BIM is a process by which all of the physical and functional characteristics of a building project are transformed into digital files that can be exchanged and networked between all of the parties involved. Its advantage is that it helps to eliminate the potential for costly building mistakes and reduces the cost of effecting changes.
“In France and Germany, the advantages of BIM are recognized and the higher initial costs are accepted,” says CEO Jean-Paul Menten. “We have gained BIM expertise on several foreign projects and are convinced of its benefits. Here in Luxembourg, however, clients are less willing to pay the higher upfront costs in order to benefit from the back-end advantages.”
Despite this reluctance, SIA is confident that the time is ripe for BIM and is positioning itself accordingly. While SIA sees itself as an allrounder, the majority of its projects are residential. Demand for living space is high in Luxembourg and the market is correspondingly dynamic.
In such a spatially confined market, projects have to be of high quality and make efficient use of the available space to gain approval. One such project called ‘The Gardens of Luxembourg’ has been in development for the last ten years. Here, SIA designed a complete district including residential units, a kindergarten, offices and commercial space.
Building work commenced eight years ago and will be completed in the next two to three years. “This is one of the biggest projects we have tackled in our history and is a good example of the current trend for multi-use areas,” says Mr. Menten.
SIA was founded in 1995. In addition to its headquarters in Luxembourg, it also has offices in Belgium. The company employs 40 people and generates 5.5 million EUR in annual turnover. Demand for new residential accommodation is particularly strong in Luxembourg but growth can also be seen in the Belgian market where land prices are a third of those in the Grand Duchy.
Nevertheless, the company has cast its net wider and is currently working on projects in Morocco and France. “We are positioning ourselves to win projects in the Middle East and Dubai in particular. These are all dynamic markets where we have the opportunity to play our part in realizing the cityscapes of the future,” says Mr. Menten. “That is our grand design for the future of the company.”