COVID-19, BIM AND OUR INDUSTRY – WHAT’S NEXT?

Image: © 2020 ROLAND BERGER GMBH. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Covid-19 teaches us a lot as a human being. Without getting too philosophical, we recognize how vulnerable we are. Almost from one day to the next, things that we took for granted have been radically changed or stopped.

We are forced to organize our lives, our work and our togetherness differently, even if hopefully only for a limited period of time. But, in this difficult time, the relevance of digital development that is still afflicted with negative impressions in many areas becomes increasingly obvious:

Digitalization has now arrived in every private household – video chats for two or more, digital home learning, home office with less or more digital support. The digital infrastructure is increasingly reaching its limits, showing us in many ways how vulnerable our infrastructures and ultimately our market economy is.

Therefore, now is the right time to think about how to go on digitally during, but especially after the Shutdown. Several experts have given some thought to the consequences and future of the construction industry, and we would like to share them with you in this extraordinary time.

Roland Berger has developed the following three scenarios for the construction industry.

We currently assume that we will experience scenario B. In summary, it can be said that in all scenarios there is a significantly delayed impact on the construction industry. Accordingly, a decline of up to 5% in the first and second quarter is expected in 2021. At the beginning of the third quarter, a reversal of the trend will set in, leading to a significant recovery in the fourth quarter.

“The German construction industry is still in a relatively good position compared to other sectors of the economy. Of course, we are already feeling the effects of the crisis: small conversions and renovation work by both private individuals and companies are often postponed, but new construction projects that have already been planned and financed continue to be carried out. Rather, the application of social distancing rules or the lack of necessary foreign skilled workers have an impact on the efficiency of the construction site. However, the complete stop of construction sites is rather the exception. We will only feel a stronger effect at the end of this year/beginning of next year, if the economy does not pick up again soon and companies stop their construction plans, banks refuse project financing, private individuals do not buy apartments or houses.”

Dr. Kai-Stefan Schober, Senior Partner Construction, Roland Berger GmbH

The Covid-19 crisis will provide a sustained push for “digitization”. Every market participant will realize how important the digital representation of processes is. Especially in the construction industry, BIM is the “backbone” of digitization.

“I have had many conversations with business owners and their internal digitization strategists over the last few weeks during the imposed contact restrictions. What shocked the companies most was the radical nature of putting the brakes on our daily activities. The companies’ current projects are continuing almost without delay for now. However, my impression was also that the hope prevails that this is only a relatively short-term period in which the usual work processes will be impaired by the shift of most office activities to the home office. In general, however, the current pandemic is leading companies to look at current processes and their weaknesses NOW with a different sense of urgency and to look for ways and options to prepare for future, unforeseeable events once the situation has normalized. Digitalization concepts and BIM will play a major role in this process. Against this background, BIM WORLD MUNICH will be one of the central “post-Covid-19 events”, which will present approaches and possibilities for solutions. Exciting times lie ahead of us in any case!”

Dietmar Bernert, President BIM World MUNICH & Vice President, Hexagon Geosystems Services AG

The BIM World MUNICH team wishes you happy Easter holidays and please stay healthy!