AMECTech Vision – Interview with Yaniv Stoliar

Interview with AMECTech Co-founder and CTO Yaniv Stoliar

Yaniv Stoliar has 8 years of experience in the construction industry, having worked as a construction engineer at Electra Construction and as Building Information Modelling (BIM) manager, team leader and later CTO at Amit Maimoni Engineering and Consulting (AMEC). Along with AMEC CEO Amit Maimoni, Stoliar co-founded AMECTech in early 2020. He has a BSc in Civil Engineering from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Stoliar at a BIM workshop for Netivei Israel, 2020

First things first! Tell us how you got involved with BIM

In the last year of my degree I started working as a research assistant for Dr. Isaac Shabtai. He was researching BIM and modularization of buildings so in order to help him I had to learn how to use Revit. I immediately saw the potential of BIM to revolutionize the construction industry. It made everything so much easier!

 

At the same time, I started working as an engineer at Electra Construction, and experienced first hand how dependent the construction industry was on paper and pen.  I was working at one of the biggest construction companies in the country, on one of the most exclusive apartment buildings in Tel Aviv, and I had to calculate quantities using a ruler! Half the time we couldn’t even read the building plans because so many layers were printed on top of each other. It just didn’t make sense.  In such a high tech world and particularly in Israel, the land of technology, how had the construction industry not caught up?

 

I realized that this was what I wanted to do, so I started looking for companies that worked with BIM. At the time, there were very few companies in the field, but I found Amit [Maimoni, CEO of AMEC], and started working at AMEC at the start of 2017. I was the 5th employee, and today we are more than 35!

Maimoni and Stoliar moving into new offices, 2017

How was AMECTech born?

Ever since I started working with BIM, I understood that modelling buildings is just the tip of the iceberg. BIM is the key to development in the construction industry and I always wanted to explore that. However, there simply wasn’t enough of a framework for the potential of BIM to be realized. At AMEC, we had to convince potential clients that there was a benefit to using BIM at all, let alone restructuring their whole workflow to accommodate it. There are a lot of challenges to implementing BIM [check out our post on the subject, ], which is, of course, the point. It’s a problem and an opportunity. Nevertheless, we had to wait until the industry was more open to BIM, so for years Amit and I spent our evenings and weekends developing ideas.

 

In late 2019 we recognized that finally the industry in Israel was beginning to be ready to incorporate BIM more fully, and we spent the time and money to develop BIMSearch, our first app. In 2020 we made it official: AMECTech, AMEC’s technological little sister, was born.

What are your values?

My personal dreams are in alignment with AMECTech’s values.  I believe AMECTech will play a part in revolutionizing the construction industry, at least in Israel. I hate seeing the waste that results from the inefficiency of the construction industry, let alone the dangers of errors. We have a lot of responsibility in this industry, to build safe buildings and infrastructure, and do as little damage to the environment as possible. My vision for AMECTech is to be part of the solution.

 

We have already released BIMSearch, an app that, amongst other things, makes BIM accessible even to those who don’t have advanced knowledge of modelling. BIMSearch takes BIM out of the office and onto building sites where it makes the process of calculating quantities and managing site logistics much easier. In the coming years we have plans for more apps and services that use BIM to streamline the construction process even further. We are just at the start of the journey of utilizing technology in the construction industry, and the world is our oyster! There is barely any hi tech in the construction industry so there are endless opportunities.

Stoliar at a site visit, 2017

Something that I find particularly exciting is that the more that BIM becomes mainstream, the more data will be available. After all, the construction process generates huge amounts of data: type of materials, quantities, what conditions they can be used in, what equipment is needed, where, when…and on and on. When BIM is used, there is a way to track this data and then make use of it in the future. If a BIM workflow is properly implemented, all this data is organized in a way that it can be accessed and utilized. This means that the potential of BIM just grows and grows: now we are working on how to connect the work breakdown structure (WBS) to BIM models, but in 10 years we will have a decade’s worth of high quality construction data, and we will be working on apps and services that take advantage of all this information. As the industry develops, so will we.

Thank you for your time. Any final thoughts?

We, the construction industry, are just at the start of our hi tech revolution. That sounds dramatic but it is just simply true. Because of that, we have the opportunity to lay the groundwork for the future. If you use BIM in your organization, take the time to set up a proper workflow. At the very least make sure that everyone in your company is labelling elements in the same way! That way, when new developments take place, you will already be able to take advantage of them.

Have you implemented a BIM-based workflow in your organization?

Read our introductory guide to making the most of BIM and get started!