Building Information Modelling (BIM), for all the acknowledgement of its transformative effect on buildings among technologists and engineers, has never quite been embraced in the same way by designers, both architectural and interior.
However, for BSBG Interior Design Manager, Omar Assajer, the importance of understanding BIM as a designer became clear the day he walked into his interview with BSBG back in 2013. “I had no knowledge of BIM or Revit prior to 2013,” Omar recalls. “As a designer I didn’t appreciate the importance of BIM, but when I came to BSBG – in fact in my interview – they explained that BIM is hugely important for intelligent and efficient design. I went away and did my own research, and from that moment I could see the benefits of BIM in the work we do as designers…”
Fast forward six years, and Omar now has an accumulation of BIM-related certifications from some of the world’s foremost technology institutes. Most recently, Omar was awarded a Master’s Degree in Global BIM Management from CanBIM, one of the leading BIM organisations driving the evolution and advancement of the process.
“I began by taking some online BIM courses, and started relaying what I’d learnt to the rest of the interior team,” Omar continues. “The value became immediately apparent. The project work we do at BSBG, which is all using BIM, gave me some base knowledge which helped as I continued with more qualifications leading to my Master’s.”To complement his Master of Science in Project Management from Middlesex University in the UK, and his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture from Damascus University, Omar has added a Master’s Degree in BIM Management recognised both by Zigurat Global Institute of Technology (Europe), and CanBIM (Canada). He also holds an International Master BIM Manager Certification from Bentley Institute and the BIM Specialist Revit Certification from Autodesk.
“It does seem like a lot,” Omar says as we wonder how he managed to fit all of these studies in while working full-time with BSBG. “But in this job the learning never stops, technology and trends continually move forward. The BIM certifications, and in particular the Master’s, helped me on numerous levels, perhaps most notably on collaborative processes, how to listen and how to take the lead on projects.”During 15 months’ study for his Master’s, Omar delivered 12 projects as part of a collaborative online team, many located in different continents. “We were all working together in one file, and this meant that the level of coordination and communication between all parties had to be at the highest level. While my knowledge and expertise in BIM practices was vastly improved, my ability to work in this collaborative environment, which is a huge part of what makes BIM so special, also benefitted greatly.”
This is something Omar has been able to apply to his role as Interior Design Manager, which has seen him deliver the interior architecture on some of the biggest projects in BSBG’s portfolio, including the award-winning Banyan Tree Residences – Hillside Dubai, JA Lake View Hotel, Bluewaters Residences and Mosque, The Opus and The Dubai Mall Zabeel Expansion to name a few.“My role in all of these projects comprises every stage, from developing the concept/schematic designs with the team, to compiling the programme and orchestrating the detailed design package. I take responsibility for the accuracy of all IFC packages in that regard, and that’s why I insist on using Revit. When you’re working in 3D, you gain a holistic knowledge of walls, partitions, furniture and lighting. When packages of information leave the office, we make sure they are 100% accurate.”
And to those designers that perhaps resist the technicality of BIM and Revit? Omar says: “Revit isn’t a replacement for traditional design software, but if designers can use BIM to its full capacity from the start, they will find they are able to save time and cost for the client, and will ultimately achieve great accuracy in design. Client expectations are always high, and BIM helps us as designers to meet these expectations by providing a best-in-class product at the end of the design process.”
For more information on BSBG’s BIM expertise, visit our BIM page here.