‘We have come a long way in integrating digital construction technology’

Paul Brennan

My name is Paul Brennan and I am the Head of Digital Construction at BAM Ireland. This is a relatively new, specialised department within the Irish business. BAM has been taking the lead in digitalising the construction industry in Ireland since 2012, and as a high-performing department we ensure that BAM project teams are applying the best global standards in BIM and Information Management for design delivery, pre-construction planning, construction execution. Our support services extend to the operational stage of projects with our BAM FM team. This engagement has been especially successful on our PPP contracts in Ireland.

No longer dependent on paper drawings

When I was working as a project engineer, and later as a project manager, we were very dependent on paper drawings and documentation. It took a lot of effort for all project team members to keep our data up to date, to keep meticulous records on site and to be able to find this information in a timely manner in the future. It was always a worry that information was not being recorded correctly, that it was being duplicated or being incorrectly deleted and that one single source of truth was not available. Collection of data during construction is necessary to protect BAM and to provide evidence of our good workmanship and compliance to the contract deliverables.

There is a big gap between the construction industry and other industries such as automotive or aviation in terms of leveraging digital technologies and lean techniques. We have the ability to construct incredibly complex buildings and infrastructure, but those other industries are much better at using technology to make members of the project teams’ day job easier while at the same time keeping costs down and efficiency up. Right now, we have come a long way in integrating technology in our way of working and we have indeed delivered a return on our investment.

Now it’s time to scale things up even further

My ambition for the future is that digital technology touches every single project and every single person in our organisation in a positive way. We have already seen radical change in the past six years or so, but we really want to scale things up even further and reach a position where we are best in class in our industry.