When you have the advantage to play with the chemistry at a nano scale, then they can tailor the solutions for different applications, so the technology is suitable for, let say, marine applications where you need to reduce the water permeability. It is suitable for high-rise where you need ultra-high strength concretes.
Hopefully, it will be suitable for 3D printed homes as well, particularly again on the low water permeability side of things. We are exploring different options and by fine-tuning the parameters in the early-mix phase, we can achieve different results, for different construction and concrete applications.
Here we also have to split into hardware and software. I am more on the software side. BIM is like a buzz word, actually. It’s still a buzz word for a lot of people. BIM is like everything: 3D Modelling, they try to put a lot of topics into BIM, but this is virtual as you don’t have anything you can touch. From the process perspective, how the work is changing, BIM standard and BIM technology is key for the future because it shows so many new digitalized ways to handle information. Actually, it is all about information. BIM gives the opportunity to store information better in a more concrete way. This is one big topic which will be driven in Europe more and more in next years. On the other hand, when we talk about construction itself, we have a shift from the site to the off-site. We have much more off-site construction going on, more modular construction where you pre-assemble a lot of components. Before the pandemic, you were able to pre-assemble for example bathrooms. It was a kind of standard to pre-assemble the whole bathroom as a room and deliver it to the construction site. Everything was already pre-defined. Now we are going more in more into pre-construction, or off-site construction, processes. I’m in Berlin, and the news are that Tesla is coming to Berlin and built a giga factory there in just a 1,5 year. This is really insane, I would say. This was done together with Goldbeck, one of the largest general contractors here in Germany. What they did was really much pre-constructed, and many things were not done on the construction site, but basically somewhere else, and were delivered as standard elements to the site in order to be faster in competing such a huge project. I think that the whole idea about going more and more into this direction would mean that the construction site itself becomes much smarter: smarter machines, connected machines through IoT, new way of construction when you consider new materials such as 3D printed houses. A 3D printed house in Germany was built 2-3 weeks ago. So these are the new construction ways that I see from my perspective.
SP: I would like to delve a little bit deeper in BIM because usually talk about futuristic, very perspective combinations of technologies. According to you, BIM as a technology with which other technologies is about to be reinforced in the near future in order to gain advantage and become the industry standard?
BG: You are talking about BIM as a technology. I would say that for me it is a language. BIM standardises the different ‘languages’ people are talking when we consider the life cycle of construction and construction projects. There are so many participants who are part of this process, and information gets lost as they talk in different ‘languages’. The big advantage of BIM is to get this information standardised. BIM is like a ‘language’ for information standard and it opens doors for everything else. Some are talking about VR and AR, and these can be applied to be. Others talk about Smart Home systems and IoT technologies. These can also be applied to the same information set. But first of all, BIM is the basis of everything, and it is a new way of collecting information.