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The Changing Face Of African Construction

Globally the construction industry is changing. Despite resistance to technological advances in the past decade, digitisation is (finally) coming into its own, and Africa will not be left behind.
Image: Vaughan Harris, Executive Director of the BIM Institute Image: Vaughan Harris, Executive Director of the BIM Institute

Why digitise?

Adapting technology leads to shortened project cycles and huge cost savings, according to findings from the World Economic Forum.

“Wherever the new technologies have properly permeated this fragmented industry, the outlook is an almost 20% reduction in total life cycle costs of a project, as well as substantial improvements in completion time, quality and safety.”

Key to this revolution is BIM (Building Information Modeling.) This is the process of presenting construction information digitally and sharing it from the design stage, through construction and into building operation management of the building. BIM is expected to grow to US$11.7bn by 2022, registering a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 21.6% over the next five years.

BIM streamlines the planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of complex infrastructure projects – in real time. It uses up-to-the-minute information that can be shared amongst architects, engineers, the client and other stakeholders on the project, improving productivity and communication during the project.

Promoting construction technology across Africa – The BIM Institute

In Africa, key associations such as the BIM Institute promote the adaptation of technology in construction and work with the entire Built Environment to develop new standards to support the industry on the ground.

One of the BIM Institute’s initiatives is the “Digital Construction Expo” and “Knowledge Lounge”  – open to the public from 23-24 May 2017 at Gallagher Estate Convention Center, Johannesburg.

“Digital tools increase efficiency and cuts costs – it’s a trend that is growing fast. We want to show the entire Built Environment what technologies are out there – from software technologies to virtual reality to BIM”, says Vaughan Harris, Executive Director of the BIM Institute.

As well as the expo (showing the latest in technology) the event also features a “Drone Zone.” Here you can find out how drones are being used by construction companies to monitor major infrastructure projects.

Back on the ground you are invited to join the “Hard Talk” and engage with industry bigwigs about adapting technology in Africa at the Knowledge Lounge.

The “Knowledge Lounge” brings together experts from across the Built Environment, including:

  • Larry Feinberg, Executive Director, Association of Quantity Surveyors
  • Sulieman Patel, Acting CIO for the Department of Public Works
  • Hans Rossocha, General Manager of Group Five Engineering and Construction
  • Graham Alexander, Director of Build Aid
  • Christopher Allen, CIOB representative and BIM specialist
  • Johan van Wyk, Director of the SA Readymix Association

Topics on the podium include 5D BIM and the government’s role of adapting technology, the use of drones in the construction industry, the IoT (Internet of Things) and Big Data to include a few.

Register now – seats are free, but space is limited!

If you are a professional from the Built Environment and would like to attend the free expo, workshops and podium discussions, please register on: or contact Waseem Sallie on / Tel +27 87 238 1901.


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