This morning meeting was meant to be practical and had a purpose: to help the architects to understand better one of the main topics within architecture and to help them to obtain a BIM know-how.
What was the end purpose? To answer the questions of the architects who want to settle a BIM process within their agency, and to remind them of the stakes of the BIM for their jobs. It is therefore more than just replying to questions such as “Am I doing it or not”. This morning meeting gave the key steps to take an action and made a dialogue possible.
Olivier Celnik and Manon Roger had considered eighteen questions as important: these questions structured the morning meeting.
The first part of the meeting was about how to settle the BIM within an agency. Here are a few examples of the questions asked:
The purpose of the second part of the morning meeting was to talk about the conduct of the project in BIM. Here are a few examples of the questions asked:
According to the MAF website, some distribution tables of the missions and terms have been established to allow the developer to lead their missions in the best conditions possible.
Then, the question of the moment where to start the BIM process was talked about…
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The project Qwartz
When Corina arrived at DGLa 11 years ago, she told us how she rapidly how rapidly she noticed that DGLa did not systematically use 3D.
Her first project at DGLa was about a submission of an application for a building permit for Qwartz shopping center. It was developed in 2D on Autocad, as most of the projects at that time. She added: «The projects were sent to the clients and to the engineering agencies by mail with complementary files to print them which made exchanges more complex and slowed them down. Then, files were sent (at least) in PDF format, but when I had the occasion, I started using Revit and invited my colleagues to do so.”
Qwartz was finally inaugurated 3 years ago. For its future extension, DGLa will have the mission of BIM management.
Slow and steady BIM wins the race!
Corina presented different projects on which she could work and highlighted the evolution of BIM method’s use at DGLa.
DGLa rapidly understood the importance of BIM and its role as a facilitator and enabler of exchanges. The agency progressively integrated BIM method to its working method to gain more efficiency and to better improve its communication.
Corina explains: “Two projects with similar characteristics were compared: one was developed on Autocad and the other on Revit. With Revit, one could end with similar results with a better coherence of documents, while diminishing by 50% the time needed for the project and with less people affected to the project.
Working with BIM method: a traineeship
Through the different BIM projects they worked on, DGLa teams had the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Corina brought out that for instance, there are still a lot of work with the work site stages and that it is not always that simple to bring digital models as a monitoring and exchanges medium on the work site.
To her, before reaching efficiency, one needs to learn how to master modeling and its database, how to better communicate as well as how to coordinate widely the exchanges with the different actors of the project. Collaborative work is efficient if the tools used are appropriate.
She said: “The first project in BIM ordered in 2014 by one of our project management support (and inaugurated this year), was the second extension of the shopping center BAB2. It served as a crash test for the following ones. We could start from the digital model from the first extension, adopt a new organization scheme and move toward BIM level 2, which actually became our current standard”.
Corina then talked about the roof covering of a pedestrian street. A smaller project indeed but modeled by two of her colleagues with adaptive structures created from parametric volumes.
She explains to our guests that for this undergoing project, you need to remember that parametric modeling is also part of BIM. “It consists of filling the digital model with information from its components and to obtain database and a nomenclature coherent with the model.
It enables architects to anticipate the environmental, technic and economic constraints as well as better construct what they are modeling.
Corina explained: “On Revit, we often create detailed digital models and heavy files. It becomes more complicated when you export them in IFC format. Sometimes, it multiplies by two or three the size of the files and harms their interoperability.
In order to tackle this issue, Corina gives possible solutions to provide digital models for the CMMS (computer-assisted maintenance management system). To her, you can fill all the information in a 3D file with a link toward the URL address of the component’s product card or toward a more detailed version of the 3D model. A second option, when it is possible of course, would be to integrate the drawing of the details in 2D within the family category which would be visible only with the high level of details.
“If the families created for different BIM software follow the 3 levels of details of geometrical complexity (the data do not depend on that), it will help us.
Corina explains: “Once that the BIM is implemented, we are trying to be more efficient”. For instance, having created our own tools, detail banks, with 2D details components (adaptive and/or pre-informed) is time-saving which is substantial. She also added: “this year, DGLa created an intern collaborative platform which will allow a better communication with the different collaborators and stakeholders (the project management support, the engineering agencies and consultants, etc.). The aim is to provide digital implementation files, to submit BIM building permits and to produce more virtual reality simulations. But project management support is still afraid of that.”
What about the implementation of BIM level 3?
“The level 2? Yes! But with the level 3, it is more complicated » she explains. At this moment of the presentation, our guests talked about the different issues at stakes when it comes to BIM level 3 implementation: intellectual property, responsibility, regulations…
The main result of this debate was the desire that we will see improvement with regard to this issue so that everyone could beneficiate from all the advantages of the BIM level 3. Corina insisted on the fact that different organizations were working on this subject to provide a better framework (Mediaconstruct, the MAF, etc.). It is to be monitored very closely!
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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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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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