Menno de Jonge

Menno de Jonge

Chapter: Benelux 

Role: Chair 

Where do you live? Amsterdam area, The Netherlands 

Work historyAfter finalising a study in Civil Engineering and Building Engineering I started working as a CAD specialist in the construction industry in 1989. During my career I’ve always been working on the interface of Construction and Digital on topics as CAD, 3D modelling, BIM, Information Management, Innovation and now Digital Construction. 

How long have you been involved in openBIM and buildingSMART 

In the early days (mid-nineties) of the International Alliance for Interoperability (IAI) I got involved through Autodesk in what has now developed into buildingSMART International. 

What do you like the most about your work in your chapter 

Being able to work with the industry to have them a embrace a technically complex set of standards by introducing it in an easy to understand way. 

The greatest success achieved within your chapter 

The maturity of the use of BIM and openBIM in the Netherlands has been on a high level for many decades. One of the many successful initiatives is the development of the BIM Basic IDM (Information Delivery Manual) which is now supported by hundreds of organisations, available in almost 20 different languages and adopted by more than 10 software vendors. 

What does openBIM mean to you 

openBIM is a method for all stakeholders in the construction industry to efficiently collaborate using BIM tools from different software vendors across the whole lifecycle of projects. 

What is the biggest challenge the community is facing today 

Our biggest challenge is in the area of professionalisation. We are seeing an opportunity in the community where Belgium and Luxembourg are now ready for collaborating in the chapter, and are able to support us in this professionalisation effortThe successful implementation is our current biggest challenge. 

What challenges do you encounter in your country 

The success of openBIM in the Benelux is also our biggest challenge. Many organisations and initiatives are contributing to support the deployment of BIM in the industry. All of these organisation are “competing” for membership fees and are organising events. This makes it a struggle for us to have sufficient available budgets to professionalise our organisation. Currently our board consists out of volunteers that are all professionally contributing to the work of buildingSMART Benelux, but of course their main jobs always comes first. 

What are the main opportunities for your market 

Many of the larger organisations in the construction market have implement BIM workflows in the majority of their projects. We currently see a huge opportunity is smaller and media sized companies across the construction supply chain, including our suppliers, sub-contractors and clients who are embracing openBIM to support better collaboration across the whole lifecycle of projects. 

Digitalization is more and more present today; what do you do in your chapter to meet the challenges it poses 

In the Benelux it is important that we collaborate closely with the organisations and initiatives that drive digitalisation in our market. Organisations and initiatives like the BIM Loket and DigiDealGo in the Netherlands and WTCB and Cluster BIM in Belgium. Working closely together we try to educate the construction industry. 

What vision, as a chapter leader, would you give to the whole community 

I would stress the importance to the whole buildingSMART community that we need to primarily focus on the customer / the user of the products developed by buildingSMART. When doing this, we need to primarily focus on the People aspect and clear communication; the Process and Technology aspects are important, but come second. That’s also why I really support and embrace the Professional Certification initiative of buildingSMART. 

What is your overall vision of the future 

We live in a digital society. In our private lives, almost everyone uses a smartphone or tablet or applications such as Facebook, Instagram or Google. The construction industry is also digitalising more and more. We want to innovate and stay ahead. We can make that possible using standards, standardised processes and templates. The work we are doing in buildingSMART will allow us to take advantage of future innovation in the realms of digital twins, machine learning, artificial intelligence, IoT, data analytics and other, yet to be determined, modern methods of construction in the future.  

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Resumé: Short resume (50 words) 

As a Director Digital Construction of Royal BAM Group, Menno is leading BAM to its position as a leader in digital construction in the international construction industry. With over 30 years of experience within the European construction industry, and in construction technology, Menno brings perspectives from both sides of the technology spectrum. Menno has been responsible for IT implementations in the area of CAD, BIM, Lean Construction, Data and Document Management, ERP, HRM, Asset Management and more, and is highly active in European industry standards bodies, such as ENCORD and buildingSMART International.