Building for Billions: The Unparalleled Value of Construction Tech in China

Viatechnik Value of Construction Tech in China

China’s AEC industry is stepping into the 21st century — and VIATechnik is playing a major role in guiding the transition.

Like contractors in other cutting-edge markets, Chinese construction firms have spent the better part of the 2010s exploring and refining their use of building information modeling (BIM). According to a recent SmartMarket report, China ranked fourth globally in BIM adoption rates between 2015 and 2017, trailing only the U.K., South Korea, and Australia.

Last month, VIATechnik’s Kyle Hudson traveled to China to participate in the launch of the BIM Data City Service Consortium in Hohhot, the capital of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. In addition to VIATechnik, the list of participants included construction tech experts from Stanford University’s Center for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE), Voyager, AeoShape, CyberCity 3D, and Graphisoft, executives from Chinese big data company Beijing Orient National Communication (BONC), and an assortment of Chinese government officials.

The primary purpose of the event was to launch a Smart Cities Alliance with the objective of turning Hohhot into a digitized, data-centric, and BIM- and IoT-enabled smart city. Participants formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to create an official Alliance to tackle this challenge head on. Alliance meetings were held with government officials to determine best practices and next steps.

According to Kyle, “The alliance members are serious about problem-solving and digitizing the built environment — this MOU will allow members to share information across multiple disciplines. You need high levels of cooperation to achieve these types of goals.”

BONC also hosted a conference where participants gave a wide range of insightful presentations on smart construction, BIM data, drones, IoT sensors, and smart city policy, with Kyle speaking about VIATechnik’s pivotal role in implementing VDC on mega-projects like Apple Campus 2 and the Tesla Gigafactory.

Kyle Hudson Viatechnik

A Country In Need of Productivity Boosting Construction Tech

In the next 10 years, urban areas in China are set to experience an influx of more than 250 million people. In order to accommodate such rapid urbanization, Chinese construction expenditures are expected to grow by 7.8% per year through at least the end of 2019.

In response, the Chinese central government has spent the last few years investing heavily in creating and adopting BIM standards, much in the same way major European construction markets have been doing for the past decade or so. By adopting these standards, China will be able to establish a solid foundation for widespread technology adoption within the industry. Additionally, these standards go hand-in-hand with the country’s smart cities initiatives, which are arguably the most ambitious and sweeping of any industrialized nation.

Indeed, it’s a pivotal moment for Chinese Architects, Engineers, and Contractors, Building Owners, and City Managers. The BIM Data City Service Consortium represented an opportunity for these professionals to come together to collaborate and leverage outside resources, enabling them to take a giant leap forward in terms of construction technology. We were thrilled to lend our expertise and help guide one of the world’s largest construction markets towards a more efficient, sustainable, and productive future.

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