Berlin-Brandenburg airport

One of the biggest and poorly executed construction projects in Germany is theBerlin-Brandenburg airport. In the final stages of the project (2011) inspectors announced this airport inoperable. According to an article in Bloomberg News, it was “a technical fiasco.” High-voltage power lines were directly adjacent to data and heating cables, while vents were at risk of implosion and smoke outlets weren’t capable of letting out smoke.

Collaborative work and BIM implementation

Why was this project such a failure? Simply put, the lack of BIM implementation. These errors occur when architects, electricians and fire safety professionals don’t collaborate.

In recent years, Germany has been closely following the footsteps set out by the United Kingdom in order to implement BIM in its public projects. The German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure created the Construction of Major Projects Reform Commission with the objective of improving transparency and efficiency in the construction process.  

The Commission created an Action Plan underpinning the importance of planning before building and carrying out construction projects. While the Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure is working to support the transition to BIM in its medium and small studios and companies. The Ministry also provides financial aid to specific infrastructural BIM projects.

However, the main challenge in Germany is not the desire or the technological capabilities of the country, but the general knowledge of BIM practices. Some universities have been providing training in BIM for the past few years, however, the majority of architects and engineers are beginning to master BIM practices now.

BIM Software

According to an article at Medium, Reinhard Wimmer, PhD-candidate at RWTH Aachen University, “students who know the BIM methodology are so demanded by companies that many of them are snatched out of university even before they finish their master’s.”

Since June 2015, there has been support for BIM implementation in four pilot projects. The aim of this was to identify and optimize the use of BIM while demonstrating the advantages of working with BIM. These projects are the Tunnel Rastatt (the biggest BIM project), the Bridge Filstal, road construction projects, and the B31 Immenstaad – Friedrichshafen/Waggershausen.

There has also been much effort in the development of BIM standards. The Association of German Engineers is currently producing legally binding standards such as the VDI2552. It should soon become the national BIM standard in Germany.

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One of the biggest and poorly executed construction projects in Germany is the Berlin-Brandenburg airport.

Why was this project such a failure? Simply put, the lack of BIM implementation.

Since then, Germany has gotten serious about implementing BIM and creating BIM standards.

bim manager



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