SPEAKER INTERVIEW: ALEXANDER KOLPAKOV

In talks with Alexander Kolpakov, Associate Director- Digital Project Delivery UAE & Oman AECOM

Alexander Kolpakov
Alexander Kolpakov

Alexander Kolpakov will be speaking at the BIM Talks during The Big 5 in November. He is the Associate Director- Digital Project Delivery at AECOM and he will be sharing his insight on "BIM as information management and design process"

Describe the current uptake of BIM in the GCC.

BIM for large scale and complex projects was mandated by Dubai Municipality in 2013. Some other GCC government agencies and developers also mandated/specified use of BIM on their projects. Most of major international design consultancies and tier 1 contractors as well as specialist subcontractors (steel fabricators and MEP) operating in the region are using BIM in some capacity for a number of years. There is increased interest in the technology from facility owners, even though it is still in the early adoption stages. In terms of BIM uses, it is mostly 3D coordination, visualization and drawings production. Increasing, but still limited use of 4D scheduling, 5D costing, BIM-FM, and design analysis BIM tools. As emerging trends I would note the following: use of cloud to store and analyze BIM data and use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for parametric and generative design.

What are the top challenges asset managers face when using BIM?

BIM models are often created during design or construction stages of a project by design consultants or contractors with design and construction uses in mind. The asset managers are usually not engaged early enough in the design-build cycle to provide their requirements for BIM. In this case BIM would not be developed in a way that addresses asset managers’ needs. This can include model format, structure and content of BIM data, level of details, and many other things that have different requirements for asset managers vs design consultants vs contractors.  

If you were to pitch BIM technology to building owners how would you sell it?

Consider BIM model as a virtual representation of the building. The biggest value of BIM to the building owner is that BIM is a digital database of building asset information. Traditionally asset database (or asset register) has to be developed manually by the FM team once the building and as-built documentation is handed over to them. For large buildings it can take months or even years until the building operator complete the asset register and become familiar with the new building. With BIM, asset information can be available to the building owner much earlier and accurate asset register can be simply extracted from the BIM immediately after hand over.

Why would one be hesitant to take on BIM practice?

BIM is not a single software and not a one straight-forward process applicable to any company and/or project. It is a complex process and its successful adoption requires expertise, smart strategy and commitment. In addition to that it involves disruption of existing processes and requires investment. Staff training and hiring, developing new standards, procurement of software and hardware, and upgrade of IT infrastructure are just a few examples of what require capital investment as well as change management.

Name one thing about BIM technology that people always get wrong.

The importance of well-defined employer’s BIM requirements. I would not say ‘always’, but I can say very rarely I see well written employer’s BIM requirements that are: a) realistic, b)reflect supply chain capabilities and project scope, and c) addressing project’s and client’s needs.
I often see project BIM requirements (Employer’s requirements) either vague or very academic and often asking for something that is hardly achievable and would provide minimum value to the project and to the end user.

About Alexander Kolpakov -

Alexander is leading AECOM’s regional Digital Project Delivery group in charge of implementation of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and other digital technology as well as supporting BIM delivery on major projects. He has over 17 years of professional experience in both traditional and BIM roles including 9 years in the United Arab Emirates. He holds a Mechanical Engineer degree and a Project Management Professional qualification. Alexander has worked in Europe, Australia and the Middle East on some of the largest developments, holding engineering and management positions within major international companies.

His previous roles have included project management, design and construction coordination, site management, inspections and supervision.

For the last eight years he has been heavily involved in management and implementation of Building Information Modeling and digital technology for design consultancies, construction companies and developers. His experience includes development of organizational strategy and implementation, project methodology and BIM Execution Plans, design coordination, design management, setting up BIM for scheduling (4D), costing (5D), and Facility Management (6D)

You can hear more from Alexander Kolpakov on "BIM as information management and design process" at the BIM Talks on 29th November, 12:00 - 12:45.

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About The Big 5

26 - 29 November 2018, Dubai World Trade Centre

The Big 5 is the region’s largest and most influential event for the construction industry. 

Organised by dmg events, the exhibition showcases 360-degree building solutions clustered in six product sectors: MEP services, Building Interiors & Finishes, Building Envelope & Special Construction, Construction Tools & Building Materials, and Construction Technology & Innovation.

Gathering buyers and manufacturers of construction products from around the world, The Big 5 also offers a broad educational agenda, with two high-level conferences and dozens of CPD-certified workshops.

On its 39th edition, the event features Middle East Concrete, HVAC R Expo, the Urban Design & Landscaping Expo and The Big 5 Solar. 

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About dmg events

dmg events is a leading organiser of face-to-face events and a publisher of trade magazines.

We aim to keep businesses informed and connect them with relevant communities to create vibrant marketplaces and to accelerate their business across multiple platforms.

dmg events organises more than 80 events across 25 countries, attracting over 425,000 attendees and delegates every year.  The company’s portfolio of products includes many industry leading events such as The Big 5 construction shows, ADIPEC and Gastech energy events.

Founded in 1989, the company is headquartered in Dubai, UAE, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc (DMGT, www.dmgt.com), one of the largest media companies in the United Kingdom.