ALKESH SHARMA / Emirates Business
A futuristic rail networks across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, backed by the revolutionary concept of Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology, is the need of the hour, according to experts.
Recent reports show that currently 16 major railway projects worth US$352 billion are underway in the region.
One of the key advantages of BIM is its cutting-edge ability in ensuring meeting the project deadline and sustainability expectations. BIM can facilitate rail owners, engineering service providers, and contractors to access, integrate, and analyse information more holistically to increase productivity and improve the way they plan, build, and manage projects.
â€œGovernment entities in the MENA region are now investing heavily in the efforts to develop transport infrastructure for the citizens and their economy. One particular mode of transport that they are looking to modernise is rail,â€ said Louay Dahmash, Head of Autodesk Middle East, which is participating in â€˜Middle East Rail 2016â€™ that started in Dubai on Tuesday.
Besides mitigating the risk factors, BIM technology can bring down the cost of the overall project by adding the elements of accuracy and swiftness. Industry experts say that the apt applying of BIM technology in rail projects could bring down the estimated costs by 5 to 10 percent.
Across the world, BIM technology helps in materializing complex railway projects. It can create different virtual models of a rail project digitally. These models are very precise and they support different cycles of design and construction while facilitating better evaluation among various alternatives.
â€œOver the last few years, we have pioneered and championed the concept of BIM and we are highlighting how BIM solutions can contribute towards the development and design of new railway projects. It helps to deliver more successful and profitable projects, thereby strengthening and positioning the region as one of the worldâ€™s leading innovation hubs for sustainable transport infrastructure,â€ pointed out Dahmash.
Autodesk is a global leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, and it has expressed its intentions of playing a key role in the move to design, visualise and create futuristic rail networks across the MENA region.
BIM applications offer a more comprehensive and accurate view of the project and they help to evaluate alternatives faster and create simulations and visualisations for faster approvals.
â€œBIM technology can act as a boon in the railway infrastructure sector. It gives us the three-dimensional view of the project, spread across hectares, while sitting in the boardroom. It helps us to foresee the impending construction hurdles and to draft better rail layout plans,â€ said Suresh Singhvi, who represents a Qatar-based rail firm in the region.
MENA countries are making huge investments in the pursuit of realising their plans to develop a strong passenger and freight transport network.