On May 18th, manufacturers and professionals of the construction world were welcomed by Polantis to attend a presentation conducted by Rafael Garcia – Architect and BIM Manager at Valero GADAN Architects.
« Les Mésanges » project
Rafael started his presentation by the project « Les Mésanges » – 150 collective buildings at Sceaux – which is under construction and should be delivered for 2019. He explains: “It was the first BIM project of France Habitation”.
This contest launched in September 2015 let only 3 months to its candidates to deliver their project. It is a really small period of time when taking into account the heavy workload that it implies. He adds: “In VGA (VALERO GADAN Architects), a team was specifically dedicated to the BIM method because it was impossible to work on the concept and with the data at the same time for a contest”.
Using BIM method during contests: Relevant or not?
Rafael immediately raised the issue of the workload implied by BIM method and talked about the relevance of its use during contests. He shared with the guests the different difficulties they faced, particularly when it comes to matrix and parameters. “There are more than 117 parameters to comply with on more than 5000 objects which are a lot for a contest » he said. He added: « using BIM method for contests? Yes. But at what cost? »
Answer: « You need to find a balance. Some technical requirements were too important and a simplification would have been needed”. Indeed, “BIM Tech had created a technical specification, a digital model in IFC format, a BIM catalog and a BIM matrix which were given to the participants to for the contest” and it represents a significant time investment. According to Rafael, BIM method is “a time investment at the beginning for sure, especially during the development phase but it represents also a time-saving tool for the future”.
It is consequently detrimental for construction managers not taking into account this investment. The fact that this kind of demand is not upgraded in terms of mission and fees is detrimental as well.
What about the challenges and uses of BIM method?
« Architecture must prevail over any software but BIM is still a tool allowing the pooling of resources and it enables collaborative work. However, the actors are not all aware of the limits and uses of the BIM method”. Rafael explains that using BIM in a contest requires a lot of work and he adds: “we were not expecting that but we learned a lot”.
An actual problem mentioned by Rafael is the lack of codification for some BIM objects. Otto Kus – BIM Manager and Architect – explains that to solve this problem “VGA tried to create tools to optimize some working process which remained slow and repetitive”. They thus created a coding scheme and took British protocols to create a dictionary. The creation of categories is a good thing. However, the question of the difficulty to reuse them in the future and of the quantity of information they contained led to a debate.
The future of BIM method: the importance of informing, investing and innovating now.
Rafael insists: « There is a need to train BIM actors to use BIM’s software and process as well as invest and innovate”. He invited our guests to ask themselves “how to save time by developing their own tools ». It led to a debate allowing everyone to give their opinion and to share their own experiences.
For VGA, the answer is simple: invest and innovate for the future of BIM method should be based on insight training to inform the different project stakeholders. There is also a need to raise awareness among the different actors including the project managers. It would consist of raising awareness about the objectives and the upgrading of the missions.
This morning was rich in debates and allowed our guests to ask a lot of questions. A great thank to Rafael Garcia and Otto Kus for this enriching presentation.
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Since 50 years, Installux Aluminum designs and distributes a wide range of accessories and profiles in aluminum for use in the manufacture of windows, doors, facades, guard rails, gates, and conservatories.
Its products are adapted to all configurations: individual or collective dwellings, new or renovated, architectural projects. Innovation is at the core of the company’s approach in order for it to remain a forward-thinking company.
Installux works on projects such as « Lyon Saint Exupéry » train station which was designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava and on projects such as the wall of the new stadium of the « Olympique Lyonnais ».
Innovative and complex solutions adapted to the reality of the market have always been provided by the company. BIM was thus the next necessary step.
Installux Aluminium is aware of the added-value of BIM as well as of the evolution in the specifiers’ working methods. That is why it has chosen to model 3 of its best-seller ranges :
These files offer an enlarged choice of solutions since different versions of the products do exist. These solutions are at the same time aesthetics, performing while ensuring all the safety aspects.
The Univers 54 range is composed of the following curtain walls:
This range which was created under the form of a curtain wall is linked to Revit functionalities and to the way specifiers will use it. The Installux BIM products will provide users with both visual and technical aspects of the products.
As part of its BIM project, Installux Aluminium has also the desire to propose a combination of products giving free rein to the creativity of the architects without failing to include technicity and specificities to its own products.
It is also reflected in the joineries of its Univers 54 range :
The Univers® range includes structures with a visible grid, a continuous raster as well as bonded clearance glazing.
During this project, Mr. LODI, Design Manager, explained to us that the company wants to put forward the depth of its ranges as well as the quality of the customer support provided to its clients at each stage of the project.
Convinced of the vital role of BIM and aware of the mindset changes, Installux made the choice to support its clients through these changes.
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The Pack France provides its users with an access to a collection of thirty objects typically Parisians: urban furniture, 3D trees, figurines, cars that they cannot be found anywhere else.
In the following Pack, users can access highly detailed objects to recreate the French atmosphere and give more realism to their projects.
Polantis also aims at creating other Packs in the future for German and Italian architecture enthusiasts.
Please note that users will receive a free object for any Pack France purchased.
You would like to have access to high-quality objects in multiple formats to recreate the Parisian atmosphere in your projects? Just check out our Pack France here.
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On the 20th of April, manufacturers and professionals of the construction world were welcomed by Polantis to attend a presentation conducted by Arnaud Désirée – Architect DPLG and BIM consultant at MONOKROM-ARCHITECTES.
Following our guest’s requests, Arnaud Désirée shared his own vision of the BIM method and of its definition. Arnaud revolved its answers around the ideas of BIM advantages. To him, the possibility offered by BIM method is pre-eminently the ability to modify digital models if needed. Not only does it allow its user to rectify a digital model but it also optimizes information exchanges.
Arnaud also insisted on the collaborative aspect of BIM method allowing professionals to work in real time on projects during the conception phase level as well as during the execution phase. Being able to work in real time “reduces the segmentation during a project workflow”. It is a phenomenon in which “everyone is an actor, there are not only architects or project owners”. He added that on a construction site, it is more and more important to get a 3D visibility since it allows to communicate more concretely.
Nice Méridia project by laisné roussel
This office building project with terraces will see the light of day in 2018 in the technology hub of Nice Méridia. Conceived on 8 parallel levels open to the sky, this building brings a visual continuity between the interior and the outside: thanks to the numerous balconies, terraces and to the punctual vegetalisation on the facades of the buildings.
Arnaud specifies: “at the beginning, this project was not supposed to be done in BIM method, it was a traditional 2-D project”. The initiative of doing it in BIM came from the rising number of projects and contests with BIM requirements.
Laisné Roussel has thus used the competencies of the BIM manager Arnaud Désirée to train Marie-Aglaé Boukouvalas, Project manager for Nice Méridia. He told us that Marie-Aglaé was really good at picking up with software and that she succeeded in mastering the software and the working methods in only 4 months which usually takes more time.
The BIM method? Yes. But at which level?
When questioned about the BIM level he used for his project, Arnaud explained that with the level 1 of BIM, you are typically in the design intent stage, in level 2 of BIM, you have to put the digital model on a collaborative platform, it is a coordination stage. When it comes to the level 3 of BIM, it is an integrative level of organization since everyone works in real-time on the digital model.
But who is choosing to work in level 2 or 3? “Contract awarders used to make compulsory the use of the level 2 or 3 of BIM, but it was proved that everyone is not equipped to reach level 3. Nowadays, the majority of the construction world actors works in level 2”.
What about the use of BIM objects?
After working on the design phase and after integrating the product categories to his project, an architect is dealing with technical aspects. Depending on its habits, he appreciates working with real references and real materials to have an optimal project adjustment. Arnaud explained that for a specific demand of furniture from his client, an architect can take an entire day to model a real object and gave us the example of a designer chair.
The deployment of BIM method
Professionals who do not use BIM lack usually of expertise. According to Arnaud Désirée: « the young generation learned to create via computing and the new generation is using BIM method instinctively. The elders are most of the time afraid of facing a loss of productivity because of the amount of time they will need to master BIM method and because of the investment needed to start using it”.
He added: “With BIM method, people need to work in team and communicate” and the companies are not necessarily ready for that. He highlights that big companies are starting to get into the move. Arnaud said that small companies specialized in interior design are only required to take a look at the digital model. For now, we are asking the less concerned actors to “know how to read and interpret a digital model”.
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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:
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.
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”.
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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Click here to download Polantis App.
Revit users can now click directly on the update button which enables them to access in real-time to the new information updates (text) part of each object.
When a manufacturer adds or modifies parameters (norms, characteristics, product information, contact details), the user will see the actualized BIM and CAD objects within its Revit library as well as within its digital model.
Keep in mind that the following software features and functionalty remain accessible in this 2nd version of Polantis App:
-Downloading objects directly from Revit to find all the objects in .rvt and .rfa formats without opening a new window
– Access directly to the objects categorized by manufacturer
– Access directly to the textures categorized by manufacturer
– Access to the webpage with all the product information directly from the object you selected within the software
– Access directly to Polantis homepage or turn back to the last object visited
To download the object groups within your Revit project directly, you can access to Polantis App by clicking here.
If you have any suggestion to improve the App, please feel free to contact us.
To contact us, please click here.
Olivier presented three architectural projects in BIM on which his agency worked. Since 1996, all the projects have been conceived on ArchiCAD.
There is no such a thing as a single line of thought about BIM
As an introduction, Olivier Celnik indicated that the projects presented were a pretext to talk about BIM and that a unique way of thinking does not exist when it comes to architecture. However, different points of views and experiences do exist.
The first project was presented right after the presentation of a quantitative study on BIM’s perception among future architects (ENSA Versailles’ students) conducted by Olivier Celnik.
ROUEN: Substantial renovation of a commercial building from the 30’s, 2 teams of architects from which Z.STUDIO, 2 teams of engineers (heating and structural engineers)
This renovation project started with the digital modeling of the building as an illustration. Olivier Celnik specified: “we worked on the digital model from the paper plan, it needed 10 to 15 day of work that is to say 3 euros/m² (10.76391 sq. ft.) for this 5000m² building (53819.552084 sq. ft.)”.
When presenting ArchiCAD view of the project to our guests, Olivier Celnik explained: “How to imagine an architectural solution without understanding? We assume that without a 3D view, one does not understand anything about construction. Here we are talking about BIM because the digital model contains all the intelligence and precision of the construction”. He illustrated this with the example of the elevator installed at the entrance of the building to guarantee a PRM (person with reduced mobility) access.
He illustrated this with the example of the elevator installed at the entrance of the building to guarantee a PRM (person with reduced mobility) access. Even in the draft phase, the project team made sure to install the elevator taken from the catalog of a manufacturer (since the norms and dimensions are consistent with the reality). This was to ensure that the engineering design office would know how to install and place it into this specific part of the project.
Olivier added, “If I want to search this object into ArchiCAD library and that I take a product designed in Hungary or India, I am going to have a product adapted to local norms and not a product that I can insert in my Rouen’s project.
This approach allows architects to be sure about the architectural solutions proposed and about the cost of the project since the initial stage.
« BIM method allows a significant flexibility, we can change rapidly the project when working on a digital model to better match with the client’s requirements ».
The digital model can be used by all project’s stakeholders: the plans, drafts, PDF, etc. sent to them are all providing the same digital model to downsize the risks.
CAZAUX: Construction of a new building, training center of 3000 m² (32291.73125 sq. ft.), ZSTUDIO architect and authorized representative.
This second project was the occasion for Olivier Celnik to talk about the notion of collaboration. The associated engineer of the project did not work in BIM but he participated to the collaborative approach by working on documents from the digital model with Google Sheet.
This associated engineer and the architects could look at the same document by working online. Olivier learned the lesson from this: “If we wait for everyone’s BIM level to be the same, we will not move forward. You have to know how to adapt to everyone level and propose adapted solutions so that everyone will benefit from the digital model and from the information associated with the project”.
For example, a solution would be to consider that the contractual documents will only be documents from the digital model without any other intervention. That is how Olivier’s teams help some project manager to prepare BIM Offers and can thus provide the digital model for a consultative use.
This situation corresponds to today’s practices reality and does not overwhelm the interlocutors who are not “BIM ready”.
BREST: Construction of a new 5000m² (53819.552084 sq. ft.) commercial building. Z. Studio intervenes in the BIM process and modeling along with the architects and design engineers of the project.
The last 2 projects allowed Olivier to make a demonstration of the tools available for all the construction actors to work in digital models. Then, beyond the conception phase, the interest of BIM is to exchange more simply and more precisely.
To do so, the digital model was exported in IFC from the design software and opened on the free viewer BIM+.
Olivier’s teams propose to the clients, the companies and others to visualize the project and to make suggestions and instantaneous modifications. The software does not require a lot of power from the computer and the navigation into the project is simple so that everyone can be part of the game.
Olivier has shown how to annotate the project and how to create “subjects” identified as coming from him which could be read by all the project’s stakeholders: This type of window should be changed, the wall colour should be modified too, be careful and sure to take this support pillar into consideration…
Olivier ended this presentation by highlighting the pragmatism: “If thanks to the BIM use, we succeeded in securing the costs and delivery dates, if at the reception of the construction work we are not too far from the costs and delivery dates decided on the call to tender, we believe that the mission is accomplished, that we limited the risks.
At the end of Olivier’s presentation, our guests asked a lot of questions to Olivier: “What are the criteria to choose the objects to integrate into the digital model? What is the BIM evolution on in-site? Are there a lot of regional discrepancies between Paris and other regions? Do manufacturers need to have BIM software at home?…”.
A common thought of our guests: Olivier has known how to immerse them in the reality of his BIM projects by focusing on a practical and concrete case study, far from preconceived ideas about BIM and he has known how to reinsure those who did not start using BIM yet.
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So far translated into French, English and German, Polantis makes its CAD & BIM objects library available in Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Italian, Turkish, Arabic, Serbian and very soon Polish, Czech and Japanese for its users!
From now on, all the architects and professionals of the Design and Build the world can find in their native language the objects of a manufacturer, which will make the integration of all these products easier in the architecture projects all around the world.
This news confirms the ambition of Polantis since 2008 is to provide to its users the best service on both levels: the quality of the CAD & BIM objects and being aware of the needs of the AEC world.
Let us know what you think here.
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The BIM approach
In September 2015, Polantis put the Rector CAD and BIM products online: the « ThermoPreslab and Masonry Wall » and the « ThermoPreslab and ThermoPrewall ».
What makes the manufacturer’s products unique? A part of the system is designed in the factory (with integrated iron framework) and the concrete part is poured at the construction site.
The outcome? Easier assembly and incomparable construction quality, specifically with very strong thermal performance (no thermal bridges).
For Polantis, modeling Rector’s systems was a challenge: how do you design a multilayer object and ensure that it is perfectly adapted to the project?
Test 1: « the super product »
With Rector’s full collaboration, the team of architects in charge of the project launched a study in order to determine the best way of understanding product modeling.
First, it was understood that the walls and flooring would be treated in the same way because the construction system was the same.
Next, the teams decided to create a super product. The iron framework would be distributed automatically in the part treated: this was the insurance that the product would be represented from « the inside » with all of the elements that constitute it.
However, very quickly, the team discovered several obstacles to modeling this product.
The iron framework, which became parameter-adjustable, could not be properly integrated with complex-shaped parts and was not adaptable to all types of surfaces.
What’s more, the Rector iron framework integrates into two principal layers of the system, which could not be parameter-adjustable in Revit.
Lastly, the question was raised regarding the premier user of the products: an architect did not have any utility to exploit this super product which, in addition to being slow to load in the model, included information that was more useful in design offices.
The study, therefore, revealed that this product was too elaborate.
A multilayer system
In parallel to the meeting with Rector, Polantis began to collaborate with Siplast (a specialist in impermeability). As the two products are successive layers of insulation, the reflection for modeling the Siplast products was also useful for reflections on Rector products.
Similarly, the agreement was to design a .rvt format system in which these layers would be represented: the insulation layer, the concrete layer, etc. The iron framework would no longer be represented on 3D elements, but on 2D elements and on other visuals provided with the product when it is downloaded.
The difference between the .rvt format and the .rfa format
On a Revit project, the model is made in .rvt: it brings together all the elements of the project; in some respects, it is the anatomy of the building. The .rvt format model includes the nomenclature, materials, parameters, geolocation…all possible information. With all this information included, it is possible to communicate with the other trades involved in the design & build chain.
An object in the .rfa format belongs in fact to a Revit family. These are objects that can be taken and then simply moved, like a window, a chair, or a lighting fixture. We talk about them in terms of family because there is an organization between such objects: some are parents while others are the children or grandchildren.
The major interest in having designed the Rector system in the .rvt format resides in the fact that it can, unlike the .rfa format, contain information in the form of text or image files.
The « I » in BIM stands for Information
For example, modeling an .rvt object lets you integrate the iron framework layer into the system, not in terms of its geometry but in terms of its information.
This proved to be particularly necessary because, for example, if it was integrated into the product in the form of a layer, without, however, its parameters set by the Polantis teams, it would be up to the architect to decide how to place the iron framework, thereby involving the architect’s liability in the event of a calculation error.
The importance of the information provided is at a maximum in the case of the Rector BIM objects: in order not to overload the digital model, the product is visually « lightened » and represented more simply, but all of its qualities, its placement mode, unique points and performance information, and standards are associated with the object at the time of downloading.
A « hub » object
In order to best exploit this informational dimension, the agreement with Rector was to conceive of the modeled systems as « hubs »:
Information on acoustic, seismic, and fire-resistance performance
The BIM for all the actors involved in construction
Ultimately, this « hub object » proposed by Rector works to serve all the users of the Design & Build chain perfectly. Here is a list of the actors who are concerned with BIM objects:
To be useful for an ever growing number of persons, the Rector BIM objects are also available for the ArchiCAD software program. The objects modeled for Allplan are currently in production by the Polantis teams.
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The objective of the BIM approach
In October 2012, Polantis put online 29 brick textures designed for Wienerberger.
This incomparable specialist in terracotta began a BIM approach for a large panel of products: from traditional colored brick to more elaborate effects, and naturally-colored materials.
The end purpose for Wienerberger, a leader in terracotta, was to confirm its leadership position by putting itself at the cutting edge of innovation.
The issue for the team of architects in charge of the project at Polantis was as follows: with the wall covering being the first view of a project, it was imperative to reproduce with complete accuracy the aesthetic properties of the Wienerberger products.
The documentation provided by Wienerberger
Wienerberger provided Polantis with several sources with which to work: sometimes the photograph of a part of a wall, sometimes the photograph of an area of bricks superimposed but without joints, and other times views of the building in perspective.
The first action taken by the team of architects in charge of the project was to cut out and isolate each brick present in the photograph to keep its specific qualities in order to continue to showcase the richness of the material.
It was also necessary to « flatten » the views in perspective so that the user could perceive in total specificity the sizes and formats of the bricks modeled.
The 3D representation
There are four types of BIM objects: the simple object (for furnishings for example), the parametric object (for a product with variable dimensions), the system (for a product composed of several elements and variable dimensions) and the texture (for wall or floor covering, for example).
Wienerberger products are textures: what was needed was to represent a wallpaper that would be applied to a given geometry.
Because the bricks could not be modeled and assembled one by one, since this would be too fastidious, the architectural team designed an infinite texture that could be applied with a click on any wall whatsoever.
An infinite texture
An architect who wishes to apply a given texture could be satisfied with cutting and pasting an image of a « brick » taken randomly from an online catalog: the repetition would be noticeable and the resulting effect would not be natural.
The Polantis teams worked in Photoshop in order to adapt the texture in such a way that it would react like a real assembly of bricks.
The shader, a combination of layers
The term « shader » is used when there is a combination of several shaders.
A well-made shader always combines 5 elements:
On the Wienerberger page presented on the Polantis platform, all of these elements are presented next to the shader so that the user can have a glimpse of what is found in the .zip he or she downloads.
This information allows prescribers to obtain in details how the shader to be applied to projects is composed.
The final informational element along with the shader is a view from the Wienerberger catalogue: this will allow the user to note the absoluteness of the resemblance between the given file and the real object.
Exchanges with Wienerberger
The work of the Polantis architects was validated after a meticulous study made by teams working with this specialist in terracotta. The attention given on the part of the manufacturer was above all devoted to the realistic effect of the shaders. Some elements had to be modified:
The architect and the client
These points needed a high level of interest because the architect needed the project presented to his client to be highly faithful to reality, so the image and the rendering were prioritized.
This fidelity allowed the client to identify with the result and validate the project more easily.
In the case of BIM, it is commonly said that the digital model allows one to « build before building », so to present an object with realistic aesthetic qualities helps the architect and his client to develop more constructive exchanges.