Actualidad / Updates

Zigurat Student Training BIM Teams and Designing a Greener Future in the Island of Réunion


João Pereira Dias is an architect and BIM expert with an international track record. He has collaborated in the construction of the Paris Philharmonie and the Louis Vuitton Foundation. In 2017, he landed on the island of Réunion to be part of a cell responsible for innovation and dissemination of the BIM concept.
  His previous experience and studying a Master’s in BIM Management has prepared him well for his new position at Colas Group, a multinational company dedicated to the construction and maintenance of roads and other forms of transport infrastructure. João’s daily job consists of training local teams in Réunion Island, Madagascar and Mayotte in BIM. It’s in his job, traveling between the islands, that he came to notice that most of the structures lacked vegetation and didn’t integrate that well with the surrounding tropical greenery. The structures were made of concrete and steel. The coating of structures was made of concrete and tar. The solar panels and the protective barriers gave a rather ‘cold’ and impersonal impression. That’s how his idea and mission to make infrastructure greener, in the literal and figurative sense of the word, came into being.

VIDEO BIM Creation - Monorail  BIM Creation by João Pereira Dias 

Introducing the Utopian Designs

These days, João Pereira Dias can’t stop thinking about innovative construction solutions. A deed which manifests itself in the weekly videos he prepares to introduce and visualize his “utopian” ideas that hopefully, one day soon, become a reality. His BIM creations propose to cover concrete and colder materials with vegetation, e.g., flowers, grass, vegetables etc. and use the empty space between the train or tram tracks to install solar panels as a source of clean energy. This energy, in turn, could be used to feed the irrigation system to water the plants.

VIDEO BIM Creation - Tram Line BIM Creation by João Pereira Dias 

His utopia projects also include a hyperloop (a high-speed transport system developed by the entrepreneur Elon Musk, which runs in a low-pressure tube, floating on a constant flow of pressurized air). In João’s project, the hyperloop can be built on a platform that allows it to be wrapped in vegetables and flowers. As for the durability of the plants and flowers, João Pereira Dias says that it could be achieved through a watering system or more resistant plants. 

VIDEO BIM Creation - Hyperloop BIM Creation by João Pereira Dias 

The possibility to maybe gain some greener ground in the company's activities is always in the back of his mind. That’s why he also decided to present his creative proposal for the Réunion island's first tram project. And even if it remains a utopia in everyone else’s eyes, João is firm and positive: "Utopias are the premises of innovation, the terrain where you train and experiment to achieve innovation, i.e., utopias are for innovation what art is for science and for that it is necessary to use all the creativity that is within our reach."