19 Aug 2020 |
Research article |
Infrastructure and the Built Environment
A More Productive Construction Industry Thanks to Digital Technology
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Since the advent of digital technologies, the construction industry has faced significant changes on a global scale. Building Information Modeling (BIM), a digital modeling approach to building design, construction and operation, is now an inescapable reality.
Conrad Boton is a professor in the Construction Engineering Department at ÉTS and a BIM specialist. He joined Professor Daniel Forgues and his team in 2015, to be part of the Research Group in Integration and Sustainable Development in Built Environment (GRIDD). He comes to ÉTS with significant professional and research experience gained in various institutions, including as a researcher at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), at the Centre de Recherche en Architecture et Ingénierie (CRAI) at the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Nancy, in France, as well as in Egypt and Bénin.
Better collaboration through ICT
Dr. Boton is interested in the development of BIM-related technologies, aimed at improving collaboration and productivity in the construction industry through better integration of information and communication technologies (ICTs). He recently received support from ÉTS to set up the Research Laboratory on Information Technologies in Construction (LaRTIC), whose mission will be to develop technological tools more suited to real needs within the industry.
Professor Boton studies organizational and technological issues related to implementing the BIM approach and, more broadly, to new technological approaches that can be used in Québec architectural and engineering firms as well as in the province’s construction companies. He adds a temporal dimension to BIM (4D) to simulate the construction process visually and in a collaborative way. His systemic approach aims to develop more appropriate models that would allow stakeholders not only to work better together, but also to develop a shared perspective.
ÉTS’s expertise in this area of engineering is recognized around the world. Among other things, Professor Boton was asked to join the advisory board for DigiPLACE, a major project funded by the European Union and bringing together key players in Europe’s construction industry.
Sharing, a fundamental value
Dr. Boton believes sharing knowledge is an important part of his work aimed at bringing the construction industry into the 4th Industrial Revolution. After moving to Québec a few years ago, he devotes a significant amount of his time to international cooperation. As a result, he jumps at the chance to spend several weeks a year as a volunteer expert on assignments in developing countries.