MAA Group – BIM modeling: Pioneering excellence in AEC by unleashing BIM over a legacy of four decades

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Dr. Za-Chieh Moh, Co-Founder & Chairman of MAA Group

Peeling back to the year 2008 when technology just began to take a disruptive turn, and digitalization became an inevitable part of this new trend, the two brilliant minds, Dr. Za-Chieh Moh and Mr. Richard Moh emerged with a breakthrough technology in AEC that transformed the world of engineering and construction, altogether. Though it already got a head-start long back in the ever-evolving landscape of AEC, Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology was yet to make a mark in Asian countries. The visionary duos, Dr. Za-Chieh Moh, a distinguished figure in Geotechnical Engineering, joined forces with Mr. Richard Moh, a strategic leader with exceptional business acumen skills and a keen insight into unique innovations & corporate management.

Fascinated by the breakthrough potential of this new technology, Dr. Za-Chieh Moh & Mr. Richard Moh leading one of Asia’s largest privately owned AEC company, MAA Group integrated BIM technologies and methods into various projects and construction management. By implementing this technology, the company has improved and ensured efficiency.

Inspired by the staggering success of BIM, the company further extended its use in pioneering digitalization in various complex and multidisciplinary engineering projects, including airports, expressways, metro rail, bridge engineering, high-speed railway project, water resource engineering, off-shore wind power, land development, and also underground utilities. Such transformative measure taken by the entrepreneurs has enabled MAA Group to set a new standard of excellence in East and Southeast Asia.

Mr. Richard Moh, Chairman of MAA Taiwan

A Journey of Thousand Miles

In the ever-growing world of engineering and construction, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. MAA Group, founded by Dr. Za-Chieh Moh and Dr. Za-Lee Moh, has consistently demonstrated its commitment to innovation and excellence since its establishment in 1975. With a strong focus on integrating academic depth with practical implementation, MAA Group quickly became a leading engineering consulting firm in East and Southeast Asia.

From its humble beginning as a small geotechnical and structural engineering firm, MAA Group has expanded its expertise to a wide range of engineering disciplines, including Geotechnical Engineering, Structural Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Environmental and Water Engineering, and more. With over 1,200 talented professionals spread across offices in major cities such as, Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Kaohsiung, Macau, Shanghai, Singapore, Taichung, Taipei, and Yangon, MAA Group has established a strong network and an indelible legacy spanning over 48 years in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry. MAA Group’s commitment to knowledge sharing and industry advancement is evident through the publication of over 600 technical articles, further supporting its claim as a thought leader spearheading innovation in the AEC industry.

MAA Group’s journey has been closely intertwined with the evolution of East and Southeast Asia. Over the years, the company has achieved significant milestones in offering comprehensive and integrated services to clients across various sectors. The company’s expertise spans Infrastructure, Environment & Water, Buildings & Facilities, and Land Development. Whether it’s the development of railways, high-speed rails, airports, bridges, tunnels, or the design of residential and office complexes, healthcare facilities, or industrial parks, MAA Group provides a one-stop, full-scope service, ensuring that clients receive professional expertise throughout the entire project lifecycle.

Key Milestones

With an unparalleled track record stretching over four decades, MAA Group possesses a wealth of accomplishments. Some of the most notable ones may be highlighted as follows:

  • The year 1970 marked the rise of the Four Asian Dragons- MAA Taipei, MAA Hongkong, and MAA Singapore. MAA was the first to introduce deep excavation and slope field monitoring technology in Taiwan in 1975. In 1980, the company expanded its capabilities and published its first volume of technical papers. MAA played a crucial role in designing the first major geotechnical engineering specialty construction project, the integral large-scale highway in Taiwan and Taipei Mass Rapid Transit Systems.
  • The 1990s marked MAA Group’s expansion into China and the Mekong region, with the establishment of offices in Bangkok, Beijing, and Shanghai. The company’s influence continued to grow, leading to ISO 9001:1994 certification, reaffirming its commitment to quality and excellence.
  • In the 2000s, the company aimed for global impact, participating in high-profile projects such as the Taiwan High-Speed Rail Project, the largest BOT operation in the world at the time, and the Taiwan Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) Project, which received international recognition for its technology. MAA Group also embraced innovation by adopting Building Information Modeling (BIM) and played a pivotal role in the transformation of landfills into sustainable developments.
  • In 2010, MAA Group expanded its presence in Macau and Myanmar. The establishment of the MAA Academy and the BIM Center, renamed as Engineering Digitalization Department in 2020, showcased the company’s commitment to continuous learning and technological advancement, promoting smart and green engineering solutions.

Overcoming challenges

Business is a noble quest of purpose and to reach out to this lofty height every organization has to ride out the storm of failures and uncertainties. For MAA Group, establishing a professional consulting company in local areas came with its fair share of challenges. But the entrepreneurs with unflagging determination, grit, and guts have successfully navigated several hurdles that came along the way.

Adapting international engineering practices to the local context, promoting professionalism, strengthening academic-industry practices, mitigating natural disaster risks, and establishing regional and local recognition have been the major impediments faced by the company at the initial stage of their journey.

However, to address the issues, the company has adopted state-of-art solutions and implemented various innovative, resilient, and sound engineering services that align local issues with international standards. By advocating for higher standards, ethics, and quality assurance in engineering projects, MAA Group has raised the bar for engineering practices in the region, which further gained the trust of clients, stakeholders, and the broader community.

Pioneering Engineering with Building Information Modeling (BIM)

Sanying MRT Line stands as a testament to MAA Group’s expertise in BIM implementation. As the first rail project in Taiwan to adopt engineering digitalization for the complete project lifecycle, Sanying MRT Line showcased the value brought by MAA Group’s innovative engineering digitalization process.

Drawing on its expertise in engineering and information across the life cycle of a project and overwhelmed at the success of its BIM modeling services, MAA Group has swiftly established a BIM-based operating environment, workflow, and specific requirements. The company has successfully integrated BIM-assisted applications into different areas, including education & training, modeling & implementation, API technology development, and engineering management.

MAA Group’s dedication to BIM goes beyond design and construction modeling. By combining BIM parametric modeling with their expertise in engineering and information technology, MAA Group has been able to undertake clash detection, and quantity take-off, optimize design quality, improve construction management, and enhance operational efficiency for asset owners. Furthermore, MAA Group’s application of BIM has shown considerable increase in its quality, productivity, cost control, communication, collaboration, and real-time management at every step from conception to completion. The company has also actively promoted the application of BIM in engineering projects in countries such as China, Thailand, the Philippines, Myanmar, and Kuwait. By consistently delivering high-quality services with advanced technology and efficiency, MAA Group has earned the trust and satisfaction of its clients.

Mission and Vision

“Our primary goal is to become invaluable assets to our clients, rather than mere costs. Through our people-first approach, we strive to foster strong, long-term relationships between our company and customers”, summarizes the vision of the company. To cope with the advancement in technology, MAA Group brings to the table the most comprehensive, quality-oriented, and professional engineering solutions for its clients. It believes in fostering a symbiotic relationship with its clients through its exemplary services and disciplines. The company foresees Advanced Technology, Project Safety, Client Satisfaction, Economical Solution, and Timely Completion as its only mission and vision.

Days ahead

Currently, MAA Group has integrated 3D GIS technology with BIM as the core platform for engineering planning, design, management, and operation. They are also exploring the integration of green communication, design, culture, sustainability, and carbon emission management with BIM technology, aiming for digital optimization.

Looking ahead, MAA Group plans to embrace the advanced principles of Geomatics 2.0. This involves combining spatial information with cutting-edge tools such as BIM, LiDAR, 3D technology, drones, AIoT, 5G, AR, VR, AI, and mobile devices. By integrating these technologies, MAA Group aims to achieve optimization and innovation, elevating the overall standard of construction engineering. They also have plans to establish a foundational platform for smart cities based on the concept of Geomatics 2.0, promoting a sustainable, economical, and greener future through innovative solutions for the built environment.

As a testament to its expertise in BIM, MAA Group has received several prestigious awards. These awards include the CICHE BIM Technology Award, Autodesk BIM Awards, and CICHE Digital Innovation Awards. Mr. Richard Moh, succeeded Dr. Za-Chieh Moh as the Chairman of MAA Taiwan, with his strategic vision and commitment to the civil engineering community has propelled MAA Group to a new height. Under his stewardship, MAA Group continues to embrace technology disruption by upholding the core values of professional engineers and contributing to society’s well-being while achieving long-term sustainability in an ever-changing technological landscape.

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