Tools for digital building

BIM will become mandatory in 2021, at least in government real estate projects. But where do companies start to successfully integrate the digital transformation into their processes? As part of the Forest & Wood 4.0 initiative, we have developed tools that companies can use to gain orientation and an overview of digital construction. The decisive potential of digitalisation is the contribution it can make to cost transparency, efficiency, schedule reliability and stabilisation of processes in the construction industry. With the government’s BIM obligation, the motivation of many companies to follow suit and use BIM is growing. The newly developed tools, such as the BIM Compass and the BIM Roadmap, serve as orientation, positioning and implementation aids for companies in the context of digital construction.

Figure 1. BIM Compass

BIM Compass and BIM Roadmap: Define goals, plan and review implementation

The company defines its BIM goals and enters them in the BIM compass (see Fig. 1). Depending on the maturity level of the BIM target formulation, the concentric circle shows the maturity levels to be achieved for all 7 factors necessary to achieve the target (technology, customer/supplier handling, benchmark, personnel, marketing, legal framework and drivers). If there are significant deviations between the actual and target state, there is a need for action. All sectors of the BIM Compass are recorded as a roadmap (see Fig. 2) with a time axis corresponding to the BIM goal. The fields of action can be entered in the chronological sequence and checked periodically by means of milestones.

Figure 2 BIM roadmap

BIM education map of Switzerland

One of the most important factors in achieving digital transformation is staff. This is linked to the empowerment of the entire team – the digital planning and fabrication, but also the assembly – through competent and recognised training. The BIM education map provides an overview of the education and training currently offered in Switzerland.

BIM bodies and drivers in Switzerland: the big picture

At the level of the economic environment, a kind of big picture of BIM bodies and drivers illustrates which organisations, associations, standards bodies, associations, research units, training centres and companies play a key role in digital construction. The BIM compass, the BIM roadmap, the big picture of the BIM bodies and drivers with the supplementary table, and the BIM education map of Switzerland are available for download on the website of the Forest & Wood 4.0 Initiative. Link

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AUTHOR: Thomas Rohner

Thomas Rohner is professor for timber construction and BIM at BFH Architecture, Wood and Construction. He researches and teaches at the Institute for Digital Construction and Wood (IdBH). Under his leadership, the tools for digital construction were developed within the Initiative Wald & Holz 4.0 (

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