➢ News (26.11.2019)
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The digital transformation is necessary for quick economic growth and development of the construction companies using the BIM technology, which will lead to an increase of competitiveness in the market. This was pointed out at the press conference at the Economic Chamber of Macedonia.

BIM is an acronym of Building Information Modeling, a digital tool that changes the mode of operating of the construction industry by introducing new, efficient solutions as a platform for integrated design, material planning, construction and cooperation. It provides digital presentation of the construction/building characteristics throughout its life cycle whereby delivering a promise of great efficiency benefits. The goal of the TRAINEE Project is to train personnel and to transfer information on the significance of the BIM technology. The project is coordinated by the Economic Chamber of Macedonia in cooperation with its partners, the Association of Business and Consultants “Creation”, the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies within the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University – Skopje, the Public Institution Center for Adult Education – Skopje (CAE), The Engineering Institution of Macedonia (EIM) and the BIM Academy from Spain.

The need for introduction and application of the BIM technology is aimed at support for the strategic commitment of the country toward digitalization of the construction sector in accordance with the global guidelines for technology development, as well as for achieving the sustainability goals in the energy sector, primarily the energy efficiency according to the EU Directives, pointed out Risto Ivanov, President of the Association of Business and Consultants “Creation” and partner in the TRAINEE Project. The anticipated benefits from the application of BIM are:

o Economic (10% savings in construction time and 20-40% lower construction and maintenance costs, improved sector competitiveness);
o Environmental (less waste, optimal energy use, resource efficiency, circular economy and access to analysis of the entire life cycle of the construction);
o Social (higher and more secure standard of living, improved public sector services, clean and safe jobs in the construction sector).

The EU policies are aiming toward digitalization of the industries. The digitalization agenda includes the initiative of the EU Commission for digitalization of the European Common Market. Moreover, the EU Directive on public procurement (2014) encourages the governments of the member states, being the largest procurers in construction, to act and stimulate the innovations and the application of BIM on the part of the construction companies. The EU strategy is for the public sector to assume the leadership in the introduction of the BIM in the construction industry and its implementation. The TRAINEE Projects is exactly aimed at familiarizing the construction companies, institutions and the sectors related to construction in the Republic of North Macedonia with the European policies on the application of BIM.

The introduction of BIM in the European Union countries has already commenced, and for example, starting from January 2020, all public infrastructure activities in Germany should be planned and built using the BIM methodology. In Ireland, the BIM methodology is mandatory for any type of activity in the healthcare sector; In Italy, the BIM methodology is mandatory for all public construction worth over 100 million euros, whereas in Great Britain, starting from 2017, the BIM methodology is being applied to all social housing programs.

The implementation of the agenda on industry digitalization is supported by policies on public procurement, technical (Standardization of methodology, security, validation and utilization), processes (information exchange) and human resources (responsibilities and skills). Commonly, the strategic Road Map document is used to introduce BIM into the national economies, under the leadership of the member state governments.

With that aim, one of the basic components of the TRAINEE Project is the promotion and introduction of BIM in the Republic of North Macedonia through three activities:

 Promotion of BIM before the relevant market actors: practitioners (architects, engineers and technicians); construction companies; public institutions; investors; producers of building materials; tradespersons; (2 held in March and 2 in May 2019, the following will be from 2-6 December 2019);
 Organization of a training on BIM by the project partner from Spain (4 programs);
 Development of a Road Map for the introduction of BIM in the RNM.

For the purpose of raising the capacities in the construction sector to introduce the energy efficiency when constructing energy efficient buildings, four BIM training programs have been prepared for 50 participants concerning all phases of construction, utilization and maintenance of the buildings. The training programs have been prepared and supported by the BIM Academy, Barcelona, project partner, and consist of:

 5 days (40 hours) for practitioners (architects, engineers and technicians), 20 participants in total;
 5 days (40 hours) for construction companies and subcontractors, 10 participants in total;
 15 hours of online training for the policymakers, public institutions, building owners, 10 participants in total;
 15 hours of online training for the construction industry and the producers of building materials, 10 participants in total.

The training participants will receive a yearlong free BIM license from AKA for operating with and applying the acquired knowledge. The trainings are being held in the period of February 2019 (the 5-day trainings) and March 2020 (online trainings). The training content and the dates will be presented in the project week, 2-6 December 2019, pointed out Prof. Dr. Lihnida Stojanovska Georgievska, professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies within the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University – Skopje, which are also partners in the aforementioned project.

The development of a Road Map for the introduction of the BIM tool in the RNM was planned for the period of April-June 2019, with the support of the project partner BIM Academy, Barcelona, expert from Slovenia and an expert from Slovakia. The development plan will be adopted by the project Steering Committee and considering that the members are representatives of the ministries, the working group to introduce the BIM will be formed from those lines.  The project results and the trainings will move for further exploitation and replication to the Center for Knowledge Management Skopje, added Prof. Dr. Stojanovska Georgievska.

Ivana Krstevska, M.Sc.