification. Among them, JICA officials think that CIM has a certain effect on structures such as tunnels and grade crossings, including future maintenance.
Even if part of the infrastructure such as roads is constructed using CIM by ODA, whether to deploy it nationwide or how to utilize data in maintenance management depends on the government of the partner country. For this reason, we anticipate that it will be difficult to achieve the benefits of utilizing CIM. However, BIM / CIM has already been used to improve the management efficiency for complex large-scale projects involving many stakeholders such as railways and, depending on the purpose of use, it is also suitable for infrastructure projects of roads. JICA is currently sharing these verification results within the organization and discussing issues at each stage, such as research, design, and construction, regarding the further utilization of CIM.

Promotion of understanding of the partner government

Unlike projects in Japan, in ODA projects, for example, grant aid projects are funded by the Japanese government, but after the exchange letter (E/N), owner of the detailed design (D/D) and the contract for main construction is with the government of developing countries. Therefore, even if JICA promotes the use of BIM / CIM, it will not necessarily be realized depending on the partner government. If BIM / CIM is used, the initial cost will inevitably be higher than before.
It is also possible that negative consequences may occur, such as the grade of the construction target being lowered, or that part of the project must be cut in order to fit costs. However, there are merits such as the reduction of life cycle costs, including maintenance, after construction. How to deepen the understanding of the partner governments in this regard will be one of JICA’s major roles. In particular, some officers of JICA believe that Japan is more competitive in terms of technology related to infrastructure maintenance than other countries using BIM / CIM earlier. And they seek to introduce BIM / CIM from research to design, construction and maintenance. In order to do that, they request the setting up of a study group and information sharing on the effects and issues of BIM / CIM utilization in ODA projects with development consulting companies and other parties involved in ODA projects.

Possibility of requests from developing country governments

On the other hand, development consulting companies and construction companies’ overseas business departments are under pressure when BIM is required for the ordering of projects from developing country governments, including yen loan projects. If the Japanese company cannot use BIM at that time, it cannot receive such orders.
European and American companies, that started using BIM earlier, consider Asia and the Middle East as a market, and have already used BIM in several cases such as railways, hospitals, and airport construction in the region. And they have been teaching local consultants the operation technology. In addition, the number of human resources learning BIM is increasing within developing country governments, and there is a high possibility that developing country governments will request the use of BIM in the future. Some Japanese companies actively make efforts to introduce BIM in anticipation of such a global market. On the other hand, there is also concern that Japan may not be able to catch up with the rapid technological progress and changes in the global market.

Rating in the UK

In the UK, there are already four levels of BIM classification. “Level 0” is the utilization of the conventional two-dimensional design drawings, and “Level 1” is the utilization of the design drawings in which 2D and 3D are mixed. “Level 2” is the stage where one company is using the data that incorporates all the information in the 3D model. Furthermore, “Level 3” refers to a state in which the same BIM data in Level 2 is being utilized by related companies in the cloud, etc. In April 2016, the UK government made it mandatory for government projects funded by public funds to achieve Level 2, that is, to carry out projects using BIM. Akio Moriwaki of Dassault Systèmes Co., Ltd., which develops BIM software and expands it to the world, said, “At present, there is no country at Level 3. Japan is at around Level 1.5 on average.”

Utilization in urban development

BIM aims to improve productivity of surveys, designs, and constructions by including all information in the 3D model data. On the other hand, if these data are combined with survey data, it could naturally become infrastructure data. “Some cities, such as Singapore, are already using 3D models to formulate city plans,” Moriwaki said. We also have a similar utilization started in the urban planning of the city of Jaipur in western India.
Dassault Systèmes is also looking at the expansion of such 3D and BIM utilization areas. Moriwaki says, “With our own 3D platform that has strength in processing large amounts of data, it is already possible to respond to such urban planning and social implementation.” In the future, BIM will become a technology that is relevant not only to companies that deal with infrastructure, but also to companies involved in urban development and city planning. The development industry needs to consider the expansion of BIM utilization areas. Otherwise, they will miss the business opportunities derived from it. For that purpose, it is necessary not only to train BIM engineers, but also to secure and train human resources who can devise ways and means of utilizing BIM. In order to increase Japan’s presence in the world, the development industry should promptly respond to BIM, both in the public and private sectors, while consistently keeping up with global trends. (Nobuyuki Tanaka)

世界の潮流に乗り遅れない対応を 活用の領域拡大も視野に


 日本の建設業界でBIM/CIM の活用について議論が本格化したのは、2016年度に国土交通省が建設現場に情報通信技術(ICT)を活用し、生産性向上を図る「i-Construction」が滑り出してからだ。日本では建築分野はBIM、土木分野はCIMと、名称が使い分けられている。だが、両者とも3次元データを活用したICTであり、活用ケースが異なるだけで技術内容は同じだ。既に国内では2018年度の時点で調査・設計などの業務で291件、工事で339件の計630件の活用事例がある。国交省は2025年までに国内業務におけるBIM/CIMの活用を原則化する方針を打ち出し、それに向けて2020年3月には「発注者におけるBIM/CIM実施要領(案)」と「BIM/CIM活用ガイドライン(案)」を発表した。


 加えて、日本国内でBIM/ CIM活用に向けた動きが活発化していることもあり、JICAもODA事業での活用を検討し始めた。具体的には、有償資金協力(円借款)案件では2017年、無償資金協力案件では2019年からいくつかのインフラ案件において計画・設計段階からCIMを試行的に導入しており、既に施工段階にも移行し検証を続けている。その中でCIMは将来的な維持管理も含め、トンネルや立体交差のような構造物のみで完結するいわゆる「点モノ」には一定の効果があるとJICA関係者はみている。道路などの「線モノ」のインフラは、その一部をODAでCIMを用いて建設しても、それを全国展開するかどうか、維持管理におけるデータ活用をどうするかなどは相手国政府次第である。このため、CIMを活用した効果を出すのは難しいと見越している。しかし、鉄道など多くの関係者が関わる複雑な大型プロジェクトについては、マネジメントの効率化のため、既にBIM/CIMが活用されており、活用目的によっては「線モノ」のインフラ案件にも適していると考えられる。JICAは現在、こうした検証結果を組織内で共有し、CIMのさらなる活用について調査、設計、施工など各段階での課題を議論しているところである。


 日本国内の事業と異なり、ODA事業では、例えば無償資金協力事業は資金を出すのは日本政府であるが、交換公文(E/N)以降、詳細設計(D/D)や本体工事契約の施主は途上国政府になる。なのでJICAがBIM/CIMの活用を推進しても、相手国政府次第では必ずしも実現するわけではない。またBIM/CIMを活用すると、どうしても初期コストが従来より割高になってしまう。その費用を捻出するために建設対象物のグレードが下がったり、プロジェクトの一部を削らざるを得なかったりする、しわ寄せが生じることも考えられる。とはいえ、建設後の維持管理を含めたライフサイクルコストが軽減されるなど、メリットがないわけではない。この点について相手国政府の理解をどう深めていくかが、JICA の大きな役割になってくるだろう。特にインフラの維持管理に関する技術は、BIM/CIMの導入で先行している他国より日本に分があるとJICA関係者は考えており、調査から設計、施工そして維持管理につなげられるようなBIM/ CIMの導入を模索している。そのためにも開発コンサルティング企業をはじめODA事業を担う関係者とのBIM/CIMのODA事業における活用効果と課題に関する研究会や情報共有を求めている。




 英国では、既に4段階のBIMのレベル分けが行われている。「レベル0」は従来通りの2次元の設計図の活用で、「レベル1」は2 次元と3次元を混在させた設計図の活用だ。「レベル2」は3次元モデルにあらゆる情報を入れ込んだデータを1社で活用している段階となる。さらに「レベル3」は、レベル2におけるBIMの同一データを、クラウドなどで関係各社が活用している状態を指す。2016 年4月に英国政府は公的資金を財源とする政府事業において、レベル2を達成すること、つまりBIM を活用して事業を実施することを義務化した。BIMのソフトウェアを開発し、世界に展開しているダッソー・システムズ(株)の森脇明夫氏は「現在、英国が指し示すレベル3に国のレベルで達しているところはなく、日本は平均してレベル1.5程度に位置している」と話す。


 BIMは3次元モデルのデータ上にあらゆる情報を含ませて、調査、設計、施工の生産性の向上を図るものである。一方でそれらのデータを測量データとも合わせれば、おのずとインフラのデータになり得るだろう。さらに森脇氏は「既にシンガポールなどの一部の都市では都市計画の策定にも3次元モデルを活用している」と語っている。また、インド西部のジャイプールの都市計画でも同様の活用が始まっている。ダッソー・システムズもこうした3次元およびBIM 活用の領域拡大を見据えており、「大容量のデータ処理に強みを持った自社の3Dプラットフォームで、こうした都市計画や社会実装への対応もすでに可能となっている」と森脇氏は言う。今後、BIM は、インフラを扱う企業だけの話でなく、都市開発や都市計画に関わる企業にも関係してくる技術になってくるだろう。開発業界はこうしたBIM活用の領域拡大を視野に入れていく必要がある。でなければBIMの導入に遅れるだけでなく、そこから派生するビジネスの好機を逃すことになるだろう。また、そのためにはBIMの技術者を育成するだけでなく、BIMをどう活用するか発案できる人材の確保・育成も必要になってくる。世界で日本のプレゼンスを高めるためには、開発業界が世界の潮流に乗り遅れずに官民ともにBIMへの対応を迅速に進めていくべきである。(田中信行)


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