Delivery of a consistent, contradiction-free whole

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.

In the course of AS+P’s activities in the context of the new construction of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt / Main, the existing database solutions were extended to include a fire case control matrix with a simulation function, as well as a door database for site supervision and commissioning.

In parallel, as a result of the emerging problems in the handling of public construction projects by the Federal Government, an expert commission was launched to develop strategies and guidance to prevent such problems in future large-scale projects. As part of the “Construction of Major Projects Reform Commission” AS+P had the opportunity to successfully contribute its national and inter­national experience.

Recognising that federal politics intensively dealt with methods to mitigate risks in major construction projects, and observing AS+P’s relevant foreign markets, AS+P derived a corporate strategy based on the fact that the planning methods involving BIM models would receive a much-needed boost within a reasonable period of time.

After roughly one year of research, AS+P’s first BIM pilot projects were initiated at the beginning of 2014. The projects chosen were of typical size and complexity for AS+P. In a deliberate decision, the pilot projects were not safeguarded by parallel processing using conventional planning. The knowledge thus gained and the motivation of the employees were increased significantly, because they were based on a “real” project under practical conditions. The BIM approach in these pilot projects was neither contractually agreed nor additionally remunerated, so that in the event of major problems, a fall-back position in the form of a conventional plan would have been possible. This exit strategy proved unnecessary. By mid-2015, the “Construction of Major Projects Reform Commission” presented its final report. The “BIM method” figured prominently in its recommendations.

On 15.12.2015, the “Phased Plan for the Introduction of Building Information Modeling (BIM)” was presented by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Information (BMVI). This recommends a five-year period is suggested for gaining experience with BIM during pilot applications and for evaluating the advantages and disadvantages. After this phase, starting in 2020, BIM will be officially declared as mandatory for building contractors as well as for all participants within the supply chain.

AS+P had completed the pilot phase at the end of 2015 and rolled out BIM as the default method for processing all building projects. AS+P had already found answers to specific issues of added value and use cases from the information-enriched model and the resulting new tasks within the value chain. If, apart from the geometry of a component, its materiality and physical properties are also known and stored in a database, one of the obvious applications is the visualization of the design – the solution developed and realized in the model.

BIM proves that the whole can be more than the sum of its parts.

One of AS+P’s key projects in further developing digital know-how – the new construction of the ECB in Frankfurt’s East.

The future is BIM - this was recognized by AS+P in 2000

Risk mitigation in major construction projects – the political agenda and BIM integration at AS+P.

2000

2000

AS+P focuses on linking alphanumeric and geometric data.

2003

2003

AS+P implements database-related cost and area calculations.

2007

2007

AS+P evaluates BIM software during an initial test project.

2011

2011

AS+P assumes object planning (of the building and monitoring of firms working on construction) for European Central Bank.

2013

2013

BMVI initiates the “Construction of Major Projects Reform Commission”.

2014

2014

AS+P implements the first BIM pilot projects.

2015

2015

On 15.12.2015, the “Phased Plan for the Introduction of Building Information Modeling (BIM)” was presented by the BMVI (Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure); this plan outlines the successive introduction of BIM for infrastructure projects, which will be obligatory by 2020.

Beginning of the preparation phase for BIM implementation until 2017.

2015

2015

AS+P finishes the pilot phase, specifying BIM as the standard method for building construction projects.

2017

2017

Start of the extended pilot phase Level 1 until 2020.

2017

2017

AS+P plans a number of projects using BIM.

2020

2020

Entry into force of the phased plan and BIM obligation for newly planned projects.

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AS+P’s fundamental approach has always been to provide a consistent, contradiction-free whole as the sum of all planning and text documents.

The building model as a tailor-made “digital twin”

Digital building models serve the purpose of achieving the successful execution of the work. Against this background, the project-specific model requirements and the associated level of abstraction should be defined. This requires a pragmatic, case-related definition of the necessary level of detail, which may be detailed or comparably basic – depending on the relevance of the building section in question.

This approach corresponds to the usual planning practice of specifying relevant issues with the aim of clearly and comprehensively describing the project specifications. In general, AS+P models replicate what will subsequently be built, for example, in terms of storeys. The corresponding increase in input is more than justified by the improved reusability during tendering, procurement and construction.

The digital building model is an abstraction of the building for the purpose of planning, tendering and construc-tion. An adapted model can be derived from this, which meets the requirements and objectives of facility management without being overloaded with irrelevant information. At its core, it is about providing relevant information in one place, which is consistent, up-to-date and without redundancy.

AS+P derives a number of standard use cases from the architectural model. These include the creation of plans, the coordination of personnel involved in planning and the integration of expert planners, slot and opening design, as well as model checking and quality assurance. These also include the generation of lists based on databases (e.g. for areas, doors and finishings), the implementation of target/performance comparisons, the creation of interactive and passive visualizations, 3D printing, and the calculation of construction costs and quantity take-off for tenders.

All of the above applications are covered by the HOAI fee (Official Scale of Fees for Services by Architects and Engineers), except special forms of presentation such as visualizations and 3D-printed models.

Additional specific, model-based customer requirements can be met by AS+P as an option, and custom solutions can be developed by AS+P in cooperation with clients and users.

The core issue is providing relevant information in one place, which is without redundancy, consistent and up-to-date.

How can the client benefit from BIM?

The client’s requirements are the starting point for the planning process. Early and clear representation of the client’s “order” is an essential basis for the project’s success in both traditional and BIM planning processes.

AS+P uses digital building models and linked databases with room book functionality to compile the client’s requirements in dialogue with all involved parties, even before the start of the actual planning phase. Unpleasant surprises – for example related to area and cost calculations at the end of the planning phase that require additional rounds – are a thing of the past.

The model as the “single source of truth” forms the basis for a valid, cross-trade reporting system based on the overall project, and is therefore a key instrument of risk mitigation. An overview of all the characteristics is possible via construction lists, either within the program or after data export. The derivations are always up-to-date and eliminate inconsistent information. The model acts as the building specification, components catalogue, plan basis, quantity take-off and a means of communication for all those involved in the planning.

One of the key advantages of the BIM method for the client is its high degree of transparency at all times.

The traditional client is involved in all phases of the project and benefits in particular from integrated planning using digital building models.

One of the key advantages of the BIM method for the client is its high degree of transparency at all times.

Dynamic sections, active inspection of the assembled overall model and real controlling via automated collision tests make BIM an optimized coordination tool – both internally and in consultation with external project participants.

Optimized coordination via integrated planning using BIM

AS+P has regarded the coordination and integration of planning disciplines as a high priority. This attitude is independent of the type of assignment, be it as architects or general planners, and is one of the main challenges of today’s planning processes.

On a traditional, two-dimensional plan basis, this coordination activity is an extremely tedious and time-consuming task; because of its complexity it can be very risky, even with strong commitment. In the BIM methodology, three-dimensional planning models and the currently available model checkers are of great assistance.

At regular intervals – which are significantly shorter compared to traditional two-dimensional CAD design – the individual models are merged into a coordination model. From experience, the established digital interfaces are sufficient for checking for geometric conflicts, so that Open BIM projects can also be handled with the currently available standards and tools. Uncoordinated changes and other undesirable developments can thus be identified considerably earlier than in conventional planning processes and addressed within the planning team.

Quality assurance for the overall planning, as well as reliable and verifiable statements regarding the planning status are possible in a much more valid way when they are model-based. Digital building models offer a very high level of transparency, both within the planning team and for the client.

The results and follow-up tasks from the coordination rounds are unequivocally documented and the process of eliminating conflicts is tracked. Notwithstanding the use of different model checkers at AS+P, automated model checking is regularly complemented by a visual engineering test.

Despite increasing digitalization, multidisciplinary engineering and design teams are still necessary, because the service largely entails the classification and prioritisation of the identified problems and conflicts – only by combining computers and human beings can success be guaranteed. Thus, project management using interdisciplinary models further strengthens AS+P’s traditional, highly developed interface expertise.

Activities around BIM

On November 9, 2017 the first BIM Symposium “BIM BEGINNEN” was held in Frankfurt. It was organized by Bauindustrieverband Hessen-Thüringen e.V. and Architekten- und Stadtplanerkammer Hessen under the patronage of the Hessen Minister of Economics Tarek Al-Wazir. The symposium’s objective was to found BIM-Cluster Hessen e.V.. The purpose of the new association is to promote collaboration and networking between all those involved in the planning, construction, and operating value-added chain by establishing efficient methods of continuous information processing. Dirk Kahl, a member of the management and a partner at AS+P, spoke at the symposium on the topic of ‘BIM as applied by Architects’ and in the future too he and his team will enrich the association with AS+P’s expertise.

Press release of the Bauindustrieverband Hessen-Thüringen e.V.

Link to the presentation `BIM in application by the architects´