The advantages of a BIM collaboration platform in the AEC sector and the importance of implementing a collaborative organisation
The multidiscipline design and coordination aspects, always very common in any large AEC project, have always represented a series of complex problems in the construction sector. BIM represents a true revolution in the way of operating compared to traditional methods, because it requires a cooperative working methodology putting all skills and knowledge of the BIM model to have to come together.
What is collaborative BIM?
BIM is a ‘building information container‘ where anyone involved in a project can insert graphical data and technical specifications relating to the expected lifecycle. The elements representing the building all all the physical and logical characteristics of their physical counterparts, therefore, they are intelligent elements that constitute the digital prototype of the real element (such as walls, columns, doors, windows, stairs, etc.) that work together as a digital simulation of the building allowing to assess various aspects including its physical behaviour even before starting the construction phase.
BIM begins with a 3D model representation of a structure containing information regarding dimensions, materials, appearance, technical characteristics and that must be correctly interpreted and maintained during communication between different digital platforms and disciplines (designers).
However, this model is much more than simple combination of geometric shapes with high quality mapped textures for the sake of an artistic representation. It becomes part of a design method that brings all parties into a collaborative workflow in order to integrate in a single model all the useful information deriving from every phase of the design process: from architectural to structural, from plant engineering to energy performance and asset management.
A BIM process can only be fully effective when collaboration and coordination become part of the organisational model. Each stakeholder develops the BIM model according to their design discipline and integrates it with the others by sharing it in a data sharing platform (Common Data Environment or CDE).
Benefits of the collaborative BIM platform in a workflow
BIM can offer numerous advantages to everyone involved in the project, starting with the awareness of how important it is to conceive both design and construction processes in a broader dimension. Data acquired prior to the design and internal production processes, becomes a fundamental element on which the whole subsequent construction process depends.
- Precision and efficiency
- Interference – structure/plant installations
- Error during the execution phase
- Cost of construction
Thanks to BIM, the perception of collaboration importance and teamwork grows while considerably improving results through a more adequate organization with respect to the employer requirements.
BIM represents a small revolution in terms of operating methodologies for companies and for those involved in the adoption of BIM systems. In fact, it implies to the various different subjects, different cultures, and different social backgrounds, having to cooperate in a project regulation and to convey skills and knowledge into this tool that is both a container and an integrator.
Without having a proper supporting structure where BIM plays a central role, no one can be the only protagonist of an important project.
Working in a BIM methodology, means using technology to integrate the different professional skills involved in the work project more efficiently. It allows a profitable knowledge exchange and a timely update of the information available in real time. Consequently, it drastically reduces errors while achieving a comprehensive project improvement.
Collaboration across sectors and between people involved in a construction project would not be possible without free access to all the essential data stored in a BIM model.
This leads to having suitable tools, such as collaborative platforms based on open file systems.
A BIM collaborative platform must be able to support the AEC professional to correctly create and manage BIM models during the project delivery process. For this reason it necessarily needs to be easy to use and accessible to everyone.
In line with these principles, ACCA software, the company with the largest number of IFC certified BIM software in the world, has recently launched the usBIM-platform.
usBIM-platform is the BIM collaboration platform specifically designed to implement BIM processes even in small projects and in small organizations, the solution for managing and sharing data that responds to new standards implementing the latest most advanced technologies.
The usBIM collaborative platform is the first visual system for BIM management with model creation and management in open formats.
Not just a cloud based service!
With usBIM.platform, BIM managers can:
- manage and organize data in cloud in compliance with the CISPE code of conduct, the GDPR and the European privacy guidelines
- invite other managers and technical experts to their work space by assigning roles and access permissionso
- work online, from a browser, without a stand-alone software, from desktop and mobile devices
- save files produced with any software on the platform
- create and manage the BIM model with 3D models, documents and data
- directly view files in IFC, DWG, DXF, OBJ, SKP, 3DS, RVT, etc.
- manage cost estimating from the web with collaborative working
- manages safety plans from the web with collaborative working
- save project files directly from ACCA software solutions (Edificius, PriMus, EdiLus, TerMus, etc.)
- track the actions performed on the BIM model and the revisions of shared documents
- get an automatic data backup and disaster recovery service
- organize the digital model documents and data (#TagBIM)
- integrate code checking, clash detection and 4D BIM
- integrate additional documentation to the digital model
- freely navigate through the BIM model from a simple browser with information and data shared in the CDE (Common Data Environment))
- manage, display and modify the BIM model in the IFC format without needing to purchase any other BIM Authoring software