The BIM transformation in the construction industry

Written by
Jeroen Mackaij
Published on
17 December 2019
Category
blog

A solution to efficient, cost-effective cooperation in the construction industry has been around for a long time. Our BIM Manager, Jeroen Mackaij, is aware that BIM has been trying to get off the ground for the past fifteen years, but now he sees it is actually beginning to soar. Now it is time for everyone to join in.

Is the electrical technician using the right materials? Does the contractor have the most up-to-date knowledge needed to manage the project? Does the management technician know where to find the right technical installation requiring maintenance? And does the user know whether the area in which he/she is located meets all requirements? Preferably, the answer to all of these questions is a resounding ‘yes’. But this is only possible if there is an effective exchange of information about the building among all parties that are working together – and that is by far not always the case. BIM (Building Information Management) is the perfect solution for this.

Openly sharing information

In BIM, all of the information associated with a building project is encased in data. Data about the objects in a building, as well as its geometry. This is supplemented with the required documentation as needed. This data can be brought together in a single location in a 3D model constructed in accordance with open BIM standards. As a result, information can be retrieved much faster and used much easier in all of the building’s construction phases. By the client, the designers, as well as the contractor, installer and building manager. Every user can furthermore modify and enrich the information. In short, genuine cooperation in the construction industry.

This cooperation is expanding. Take the Open Uniform Object Library (UOL) for instance. This library contains the parametric 3D objects that together with the manufacturer's data, or a generic version thereof, can be contained in a BIM 3D model. We created the UOL together with all parties in the technical installation chain and expect to publish Version 1 in May 2020. The objects in the UOL are developed in accordance with various chain and other standards. This way a technical installation consultant can incorporate a generic model of a light fixture from the UOL in his/her BIM 3D model. The installer later replaces that generic model by the manufacturer’s model that is also contained in the UOL and meets the same requirements. He then immediately orders the light fixture from the 3D model. I think this is a really good example of how we are interacting within the sector.

The current situation

What are BIM’s implications for Strukton Worksphere? Two years ago, when I started working here as BIM Manager, BIM was still a dot on the horizon. But now it is solidly anchored in our strategic objectives to work digitally, sustainably and safely. And we are accomplishing this. Increasingly more colleagues have been trained in working with BIM and they are encouraging others to do the same.

These colleagues, as well as our partners, collect and process information in accordance with the BIM agreements we formulate for each project. In addition to our clients, we also formulate our own requirements. This enables us to implement our BIM processes and information needs in accordance with the ISO 19650 standard, and to guarantee quality. As early as in the design phase, we provide due consideration to the information that will be useful at a later stage for management and maintenance. This way, we develop structured knowledge throughout a building’s entire lifecycle. And in fact, this is how we should be working. We are living at a time when, together with clients and other parties, we are increasingly more often responsible for a building’s entire lifecycle. Working with BIM is an indispensable way of working for us.
Jeroen Mackaij, Strukton Worksphere
Every user can furthermore modify and enrich the information. In short, genuine cooperation in the construction industry.

Jeroen Mackaij

The future

I dare say that BIM should be the basis for a future-proof building sector. With the declining available technical and engineering employee numbers, it is becoming increasingly more important that we digitalise, and even roboticise, the processes in the construction industry. Thanks to BIM this is possible. We continue to build on BIM. At Strukton Worksphere, we are taking the first steps in this regard in the form of the Digital Twin. With the information in BIM and real-time data provided by sensors in the building, we are making a virtual copy of the building. This way, users, for example, can adjust the building to fit their needs.

In my view, there will be far more BIM applications in the near future. For robotisation, for example. When there is a well-developed virtual 3D model of a building, a robot will be able to find its way within the building. In a year’s time, I believe we will see robots drilling holes at night in preparation for the work to be performed by technicians the next day. Move the clock forward another few years and robots will have taken over a range of other construction and maintenance tasks.

BIM for the entire lifecycle

At Strukton Worksphere, activity relating to BIM is in high gear. It provides us with a solid basis on which we continue building. But this is by far not yet the case throughout the construction sector. At the same time, BIM works best when all parties involved in the building work together on it. Throughout a building’s entire lifecycle, from construction through to management. When an organisation has reached this point, things can go very fast. I have seen this at Strukton Worksphere. Here, people now not only would like to work with BIM, they are demanding it. My hope is that everyone reading this article will enthusiastically embrace BIM. It not only results in better communication, it also increases efficiency and reduces errors. And what is even more important: it is a great way to prepare for the future, and it’s fun!

People are visually oriented. It helps a lot when you make things visible.

Jeroen Mackaij

Here, people now not only would like to work with BIM, they are demanding it. My hope is that everyone reading this article will enthusiastically embrace BIM. It is a great way to prepare for the future, and it’s fun!

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