13.09.2018

Interview with Andreas Hild about Digitalization in building

Interview with Andreas Hild

“ Tools always
have something
to do with
the end result.”

Mr. Hild, digital planning and building has changed working processes for architects and specialist planners. What has it meant for your planning work? Digital planning is definitely changing the way we work with others, because we can cooperate much better now over greater distances. On a smaller scale, too. We have an office in Berlin
and one in Munich—both can work together in a very different way compared to the days when we used to send PDF files back and forth.

If you look at developments on the international front, how do German architects stand in comparison to their colleagues abroad? I can’t claim to have an overall view here. But it is clear that internationally BIM is being more widely used than among German architects. That is because it’s more fragmented here. And it is therefore
not so easy to implement sophisticated software with all the training that is necessary and all the demands it places on the architectural practices.

Do building clients and operators already see the benefits of digital planning? Clients from the public sector are beginning to get interested. That has something to do with the corresponding guidelines on BIM introduction. From what we see the private client, i.e. the non-public investor, is not yet interested in it. Normally he does not want to get involved too deeply in that. At least not in Germany.

Do building clients and operators already see the benefits of digital planning?
Clients from the public sector are beginning to get interested. That has something to do with the corresponding guidelines on BIM introduction. From what we see the private client, i.e. the non-public investor, is not yet interested in it. Normally he does not want to get involved too deeply in that. At least not in Germany.

And what can we expect after BIM? There’s no need for anything immediately. As an architect and planner I would hope that we can now set up the digital planning process sensibly and as a standard, in the way it is intended.

Have digitalization and BIM already made inroads into the building site? Yes. When it comes to construction management very much so. We practice

Apart from the options mentioned, what else is possible? Where do you see future potential in construction? In construction management a whole range of digitally supported tasks are possible: site measuring and quantity surveying, documentation of defects, faults, etc. In the building process itself, for example in prefabricated construction, there are areas in which digital planning is already being used. But much of this is still just a vision for the future.

How far, then, should architects be moving in the direction of digitalization? Will we still have the small office with a workplace in the corner? I think there will always be a place for the architect planning a house for his sister with A3 tracing paper and a 6B pencil. If he doesn’t want to adopt digital processes, he can always just go down to the
building site with his plotted plan—even in 20 years time. It will always be possible to plan a house in the conventional way. I feel sure of that.

Can we, thanks to BIM and a continuous digital planning chain, create better architecture? I don’t think that a tool that I use to create architecture will always have an impact on the intended quality of architecture. Of course the medium you use to create things does affect the end product. That’s clear. But that the result should automatically be better or poorer, I don’t believe.

Does the use of BIM mean a limitation of the creative input of the architect? It means changes at different points in the planning. But beyond that I am very sure that new opportunities will open up in places we can’t yet predict or which we aren’t expecting.

Digital: Processes + Architecture” is one of the four key themes at BAU 2019. What do you expect from this trade fair in January next year in terms of digital solutions? I could imagine BIM becoming more prominent and more possibilities being opened up by this method. And then you’d hopefully get more interest in it from building clients
and investors.

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