the ideal tool for the general planner
In an integrated planning approach, as it has been pursued for years by AS+P, architecture serves as the central element of motivation and identification for all disciplines.
In past decades, this central role has faded into the background due to fragmentation into a variety of design disciplines and specialist trades. This resulted in unfortunate phenomena such as an aversion to responsibility, a lack of thinking beyond the interface of the respective trade, and a pronounced failure to identify with the project as a whole. This frequently led to planning schemes, in which cross-trade conflict potentials only emerged in the course of execution. Many clients missed having a contact who was competent for the entire planning process. In this respect AS+P has always taken overall responsibility.
The integral planning method using digital building models (BIM) offers the chance to move the architect from the discipline of architectural design back to the centre of general planning. This reinstates the much-needed backbone of the planning team as well as the overarching contact for the client. The perspective across all the trades, which is necessary for this approach, is inherent when planning with building models. Crucially, it helps to identify potential conflicts at an early stage and to solve them before tendering and execution.
An additional added value emerges from three-dimensional visualization of the whole project. As a motivation factor for the project team towards the common objectives, this should not be underestimated. The project that the parties wish to realize and jointly build, can be visualized at an early stage. Regular, joint coordination meetings using the digital building model and involving all disciplines also help improve mutual understanding while also facilitating communication among the respective planning partners.
Contrary to popular belief, the far-reaching analogy of “BIM-planning” with traditional planning processes means no dilution of planning and liability interfaces. Even with the BIM method, each discipline is responsible and therefore liable for their actions. This is also the case when handling the respective models at the level of the individual design disciplines.
AS+P’s fundamental approach has always been to provide a consistent contradiction-free whole as the sum of all planning and text documents. Against this background, since the year 2000 AS+P has focused on linking alphanumeric and geometric data.
Bidirectionally connected databases have been used to derive area and cost calculations as well as door and finishing lists from two-dimensional CAD data. The aim was maximum consistency and currentness of data, as well as avoidance of redundancies and potential contradictions.
We are living in an era of shared data and events. Today’s digital tools help us as a matter of course in our daily communication and coordination. Thus, the negative attitude that can be observed in parts of the construction industry appears all the more absurd. Each building project is the result of the interdisciplinary work of a team put together for this specific project. Soft factors such as the identification of all those involved with the project’s objectives and success, as well as clear communication and well formulated expectations are all the more important in this context.
The vision, propagated by individual companies, that all those involved in planning can simultaneously work on one single model using cloud-based infrastructure makes no sense at present from AS+P’s perspective; this contradicts any regulated and structured planning process. The idea of the architect’s model providing a framework for the expert planners is still reasonable. For this purpose, the architectural model is adjusted in consultation with a structural engineer, before it serves as a three-dimensional planning basis for the MEP design.