Operating in over 35 countries, the French manufacturer ALCEA has been designing security and supervision solutions for commercial buildings for 25 years. "ALCEA dedicates 15% of its turnover to research and development, as well as to improving its services". As permanent innovation is one of its main values, it is only natural that it is now modelling its products using BIM. "We commit every day to changing our operational practices and ensuring a smooth transition to digital. As a major player in security and access control, our products are incorporated into buildings to manage them. It therefore seemed inevitable that we needed to make them accessible within BIM and to make all the data required by the digital model available" explains Carole Delbouis, Marketing & Communication Manager at ALCEA.
BIM&CO's own challenge was to meet ALCEA's quality requirements. "We support manufactors in several phases. First of all it is essential to fully understand their expectations and needs before modelling their products. In the case of ALCEA, we strove to create objects whose technical data was suited to every phase of the building's life cycle" comments Vincent Berlioz, business development manager at BIM&CO.
In fact, in addition to making its objects available to the design offices and installers in the concept phase, using the digital model in the operational phase has turned out to be a real support to the operations unit since ALCEA's BIM objects can be used to send back key data and information to the SSI. "Our BIM objects will enable design offices to assess the compatibility of products with the project's requirements. During the installation phase, our integrators can check that all the wiring conditions are met. And at the end of the maintenance phase, the information contained in the model is also valuable historically" continues Zohor ALAMI, product marketing manager and responsible for the BIM project at ALCEA.
To give its objects greater visibility, ALCEA has incorporated full catalogues on its website of its models from the BIM&Co server as an option for manufacturers. Using BIM&CO's Analytics tool, the manufacturer was also able to visualise the growing success of its products among users and to identify potential prescribers with ease.
The first objects were presented by ALCEA at the APS exhibition held last October. 3 ranges are now available: cards and boxes, the digital visitor reception terminal and ALKEY key cabinets. The company plans to complete its range soon by distributing more BIM products.
ALCEA brand BIM objects are available via this link.
What are leading building construction companies across the globe worried about? Staying a step ahead of the pace of change, followed by increasing complex building construction projects and ever-increasing consumer expectations and of course; adopting innovations that are applicable to the construction sector.
CEOs or chairs of building construction giants across the UK, USA, Europe, and the Middle-east, affirmed that the construction sectors are experiencing immense thrust in terms of growth, leadership, risk and strategic trends. However; the most prominent one is experienced in the adoption of digital solutions for construction, which is aimed at delivering a seamless and real-time experience for all involved in the overall construction process.
The dignitaries were of a consensus that new digital technologies, such as CAD drafting and 3d modeling have succeeded big time in bringing the “paperless building site” close to reality. In order to attain this; construction companies should invest in, and take interest in advanced equipment, technology, and training. They also should ensure that electrical and mechanical engineers are given due importance as civil engineers, for making a building or infrastructure construction project - successful.
Digital solutions for construction or process digitization are all about moving away from paper and towards online real-time sharing of information. They ensure transparency and collaboration, timely progress and risk assessment, quality control; ultimately resulting in improved, reliable and cost-effective outcomes. But if McKinsey & Company were to be believed, today building projects with multiple complexities tend to take 20% longer to finish than scheduled and cost approx. 80% over budget.
Poor Performance of Construction Industry
One of the main reasons cited for the poor performance of the construction industry is that most of the players still rely on paper documentation including blueprints, design drawings, procurement, and supply-chain orders, equipment logs, daily progress reports, and punch lists; to manage their processes and deliverables.
Information sharing gets delayed substantially in the absence of digitization; making contractors, construction companies and owners work from different versions of reality. Secondly, the use of paper makes it all the more difficult to capture and analyze construction data, which is of so much importance in contracting and procurements; as historical performance analytics has the potential to lead towards better risk management and outcomes.
Paper trails especially mismanaged ones; are known for spurring unpleasant arguments and discussions between contractors and owners on topics such as construction progress, change orders, and claims management.
Owners and contractors have started deploying digital-collaboration and field mobility solutions. The latest is a cloud-based, mobile-enabled field-supervision platform that integrates project planning, engineering, physical control, budgeting, and document management for building construction projects. The construction industry is in need of digitized project-management workflows.
How exactly digitized project-management work-flows help the construction industry?
- Visualize 2D drafts, drawings and BIM-ready 3D models on-site, with help of mobile platforms
- Blueprints updated with latest amendments, conveniently accessible in the field with markups, annotations & hyperlinks
- 4D BIM allows creating, assigning and prioritization of tasks on a real-time basis, followed with online tracking of work in progress
- Workers can conveniently access the work plans and schedules, resulting in no delayed work and hence; projects
- Mobile notifications; push and pull, to every contractor and sub-contractor involved in the construction process
- Update and track contract compliance checklists
- Easy to maintain standardized communication checklists
- Handily available updated record for all clients and contractor communications
- Easy identification, tracking and locating of materials, spools, and equipment across the entire supply chain stores and work front
- Upload and distribute documents for reviewing, editing, and recording the latest decisions made
- Allow universal project search across any and every building construction phase
- Real-time status update on overall crew deployed across sites
- Number of active working hours
- Entry/exit of the crew in restricted areas, etc.
- Easy remote site inspections with the help of pictures and tags shared through construction mobile apps
- Updation and tracking of live punch lists, across projects to expedite project closure within the deadline
- Monitoring the progress and performance across teams across construction sites
- Develop and deliver automated dashboards created from readily available field data
- Offer staffing updates and past reports generated on handheld devices
Early bird benefits
Several other industries have witnessed the trend that first movers have built a sustainable competitive advantage. In the construction sector; history is likely to repeat itself. In the coming decade, winners of tomorrow or the early birds are likely to take the lead in technology and digitization. Resisting change is no longer an option for the construction industry.
It is time the construction industry is set free from that ingrained mentality and practicality of not wasting time on chasing new technology that doesn’t perform better if compared to conventional methods.
BIM uses Virtual Design and Construction capabilities in 3D for building or infrastructure design planning, collaboration of disciplines stakeholders and construction management. BIM is embedded deep into the construction industry for around for a while and now has started to gain traction.
The technology advancements of mobile devices and cloud-based software are facilitating the adoption of technology by contractors. BIM adoption is increasing amongst the contractors as they are looking control over the construction project expenditure, quicken the pace, and find efficient means for IPD.
B – Building of designs
Architects and engineers utilize BIM to transform conceptual designs in to geometric 3D models for buildings and infrastructure. While general contractors, based on these models develop construction plans, logistic and downstream processes. To these professionals, BIM is more than just a mere model; it forms the digital life-cycle from design to demolition. BIM LOD 500 models essentially help contractors in communicating their intent and project purpose with by facilitating a more collaborative approach.
I – Information of the entire project
The basis of a successful construction project is the capability of the architects and engineers to seamlessly embed the design intelligence into the model and be able to manage the data efficiently. The Common Data Environment of BIM facilitates a common platform for design change tracks and effectively keeps all the stakeholders on same page.
Furthermore when designs are finalized, data and planning for construction can be well maintained and shared with every stakeholder. Any queries change orders etc. can easily be handled by digitized RFIs within the review process and quick-informed decisions can be made.
M – Maintain with the model
The 3D model is the key to all phases of the build process including preconstruction phase, during the construction, and post construction phase. CDE in BIM is handed over to the project owners once the construction is finished.
This CDE or as-built BIM model which incorporates the changes made during the construction are included in the model and it serves as one source of truth to building owners and facility managers. The data warehoused within becomes the resource for facility managers to refer to efficient maintenance, during renovations or retrofitting. Smallest of the information of part size, valve, pump etc. can be traced; its installation, last maintenance activity details etc. can all be retrieved easily.
BIM during Construction Process
Since BIM has critically improved the approach of building construction and infrastructure development projects, subcontractors involved in construction should also be a part of it. We thus shed some light on BIM benefits for construction.
BIM’s key factor is collaboration. Thus, the best use of BIM pre construction is for sub-contractors since they lay the foundation to collaborate design and installation procedures of prefabricated building elements and products. Also, they are the subject matter experts so with BIM they can collaborate well with the design stakeholders, steel fabricators and building manufacturers. With BIM, they can ensure the least reworks and an efficient check on costs.
Ongoing Construction Phase
During the ongoing construction phase, BIM-ready 3D models act as the single source of information for the project teams and on site engineers as well as contractors. The foremen will have the access to the model for task assignment and execution. Also the advanced wearable technology equipped with AR/VR will help the foremen to connect the engineer back in the office. When there are any design changes in the model, the entire team is notified of the implications upon costs and schedules. This way everyone on the project can stay updated.
Post the construction, the most tasks are operating the facility smoothly and deliver the best and hassle free maintenance. This can be achieved by two things: in place BIM-ready model and having knowledge of which component is located where. When these two are in place going from BIM [Building Information Modeling] to FIM [Facility Information Modeling] isn’t afar. With BIM, facility managers are being able to get these two tasks in place and owners can take appropriate decisions across the life span of the building.
Thus, it can be said that BIM has a significant impact upon contractors, be it general or sub-contractors. It serves as a single file that beholds all the information for entire building construction or infrastructure development project. It enhances the partnership of the contractors with sub-contractors, building owners, engineers and architects. Combining better project delivery, BIM helps contractors achieve better business and engineering results.
BIM signifies different aspects for different building construction firms. AEC companies and EPC firms think that the emphasis has to be completely on the information “I” of BIM. The information is either graphical or non-graphical and is contained in the building model, which is accessible through the liked data. The capability of a construction firm to integrate building designs with engineering processes with help of information from documents; is what sets BIM modeling from drawing equipment, and the firm from competitors.
Virtual Designing Tool
3D modeling and simulations are increasingly becoming sophisticated, and hence are getting integrated on more and more building construction projects. Best Revit BIM modeling service providers opine that their potential is realized when they successfully bring architecture, engineering, and construction on the same platform to further unite designers and the designing elements together. It may sound like a gigantic task, but for those who know about it, are sure that BIM is the future of building.
To simplify it, we can say that BIM is computer modeling which brings together all relevant building information to streamline current and future processes. BIM makes building construction easier, and construction firms, big and small, now know why BIM consulting model is advantageous to them.
Benefits of BIM Consulting to your Construction Firm:
BIM – Build Intelligent Models
BIM is mainly a virtual prototype of a site, building, infrastructure or an entire city. It helps with the aspects of assessing the design performance, and stimulating it before constructing – helping all involved in the construction project to understand the design completely and well in advance.
BIM Maturity Measure Model
BIM maturity models are simple and easy to assess the maturity of the implementation of BIM within the projects. With help of BIM maturity, construction companies are capable of assessing and adopting BIM best practices and it’s diffusion across various groups and regions. It can be said to be a discipline to measure the amount of project completed and how successful it has been. These maturity models make BIM consulting services available for wide industry usage for demystifying BIM, reducing BIM wash and helping raise the capability throughout the industry.
Before inception of BIM, building construction projects with multiple complexities were dependent on computer generated drafts, drawings and images –which put together, will form the overall layout. This means that architecture, engineering, and construction disciplines were preparing their own images and communicating with one another for seamless workflow – wishful thinking. But this was not at all “seamless transfer of information”. But today, if you face challenges getting in touch with design engineers – BIM is the solution. BIM 3D modeling ensures that all involved in the construction project are looking at the same 3D render. Construction professionals and construction engineers and contractors – all access and look at the same information. BIM averts disconnect between construction firms and clients, ultimately resulting in saved dollars and time.
BIM Consulting Increases ROI
Small construction firms usually struggle to match high overheads. They do make money, but most of it goes into managing the expenses. BIM consulting helps them in increasing the ROI. A firm’s BIM maturity is responsible for the firm’s high return on investments. Firms with less mature BIM are more likely to have poorer ROI. This ropes in the ways in which BIM consulting changes your workflow – effectively and efficiently. Increased ROI is a result of reduced errors, efficient use of resources, dissemination of information, and involving construction experts willing to work with emerging technology. Attracting the best minds attracts the best customers, who pay the highest fees.
Trustworthy Final Build Quality
3D BIM modeling enables construction firms, contractors, architects and design engineers with a virtual inspection of the building before it gets constructed or project completion. BIM models containing layers of different building systems, both structurally and its internal systems; enable the construction company run virtual tests to make sure all the systems are working appropriately – even before breaking the ground. Choosing the best BIM consulting firm helps you be prepared to embrace BIM to the fullest.
Consulting firms are your strategic BIM partners. BIM consultants provide an innovative approach to businesses to enhance and improvise the communication within architecture and engineering. They help you make that smooth transition from conventional building construction processes, to integrated BIM workflows and thus maximize your ROIs. Apart from BIM consulting and implementation, they also assist construction firms with project start up, training, and workflow management support leading to superior business outcomes.