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3 Questions: Mathias Huth

Published: 2020-08-19

Mathias Huth was the brain behind the successful introduction to BIM at Bosch Building Technologies. Using his experience from 16 years working in the B2B- and B2C sectors in the areas of marketing, product management and BIM, he today acts as an independent consultant helping construction suppliers get ready for the digital age.

Why did you get into BIM in the first place?

In 2014 I was in a meeting and a sales key manager was talking about BIM. We were all wondering the same thing: what is he talking about? BIM, Revit, Digital Twins, we had never heard of it before. By coincidence the sales board of management was sitting right beside me and said, ”hey, wouldn´t this be something for you?”. That was the start of a very interesting and passionate journey that I still on today. As I continued to work with BIM and developing our strategies, beside others also with the help of Mark Bew, I visited conferences and presented BIM. I was always asked the same question: ”yeah, BIM is interesting but what does it mean for us exactly?” There I figured I should start my own business, as a coach and sparring partner helping others to be ready for the digital age of the construction industry. It was based on a very strong wish to do something else with my life and two years ago I founded my own company – Remote Consulting.

What do you think will happen when fire safety design becomes BIM integrated?

There is clearly a risk, as well as an advantage here. Let me start with the risk. Having BIM processes installed for fire safety combined with pre-defined rules for standardized buildings, there might be a risk, and the likelyhood is very high, 30-40% of new buildings might not need a fire consultant anymore. Because the rules are so defined and standardized that the general contractor could implement those rules in their planning without really having the need for a fire specifyer. This is the risk.

However, there is also big potential. If the fire safety consultants instead put themselves in the front by trying to identify ways how to support their end clients. Like offering them ready-to-go solution for specific cases. In other words, independantly from the respective building; it may be a critical infrastructure, a bank, a railway station, a supermarket. In each case the fire consultant can offer a predefined solution, ready to make-cases or templates which is the most efficient and optimal fire safety solution possible.

There are always risks and advantages like these. The risk is that work get automated and people redundant. At the same time, if you´re innovative and continue to offer intelligent solutions and services you will gain advantages. But this means fire safety consultants have to understand what BIM means for them, whilte also know what happens left and right beside their own business. It has been a problem in the past and still is today, each and every stakeholder in a digitaly built environment has not looking around but only focusing on their own. It´s important to have an overall picture with general knowledge of what others are doing. Only then can you really know what your clients need. This is crucial if you want to be in the front line.

What do you see as the single most important benefit with BIM and digital design?

Many would say ”we save money”, ”improved processes”, ”reduced levels of rework”. Other would say its great because of the digital twin, that we can make new, amazing ly crazy things with a building. A contractor or building owner might say its perfect for planning costs and time management.

But in the long run I see a main advantage in the environmental perspective, like the ecological foot print of a building. Because once we know what kind of products are being utilized in the building, we are able to reduce the surplus material and get a significant positive impact on the environment. Taking into consideration, the contruction industry is responsible for a significant amount of the produced carbon dioxide today. When they know exactly what is needed at the construction site they can avoiding scrapping material, reducing waste. And a driving force for me is to have an industry that takes responsibility, by more clever planning and operation. This is the most important benefit with BIM, and it would be a significant impact on the world, the climate and our living environment.

Get to know more about Mathias over at Remote Consulting.

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