On the 16th of March, manufacturers and professionals of the construction world were welcomed by Polantis to attend a presentation conducted by Gonçalo Ducla Soares – Architect and BIM Manager at Arte Charpentier.
Gonçalo presented Silex2, the project of EGH and ERP. This project for “La Foncière des Régions” which was created through the collaboration between Arte Charpentier and Ma Architectes, is a project of building offices situated in Part-Dieu in Lyon.
“BIM is a lot of daily efforts and the management of a high quantity of information”.
From the beginning of the presentation, Gonçalo insisted on the importance of going out of the agency to train yourself in BIM and to remain alerted to the new trends and to keep in touch with the current topics.
The presentation was organized in the following order:
- BIM basis
- The integration of BIM at Arte Charpentier
- The project Silex 2
- BIM challenges and issues at stakes
According to Gonçalo, BIM aim is mainly to optimize exchanges to avoid redundancies and to sharpen the models. This working method allows to propose more complex projects.
BIM is useful on the construction sites and during the management phase. There are different levels of maturity: the BIM level 0, 1, 2, 3 etc. This level depends on the implication of BIM actors as well as on their level of maturity.
At Arte Charpentier, this working method was adopted in 2013, and now, it represents 25 projects in BIM level 1 or 2. It should be noted that each program (public housing, office building, hotels, shopping centers, etc.) implies different pattern and methodology.
Gonçalo insists: “In theory, when people talk about BIM, they are thinking about beautiful pictures but not systematically about what is beyond. BIM implies a constant effort and the management of a high quantity of information”.
The project Silex 2
The presentation naturally focused on the project Silex 2.
It is a project of extension and rehabilitation of an existing EDF tour from the 70’s with the presence of asbestos.
Design architect: Arte Charpentier and MA architectes/ Architects of the original building of the 70’s: Jean ZUMBRUNNEN, Charles DELFANTE, René PROVOST / Project owner: La Foncière des Régions.
This initiative to work in BIM for this project came from Arte Charpentier and from the project owner, La Foncière des Régions. MA Architectes retains the control over the artistic direction and the teams are trained to master Revit with the aim to model the tour and to exchange in BIM. ARTE Charpentier is in charge of the coordination mission between the trade bodies (the ERP part, landscaping and bedrock – all the graphical interface).
In order to work efficiently, Gonçalo and his team gathered all the existing digital models within the same model conceived by the agency: liquids, kitchen’s manufacturers and designers, and structures.
He said: “Compared to a traditional approach, the digital model allows to access in one click to all the plans, sections and elevations. It represents a possibility to identify all the hypothetical problems during the study phase and to foresee the problems to tackle them. With the digital model, we have access to the different pieces of information. For instance, in the case of a terrace with waterproof excavations, we can have folded walls problems… With the traditional approach vs. BIM, the problem is never solved during the study phase because the views would not allow it”.
A question was asked: “We now know how to measure the costs when we use the traditional method. But, are we really saving money with BIM?”
Gonçalo answered: “In the study phase, we worked on the project with the traditional method, with the same surface and the same characteristics than the project Silex 2.
On Silex 2, at one moment, we have decided that each stair should be lowered by 1 centimeter (0.39 inches). It took us one and a half day to update the digital model and all the attached documents.
For a similar modification on the comparative project, our colleagues – who are still working with Autocad – took 3 weeks to make this update”.
Gonçalo also sad “ But I do not want to advertise for BIM method, the team members working on the lowering of the stairs have at least 3 years of experience in BIM. The digital model was optimized to allow all these quick changes.
The advantage of BIM is that it allows more flexibility and reactivity because the architects remain “artists who tend to question themselves”.
A digital model of the project Silex 2
The challenges and issues at stakes about BIM
During the presentation, a question was asked about the place of the economists. According to Gonçalo, an economist can access the digital model and can exploit it because differents software do exist to move from a digital model to another. However, it is clear that his role will change and that he needs to redefine its way to work with the architects.
But BIM does not only have advantages and it is the part developed the most by Gonçalo during the presentation. Here is a non-exhaustive list:
-When we start using BIM method: we need to have a broad knowledge of the project. Indeed, to define some aspects of the project. What is carried out in advance and sometimes what is carried out during downstream processing need to be decided because you cannot move forward that way.
-In general, working methods are benchmarked and what is not rigorous is not allowed, it implies a reassessment.
Gonçalo concluded: “as we are in the premise of BIM, we feel our way along, we do not know exactly what we are going forward to, and everyone is doing it his way, which is totally normal. What is important is to keep our eyes open to know where to go and to pay attention to others.”
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