Rafael Sacks

“What BIM Still Cannot Do Well and What Might Come Next”


Professor Rafael Sacks

Your Current Institutional Affiliation

Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Faculty of Civil and environmental Engineering

Head, National Building Research Institute

Biography of Presenter

Rafael Sacks is a Professor of Civil Engineering at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. His research interests focus on the synergies of BIM and Lean Construction, two related areas that are revolutionizing the tools and practices used in Construction, Civil Engineering and Architecture. He is the director of the Technion’s National Building Research Institute, and leads the Virtual Construction Laboratory. Research at the VC Lab includes development of BIM-enabled lean production control systems, BIM technology and innovative approaches to interoperability for BIM, and Digital Twin Construction, with two current major EU H2020 projects, CBIM and BIM2TWIN, with partners in academia and industry across Europe.

Prof. Sacks earned his bachelor’s degree in 1983 from the University of the Witwatersrand, his master’s in 1985 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his doctorate in 1998 from the Technion – all in Civil Engineering. He has worked as a structural engineer, CAD software developer, and construction project manager, and as a consultant to major industry and government clients. He joined the Technion as a member of faculty in 2000 and served as Head of Structural Engineering and Construction Management in the Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 2012-2015.

Prof. Sacks is the author or co-author of 87 papers in international peer-reviewed academic journals, 105 peer-reviewed conference papers, and numerous book chapters and research reports. He is the lead author of the “BIM Handbook“, currently in its 3rd edition, and of a book on Lean and BIM implementation in construction, “Building Lean, Building BIM: Changing Construction the Tidhar Way“. He has received numerous awards for research and teaching, including the Thomas Fitch Rowland prize of the American Society for Civil Engineering’s Construction Institute, in 2016.


Description of Presentation

Although BIM has become the state-of-the-art method for creation and communication of information in architecture, engineering and construction, interoperability and concurrency remain major challenges. Structural changes to the data representations and artificially intelligent interfaces are needed to achieve collaborative, concurrent processes. This talk will consider knowledge-graph representations as the next-generation of BIM.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the presentation students will be able to:

  • Know the technological and system bases of BIM technologies;
  • Understand the role of BIM in supporting architects, engineers, and builders to realize construction projects;
  • Identify the limitations of state-of-the-art BIM tools and processes; and
  • Imagine the possibilities of knowledge-graph representations for overcoming the limitations of interoperability and concurrent collaboration with BIM.

Presenter’s Website

Rafael Sacks – Technion – Israel Institute of Technology

Presenter’s LinkedIn

Rafael Sacks | LinkedIn