Look into Past: BIM Master Plan for 2022

Dlubal Blog for Civil Engineers and Structural Engineers

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Interview with Bernd Schlenker

What is the future development of BIM? In this podcast, Bernd Schlenker gives an insight into how BIM is being accepted in practice and what further steps are planned. This also includes the BIM Master Plan for German federal buildings. Do you want to find out more and perhaps compare the current status with the expectations from 2021? Then read on!

You can find the podcast episode with the full interview here:

#030 BIM Master Plan for 2022 feat. Bernd Schlenker

Bernd Schlenker's Career

Bernd Schlenker is an entrepreneur and trained architect. After completing his studies, he started his own business with the mission of introducing IT solutions to other architects. He has been in the IT industry for over 30 years. His path led him from consulting to sales and distribution, as there were more solutions emerging slowly and the whole thing evolved. Today, he accompanies many customers on the subject of digitization in construction. He is a partner and a member of the management team at auxalia, and works in the fields of marketing and business development. Mr. Schlenker also has experience with BIM consulting, training, and so on.

Autodesk's Revit product was Mr. Schlenker's first point of contact with BIM. Initially, it was mostly about 3D modeling, but topics like extending data, and others, gradually became more common. Architects also had to be convinced by CAD at the beginning. They felt that it was only a hindrance to civil engineers and creativity. Therefore, Mr. Schlenker always brought the topic of CAD forward before they could devote themselves to the actual solution. It was the same with BIM: After they had talked about it and the benefits were clear, a solution could be found.

Daniel adds that the step from drawn 2D plans to CAD has been big, and the next step to BIM is even bigger. Here, it is not only necessary to deal with the 3D models, but they also have to be provided with all the data.

Even today, persuasion is often required, although BIM has become more mainstream.

How could BIM change the construction industry?

According to Mr. Schlenker, BIM is simply a necessity. A 3D plan, the concentration, and the data evaluation, depending on the phase, are inevitable. One of the goals is to avoid redundant data. They are often generated internally, in your own office or trade, which can certainly be reduced by BIM.

The right technology and method are also required for collaboration. However, BIM only ever represents a part of digitization. There are many other relevant aspects, such as good communication.

What are the hurdles in implementing BIM?

Mr. Schlenker mentions the problem that people often only think about their own work area. BIM means collaboration between planning and execution, which is unusual for many. For the sake of the project, you need to generate data that are of no use to you. This is often met with incomprehension. According to Mr. Schlenker, we have forgotten how to work towards a common goal. Everyone has their own business and takes care of several projects at the same time. The fragmentation of the industry is also an important issue: There are many individual technical designers and many executives, which makes coordination difficult.

Why is digitization advancing so slowly?

The great general designers have long recognized that it is more efficient to move away from precisely this small part. With the smaller ones, everyone has their own issue, which makes it difficult to approach. Many new concepts, such as those from America, can hardly be implemented in Germany, because the participants are organized completely differently. In the USA, a constructor designs a lot; in Germany, the planning and execution are more clearly separated. Perhaps the trend in this country will also go in a similar direction, but the size itself is not decisive.

Will simple projects, such as single-family houses, also be designed in BIM?

There are certain aspects, such as material consumption and resources, which require a density of information that is not yet available today, says Mr. Schlenker. According to him, however, BIM also makes sense for single-family houses, with a somewhat simplified design method. For trends like smart homes, it is necessary to provide the right information there, too.

BIM Master Plan for Federal Buildings

This master plan defines the requirements for the introduction of the BIM method in federal construction, explains Mr. Schlenker. It is precisely there that everything should be more efficient, timely, and so on. The plan is about goals like effective communication, informed decision-making, end-to-end information management, and more. It specifies the need for action. This should be achieved by the end of 2022, with the help of an implementation strategy.

To make the direction clear, a BIM manual with a predefinition is planned. This guideline is also to be continuously developed and supplemented with new ideas and possibilities.

Mr. Schlenker is a member of the BIM cluster in Baden-Württemberg. This is where people interested in BIM meet to learn from each other's experience. At the entry event, which took place 8 years ago, someone from the state building administration was also present. There was mainly enthusiasm for BIM, but this person said that it would be more interesting for larger developers and that they could not dictate the way of working, only describe the result. Three to four years later, those who held such a reserved opinion at the time, presented their first BIM projects. Such a change is needed, says Mr. Schlenker, so that there is also a clear goal at the highest level to implement this new development.

However, there are still a lot of construction sites in the internal administration. The problems start with data security, since the security policy sometimes makes it impossible to use cloud access for everyone involved, for example. Those who really have to implement BIM often fail due to a lack of knowledge and opportunities. However, according to Mr. Schlenker, there is no other way. Despite such difficulties, implementation is only a matter of time. However, the administration will need this time.

Even in the CAD area, the specifications of the management or corresponding committees are sometimes insufficiently implemented due to a lack of knowledge and experience. In the BIM area, this is certainly much more extreme. The approval procedures must also be in place. Rules, guidelines, and so on, are of great help. Many issues remain to be resolved, such as the issue of awarding. The problem here is that the focus is often more on lower costs than on competence.

What does the future of construction look like?

Complex buildings have always been built. Nevertheless, it is necessary to find new ways to achieve integral processes and good cooperation, says Mr. Schlenker. For decisions in favor of sustainability, the quick implementation of projects, and so on, it is crucial to have the right data at the right time. This requires the appropriate technology and method, but also the right mindset.

In the case of trends like 3D printing or AI, opportunity and technology are one thing, but processes and approaches are another. Mr. Schlenker also thinks that integrated project management, IPA, are very exciting. There, with the help of a multi-party contract, all the parties involved come together in advance under a common goal and are paid jointly. This prevents disputes and ambiguities and ensures more efficiency and a better structure.

Mr. Schlenker also mentions lean management: For example, it is precisely clarified in the planning and defined in advance which steps are to be carried out and when. The project is timed similarly to the construction site itself. It is determined to the week what will be installed, when, and how. This achieves more integrated planning. Everyone involved knows where they should be and you can act on it more quickly. Of course, the following also applies here: This method only becomes efficient with the interaction of all factors.

Challenges and Difficulties in Construction Industry

The level of digitization in the construction industry is still very low. However, this also creates many opportunities. There are new materials, technologies, and processes, as well as numerous opportunities to better design, build, and work. Perhaps some companies would also have to rethink their business model, go into consulting or the like, or join forces with others, says Mr. Schlenker.

  • "I think these opportunities are pretty wide open. You just have to seize them." (Bernd Schlenker)

He would use a wish to improve planning or construction practice to be more open to new ideas. It should be tried out more, one should be more curious, and just do things.

Mr. Schlenker's Favorite Building

For example, Mr. Schlenker considers the Sydney Opera House as very exciting. He is fascinated by every building that is so well-known that almost anyone could describe or sketch it. As a further example, he mentions the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, where auxalia is also headquartered. These are the structures that are really memorable.


Corinna Kluge, B.A.

Corinna Kluge, B.A.


As a copywriter in marketing, Ms. Kluge is responsible for creating creative texts and gripping headlines.


Dlubal Podcast BIM Master Plan Construction Industry Digitization

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  • Updated 08/04/2023

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