BIM Consulting | BIM Solutions > Focus on HOW

BIM-Professional (Technical University of Munich, Germany)
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Workflow optimisation




BIM

BIM (Building Information Model) isn't just a 3D model, is the virtualisation of a building's lifecycle, its geometry, its processes, its semantic data. BIM is a way of working that aims to streamline the exchange of information between stakeholders.

Most people have no problem understanding what a 3D model is. However, most offices that come from a traditional workflow have difficulty understanding what data is. Data can be anything from geometric features to fire class or delivery time of an element. Any type of information that can be used during the design, construction and management phases is data.

Example: door. Semantic data includes opening width and height, jamb thickness, fire, acoustic class, jamb material, cost factor, etc.

Freely modelled 3D elements may be visually obvious to us, but not necessarily understandable to a computer: an element doesn't automatically provide semantic data. Only parametrically defined building elements can provide semantic data.

Example: door. You can freely model a door, but your software won't be able to tell it apart from a roof - or any other shape for that matter - if no parameter qualifies that object as a door.

In an Open BIM workflow, a BIM model is exchanged between all the parties involved in the design process using an open format: IFC. Who delivers what and when is agreed with the client and defined in the Building Exchange Requirements (BER). Parametric values can be exported as required using IFC mappings.

Example: door. Jamb thickness, shape, etc. are not to be supplied at early design stages but may be a delivery requirement at a later stage.

The team must therefore be trained to perform the task of drawing objects in such a way that both geometry and semantic data are delivered as described in the Building Exchange Requirements (BER). Incorporating semantics into a BIM model is an overwhelming technical task for most CAD authors.

Example: door. While the width and height of the door are automatically provided by BIM-compliant software, semantic data such as fire, acoustic class, material, etc. must be entered by a CAD author, depending on specific design choices.

Maintaining control over what is exported can be complex, depending on the level of detail required. This is particularly true for semantic data, which is not immediately visible. The correct setting of semantic data requires a deep knowledge of standards and project agreements.


Workflows

Standard Workflow

Design, 3D geometry and data are implemented by the whole team:

workflow legend
  • -- design
  • ++ training
  • ++ mistakes
workflow 1


Advanced Workflow

Design, 3D geometry are implemented by the team, data is resolved programmatically:

  • ++ design
  • -- training
  • -- mistakes
workflow 2


Project Phases

In a BIM workflow, the need to simulate workflows and processes means that many of the decisions traditionally associated with the detailing/construction phase need to be made earlier.:

project phases

Tools for Archicad

At work, I often feel the need to make certain things more efficient: to cut out the repetition, to reduce the errors. If possible, I then try to develop applications or just simple scripts.

So the tools below were developed around my own needs for productivity and in my spare time from a real full-time job.
Since they are useful to me, they are probably useful to others, and I pass them on for a fee. All prices are net, 19% VAT applies..



CBM-Attribute Manager-Compare

Managing Archicad attributes across multiple files is almost impossible due to the profound changes that occur when projects need to be shared via hotlinks or imports, new attributes or simply copy and paste.

CBM-Attribute Manager-Compare is an advanced app for the BIM manager that helps to find even the deepest differences between any number of xml attribute manager files and can output a to-do list in Excel for the team to resolve them.

100€

Beta testing!

Archicad Attribute Manager


CBM-Room Manager

Batch actions around rooms

CBM-Room Manager is a utility for Units' areas, Incrementing room numbers and similar.

20€

Alpha testing!

Archicad Attribute Manager


CBM-Attribute Manager-Pen Sets

Create pens sets precisely.

CBM-Attribute Manager-Pen Sets is a utility that creates xml files defining Archicad color pen sets using a number of methods.

20€

Under Construction!

Archicad Attribute Manager


Revit

Revit's most charming feature is Dynamo. I loved Dynamo in the time I could spend on it and could develop many interesting solutions. In the screenshot, generating surface calculations on drawing according to German and Swiss standards. Looking forward for more.



Revit Dynamos

Tools for Vectorworks (discontinued)

I have worked with Microstation, Allplan, Revit, Archicad and Vectorworks. I can say that of all these CAD systems, Vectorworks is by far the most customisable and the only one where you can really get close to total automation. Vectorworks has an amazing core for the experienced user (and unfortunately a very clumsy usability for the average user). Below you will find a list of plug-ins that should give you an idea of the level of optimisation that can be achieved for your office. Each plug-in can be extended as required to maximise geometric control and/or workflow efficiency. Prices are netto, based on the last 6 digits of a Vectorworks serial number and valid for one version.

Disclaimer: After over 20 years, I discontinued my development for Vectorworks since I moved to Revit first, and Archicad then. The list below is legacy only.



CBM-IFC Batch-Settings

Start an accompanying script from day one and let it grow as you go. Maximise automation



IFC Batch-Settings


CBM-IFC Custom Mapping

Each project requires customised IFC mappings to meet the client's requirements.

IFC Mapping


CBM-Custom Scripts

Every project has unique features and recurring changes, not just IFC.

IFC Batch-Settings script



CBM-Window

Parametric window

ifcWindow, ifcOpening
50€ (max. VW 2023)

Window Tool


CBM-Door

Parametric door

ifcDoor, ifcOpening
50€ (max. VW 2023)

Door Tool


CBM-Industrial Door

Parametric garage door

ifcDoor, ifcOpening
50€ (max. VW 2023)

Industrial Door Tool


CBM-Wall Hole

Parametric wall hole

ifcOpening
50€ (max. VW 2023)

Wall Hole Tool



CBM-Vault Capped

Parametric vaulted slab

ifcSlab
50€ (max. VW 2023)

Vault Tool


CBM-Pitch and Flat Roof Window

Parametric roof windows

ifcWindow, ifcOpening
50€ (max. VW 2023)

Flat Roof Window Tool


CBM-DIN Area with Resumer

IFC compliant area and volume objects according to
DIN 277 2016, WoFlV 2003, GIF Mietflaechen 2017, BauO.
Resumer collects areas by building, part, floor or flat, self-regenerating

ifcSpace
100€ (max. VW 2023)

DIN Area


CBM-DIN Area Manager

Manages surface calculations, batch processing and database creation

100€ (max. VW 2023)

DIN Area Manager



CBM-Area Lock

Pre-design phase tool for drawing shapes that maintain a fixed area

50€ (max. VW 2023)

Area Lock


CBM-Elevations

Storey-aware elevation and coordinate objects with support for absolute elevations
ifcAnnotation

50€ (max. VW 2023)

Elevations


CBM-Rain calculation DIN 1986

Polygon-based drain data according to the German DIN 1986 and 12056

100€ (max. VW 2023)

Regenwasserabfluss


CBM-Opening
with IFC Void-Manager

Comprehensive Void management system
(in progress)

Void Tool



CAD-Manager: Walls / Slabs / Roofs

Batch editing of wall, slab and roof styles, components and IFC across all resources

300€ (max. VW 2023)

Slab Manager


CAD-Manager: Names

Batch Edit Resource Names by object type, create batch files

200€ (max. VW 2023)

Names


CAD-Manager: Symbols

Batch Edit Symbol definitions, including IFC and Viewport 2D components. Ever growing list of batch actions.

300€ (max. VW 2023)

Symbols


CAD-Manager: Classes

Merge and replace classes loading file sources or office templates

100€ (max. VW 2023)

Class Manager



CAD-Manager: Demo Layers

Create ordered resource lists

100€ (max. VW 2023)

(movie)
Demo Layers


CAD-Manager: Descriptions

Batch Edit Resource Descriptions

50€ (max. VW 2023)

Descriptions


CAD-Manager: Criterial

Create database worksheets in one click

100€ (max. VW 2023)

Criterial


CAD-Manager: Worksheets

Batch Edit Worksheets/Databases

100€ (max. VW 2023)

Worksheets
(movie)



CAD-Manager: Storeys

Import / Export Storeys and levels

50€ (max. VW 2023)

Storeys


CAD-Manager: Convert to Hatch

Convert lines into hatch

100€ (max. VW 2023)

Convert to hatch


CAD-Manager: Tile Maker

Create complex tile resources

100€ (max. VW 2023)

(movie)
Tile Maker

Detail Databases

There are a large number of construction details that can be reused across all the projects. These can be referenced anywhere. This frees up time for real architectural detailing.



Detail databases-a
Detail databases-b

CAD-related Team Management

Large offices have a high turnover of trainees, so special tools are needed to track people, seats, licences and machines throughout the life of the office.
Custom relational databases are the solution.



Office databases