ÅF Engineering: Greater precision for engineers and architects

Previously, several different programmes were required in the execution of construction projects. With Bimsync you ensure smart progress and greater accuracy throughout the project. ÅF Engineering and Tegn 3’s experience with Bimsync is highly transferrable to the entire construction industry. ÅF Engineering was among the first to utilise the solution, and is happy to share its experiences:

- We use Bimsync as a web-based collaboration tool, for project web hosting and to study models. There is a low threshold for using Bimsync, and no special software is required. The accessibility also enables us to bring in users early in projects, and that has already resulted in that we have been able to make necessary alterations to internal walls in time. Furthermore, the developer often follows the process and provides input, explains Hans Marius Festø, BIM Strategist at ÅF Engineering.

Always updated model
In the project meetings (ICE), all model makers in the project are invited.

- We can hold work sessions while at the same time displaying a compiled model. Thus, if some departments have a case to work on, they can collaborate on it and upload a new model file directly to Bimsync. This way, everyone can view the new changes without any intermediaries. Previously, we handled cases concerning the model on multiple platforms in parallel, he says.

Before ÅF began using Bimsync, it was difficult to be certain that cases were being processed as they should. There are many sources of errors when messages are delivered via telephone, e-mail, notes and Excel sheets. And closing cases takes a long time.

- If I discover an error or collision in the model in Bimsync, I create a case and delegate it to the relevant department, or to a specific individual in the project. Action must then be taken, requiring an answer as to whether or not the case has been resolved. This can eliminate many problems outside design meetings.

The use of Revit is widespread in all departments, and with Bimsync as the collaboration platform, cases and comments are created that can be exchanged between different software applications. Here, BIM Collaboration Format (BCF) is used, which is the same format as a Solibri collision control report. If you use Revit, NTI Tools BCF Addin is a useful tool that enables the BCF case list to communicate directly with Bimsync in the event of changes from Revit, without requiring an exchange of the entire case list via email or the like.

Improved cross-departmental collaboration
Furthermore, in specific cases that require follow-up, Bimsync is also used for collaboration between the departments.

- In Bimsync, everything is trackable. If you have answered and the case is checked out, there is no doubt about where the responsibility lies afterwards, says Festø. The complete overview is at least as useful in the operation phase. The MOM officer then works with the structure’s digital twin, where product data sheets for each individual object are found in Bimsync, which functions as the model server.

Since Bimsync is also time-saving, it is also cost-effective for the project as a whole.

- The license fee for Bimsync is saved with good margin because of all the other licenses that become redundant, says Festø.

User-friendly digitalisation
Architect at Tegn 3, Marge Grav, confirms that Bimsync is intuitive and easy to use.

- I have not had any training and was able to get going in the course of an hour. It is so easy that a developer or contractor should not be nervous about using it. For them, it is also easy because the use of web browser means that they do not need to download large files, she says.

Grav works as the architectural project manager for Sydskogen School in Røyken, the first school with Passive House Standard and Nordic Swan Ecolabel in the Nordic countries.

- We use bimsync to see where the various consultants are at in the design. We have a routine where we publish once a week, which allows us to continuously view what stage we are at, and what they have done since the last time. This is not only for those of use working on the project, but also for contractors who can easily familiarise themselves with where the various departments are at. It eases the work when all those involved follow-up quickly, says Grav.

Easy to spot deviations
Easy access and an intuitive interface makes it easy to orient yourself in the model.

- Since the individual work groups are responsible for uploading their model, you can easily turn on and off the various departments. Thereby, we can rotate a model, solely with the architectural aspect, and switch to construction. And you can choose to switch on what you are interested in viewing, e.g. floor plan and piping, so that you can easily select it with two clicks. You can also easily access and view horizontal and vertical plans in the structure. This way, you will gain knowledge about exactly what you need, she says.

- For me, as an architect, it is easy to spot where the deviations between the departments are. And it is easy to discuss deviations even if we have design meetings via Skype. When registering tasks that need to be worked on, you include an email and send directly to the consultant who needs to correct their model.

- You can get a log without having to go back and forth by phone or email. This log is visible to all, making it very transparent. In an email correspondence, you choose who will and who won’t be the recipients. That is why I think transparency is an advantage, since you often do not have the necessary insight to assess who should be involved in each case. That is possibly the best aspect, she concludes.

The license fee for Bimsync is saved with good margin because of all the other licenses that become redundant.

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