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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In June 2015, Polantis, world leader of CAD and BIM solutions, opened an office at Dusseldorf.
Two years later, Polantis has expanded its collaboration with his German customers (Reckli, Krominus, Alucobond, Vinylit and Villeroy & Boch) and pursued the development of the company in Germany with the acquisition of new iconic customers, such as Kaldewei, Rheizink, Warema or Bonava.
After these accomplishments, the company is expanding by welcoming two new collaborators to confirm the fact that they are a major contributor of the BIM in Germany, and to support the manufacturers and prescribers.
To get in touch with Polantis, and to meet the team at Köln: click right 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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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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