East Africa Digital Construction

East Africa Digital Construction

“Past revolutions have helped us build infrastructures for society to function. Today, technology allows a society to function and be far more disruptive with or without an infrastructure.”  Vaughan Harris, Executive Director BIM institute.

Join us on the November 14-15, 2018 East Africa: Digital Construction 2018 to hear from the BIM Institutes Vaughan Harris aka “ Baron of BIM” as he speaks to the experts on lessons  learnt in their field utilising digital technologies – from Innovation to disruption: ‘Bridging Africa’s digital and physical divide’

The Digital Construction conference Kenya 2018 is your window into the future of digital construction in Africa. Don’t miss out on a a series of quick fire discussions chaired by the Executive Director BIM Institute for Africa, Vaughan Harris aka Baron of BIM , covering the latest technologies and challenges for the industry offering practical solutions for the day to day challenges you face with an extensive list of speakers from across the industry. In addition the programme boasts leading names from across our industry that are helping drive digital innovation on the African continent.

The African infrastructure industry needs to accelerate adoption of promising new technologies and ICT with relevant skills to address the digital transformation within the construction sector.

Industry stakeholders and professional bodies, and the government should collaborate to close this talent gap, improve the sector productivity and overcome African challenges and conservative and  work cultures that may affect forward-thinking industry development.

Africa is well positioned to take advantage of new opportunities already created by first world countries in developing programmes to spur innovation and upskilling. 

We have already witnessed the global Digitalization and the potential it has to change our local situation. We have seen the likes of connected sensors, intelligent construction equipment, mobile devices and IOT already boost productivity, offer ROI, reduce project delays and cost overruns, and enhance safety and quality. Yet out our lag time behind first world is seeing more and more professionals leaving our shores of Africa in seek of better career opportunities. 

Africa must adopt BIM to be more productive and as an important first step toward the digitalization of the industry, but it will only happen if all industry players in the value chain act and collaborate. Companies can act individually, but should team up on industry-wide efforts through events such as the Digital Construction Kenya 2018 event to help us build new initiatives and partnerships. Its at events such as this that we can accelerate adoption on BIM on projects, bringing other foreign investments, promoting training, and establishing financial and other incentives.

BIM will only succeed if we work together towards a joint vision through a common plan. Doing so will allow an infrastructure and the community to enjoy the many benefits and ROI, while also including improved infrastructure and housing, safer and more predictable project delivery, a more sustainable and resilient built environment, and higher-quality service delivery for end users.


What could the digitization in construction of tomorrow look like? Are flying superintendents the realistic vision for drones in our industry, or will our building be a of a healthier lifestyle of living and working? With rich intelligent data being made available to help us drive decision making, is this not central to the idea of Building Information Modelling?

The African job landscape for Digital Construction. The reality for African jobs being replaced by robotic production or artificial intelligence(AI). Is this a job opportunity or another major disruption to the African continent?  Thus a key consideration will be to combine the best of technology, with the best of job creation opportunities.

Digitalization makes up the backbone of any smart, data-driven building. Yet, what does that backbone look like, what technologies will meet all our communication needs and how do we integrate Building Information Modelling with multiple data streams into a comprehensive, cross-sectoral environment?

Smart Building initiatives rely heavily on access to real-time data, but what else could digital construction data offer any smart building from design stage? If asset operators and service providers(supply chain) input rich data initially in the 3d Model design, it would create a technology pull that would force stakeholders in earlier phases of an asset’s lifecycle to use it, just as BIM models for O&M must be created when an asset is designed.

Think of BIM as a value creator, not as a cost factorInitial BIM costs can be substantial and has put many organizations off because of the predicted software costs  presented by vendor companies. Stakeholders also incur additional design fee costs for setting up BIM and changing workflows and team processes on projects. The lack of detailed cost-benefit analysis may lead companies to opt against making the investment in BIM. How do we encourage companies to ask the right questions beforehand?

Enhance BIM collaboration on projects BIM cost benefits are not yet fully understood across the project team. Most designers know the bulk of the cost of creating BIM models happens during design and engineering, while most of the benefits occur in the downstream phases of the value chain. As a result, professionals and contractors working on the project may lack the incentive and insight in BIM models in such a way that they do not see the benefits to their business and improved processes? Who is responsible in ensuring that all parties benefit from BIM?

I’m a great believer in collecting great minds together, events are great place for us to gather and network with great minds. There are many more innovators in tech than ever before, we have created the perfect stage at this year’s event.” Says Vaughan Harris. 

Susan Gitau
Susan is based in Nairobi, Kenya and fulfills the role of Media Manager at Africa.com. As Media Manager, she publishes partner content, press releases, and manages our media partnerships.