BIM in Serbia: We have a community, now it's up to us to expand it?

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BIM technologies in World / Serbian Architectural practices


International BIM conference called "Benefits and challenges of digitization of construction 2023"


Hotel Crown Plaza | Belgrade | Serbia



Igor Mikitišin



Engineers in the Balkans can very easily "get on the train" called BIM if they analyze the mistakes of others and immediately follow the route that is correct.

After the process started in 2018 and more than 10 conferences and webinars in the field of digitization and transformation of construction and construction project management using BIM technology, it was the turn of the international BIM conference called "Benefits and challenges of digitization of construction 2023".

At the professional event held on May 11 in Belgrade, the impressions of what was done in the previous period in our country were summarized, what are the plans for the future, but also the most important thing - we could hear the experiences of other experts, companies and countries in relation to with BIM.

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Mass education as the next step

The BIM Serbia Association has been working intensively for several years to promote networking, connection, socializing, education and facilitating the exchange of experiences between academic experts, engineers, enthusiasts and other interested individuals in the field of BIM/VDC technology. They also work on the standardization of BIM/VDC technology and their application, cooperation with public institutions, institutions and associations in the country and abroad that deal with similar activities.

The impression is that at the conference entitled "Benefits and challenges of digitization of construction 2023" there were a lot of expert people and companies who are certainly already in the world of BIM technologies, and that the next step is an attempt to educate architects, engineers and contractors in the direction of BIM technologies in the future period. All this in order to ensure that BIM does not remain exclusively a technology for innovators and early adopters, as defined by Casey Rutland, representative of the BIM Alliance of Great Britain and vice president of buildingSMART UK & Ireland.

Experiences with BIM technologies in the USA and EU

This panel was opened by three eminent experts in the field of BIM and digitization of construction. This is the view of the organizers, but also a good part of the attendees stated that these three lectures were the most inspiring at the entire conference.

Tomislav Žigo, CTO and vice president from Clayco Corp. USA referred to the importance in terms of standardization and services provided in digitization as well as the introduction of drones on construction sites, which is an interesting detail.

Maximilian Grauvogl, partner in Obermayer Group and vice president of EFCA, spoke about the infrastructure and legislation in Germany regarding BIM.

The lecture given by Casey Rutland, representative of the BIM Alliance of Great Britain and vice president of buildingSMART UK & Ireland, was extremely inspiring, both energetic and informative.

He devoted himself mostly to the Open BIM principle and the promotion of technology within state public projects, the obligations and implementation of BIM technologies in contracts, the exchange of data and information through the so-called .IFC model, standardization in construction, but also the enthusiasm of private small and micro-enterprises that, with the help of young engineers embrace change and understand the importance of BIM technologies and implementation in construction and current projects in the future.

Marton Kiss, vice president of Graphisoft from the Nemetschek Group, presented the company's "RoadMap" and the advantages of BIM compared to the "classic" way of designing and managing projects, highlighting the most important software, ArchiCAD and Vectorworks (architectural sphere), and AllPlan and AxisVM (construction sphere).

"Our mission is to empower teams to design great buildings and to help the industry keep pace with priorities that are rapidly changing, becoming more complex, where innovative solutions are necessary that meet all the needs of modern society - in terms of sustainability, in terms of quality and service level," said Kiss.

Graphisoft representatives are most interested in the upcoming AI technology and how to implement the advantages of AI in BIM.

Leading people in terms of BIM at the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia (PKS) and the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Belgrade (AFBG), Ivana Vuletić and prof. Mirjana Devetaković, Ph.D., stated that the organization BIM Serbia has made extremely important steps in the process of digitization of the construction industry (7.5% of all employees in Serbia are in the construction industry), but also that we still have a lot to do in the future and learn from the practices of others. countries that have been in this process for a long time.

Building Smart: Development of BIM technologies in the region

This panel was led by Veljko Janjić, president of the BIM Serbia association, with the topic "Building smart". Casey Rutland from Great Britain pointed out that the most important skills and competencies are in mastering BIM and that we should never lose sight of the fact that it is a "Life cycle thing".

Matjaž Šajn from buildingSMART Slovenia said that Slovenia will pass a law that from 2025 the use of BIM must be mandatory, and that this country will join several countries in Europe where this is already a practice.

In the following, he referred to the fact that in Slovenia everything is set "Top Down":

Vision and strategy of the state of Slovenia;

Chamber of Commerce of Slovenia;

Chamber of Engineers of Slovenia;

Architectural Chamber of Slovenia;


BIM Association of Slovenia.

What they will encounter as a problem will be a clear proof that the project is entirely done in BIM, for which they will use the example of Finland and how it solved it in its state administration, and will link the obtaining or not obtaining building permits ( PGD) directly with this condition.

Tomaš Funtik from Slovakia pointed out the connection between educational institutions and practice, and pointed out that there is a great advantage in the desire of young people to use BIM technology, and he paid great attention to those who are innovators and those who want to accept innovations at the very start (early adopters ).

That's why they regularly hold conferences and workshops on that topic in Slovakia. Also, as one of the professors at the Faculty of Architecture in Bratislava, he mentioned that they assign tasks in a certain period of time (like mini-colloquiums), which the student must solve - the same drawing for everyone to "transfer" to the BIM model in a maximum of 5 hours.

The group for BIM technologies at the Serbian Chamber of Commerce will publish the book BIM in Practice Serbia with a dozen case studies on the topic of BIM implementation in Serbia in previous years based on webinars and lectures that can be found on the official BIM Serbia YouTube channel.

Digitization of construction is also a psychological problem

Stefan Constantinescu from buildingSMART Romania admitted that the "Bottom Up" approach to this topic did not bear fruit in Romania, and that they changed their approach by looking at BIM implementation as a concept and not a process.

They realized that digitalization in construction is also a psychological problem, and the education of engineers and experts must be affected first, and like Slovakia, they adopted a "Top Down" approach.

They defined their goal through several surveys, among which one of the groups that were always surveyed - students. It was concluded that the lack of "Know-How" is a significant obstacle, and they had to face challenges and problems that are being solved on the fly.

The representative of Serbia, Igor Osmokrović, concluded the panel with the statement that the BIM community in Serbia has been formed and that we have a great challenge ahead of us that we should accept with enthusiasm, with the awareness that we are contributing something to society, that we think openly, "thinking outside the box", that we share information and connect in teams, but above all to learn from others.

Claims and contract management using BIM

The panel led by prof. Igor Peško was interesting because we could hear different opinions on the given topic, and even disagreements on some points.

The discussion was accompanied by many people from the audience, who actively participated in the discussion by asking questions, as well as their suggestions on the topic. The panelists mostly presented examples and experiences they encountered in practice and how they coped with them.

Sean Vernon from Quantum Global Solutions had an interesting proposal and not only a proposal but empirical examples of how animations, rather than static renderings, can contribute to the gap between client and investor on the one hand and designers and contractors on the other, where video animation is used to presentations and explanations of construction phases, the process of what goes when, in what order, very vividly and clearly.

The problem with this type of presentation, many agreed, is reflected in the time frame, i.e. information delay due to changes of any kind and speed of animation generation and design.

Maybe AI, which is talked about so much, can help, to insert into the whole story the 4D segment of BIM, time, or rather to "save" it and stop "leaks" of information, i.e. misinformation.

Application of BIM technology in Serbia in various spheres of construction

With this topic, the conference entered the final presentations of companies that are very successful in the field of BIM implementation here and abroad. There were presentations by large corporations such as STRABAG and INTEL, as well as presentations of innovative approaches to project monitoring through WOB (World of BIM) applications and programs, TeamCAD (the AutoDESK package in which the most significant BIM program is Revit) and Bexel.

The interesting principle of "capturing space" with special lasers and scanners VEKOM GEA and CADCAM, and the indispensable traditional BIM approach to architectural design and project management on the construction site using the hiCAD Graphisoft range of products were also presented.

The end of the conference was marked by a series of case studies presented through works and projects by two large architectural companies, ATI Project and

The conclusion of this BIM conference can be summed up in one concise paragraph.

Serbia and the Serbian construction industry, no matter how distant it may be from digital processes at first glance, can very easily catch the connection if it thoroughly and expertly approaches the implementation of BIM technologies in the system.

Let's listen to the gentleman from Great Britain who mentioned several times during the presentation that engineers in the Balkans can very easily "get on the train" if they analyze the mistakes of others and immediately follow the route that is correct.

Education is the key. We have a community. Now it's up to us to spread it.

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