As part of the rising ‘younger generation’ in construction, Lex thinks its standard stuff to use technology to improve his work. I take a moment to interview Lex in his Amsterdam office.
De Nijs has a business model based on construction, development and maintenance. They have a range of projects with one valued at 80-100 million euro. In this project, they have one director that has complete responsibility for coordinating all the work disciplines. “We have 20 ongoing projects. These cover retirement homes, health centers, supermarkets and restorations of listed buildings. As all of these projects are different, we need a software program to control them. This is why we use Solibri. It allows us to get a grip on things. We can show others that the model is OK - or not OK - and that they can build it” said Lex.
“With Solibri, I can combine all the IFC models. I check them, classify objects and then make nice presentations that show the faults. It’s easy, saves time and looks good. Normally I would have to wait for paper drawings. Now I get three files on a Friday, I combine them, make notes and share an update with others to review on Solibri Model Viewer. We can fix problems, improve the design and can then make a great building for our clients.”
Lex sees his role very much at the vanguard of the current construction business. He spends much of his time explaining the technology benefits to others in the workflow. He even jokes that he shouldn’t have a role in the future if others use Solibri to check their models first before sending them to him.
I ask Lex about savings. What savings can he see with Solibri and BIM? “Using Solibri saves 20% coordination time and in turn, money. With turnover costs of 100-150 million euro, if I can save just one percent, we earn back the investment in one project.” Lex also sees additional benefits of adapting to new software. “I don’t need paperwork anymore. I never look at 2D drawings. It’s way nicer to work in construction these days. Using BIM attracts a lot of young people to work in construction with their technology skillsets.”
Lex then shows us some of the projects he is currently leading with Solibri. He opens Solibri Model Checker and navigates the software like a pro. He shows us IFC models and compares them with the PowerPoint directives he sent to others in the project team. De Nijs previously helped build the world famous Eye Film Institute in Amsterdam. There were over 100 IFC files combined in that project and Lex wished he had been a Solibri user at that time.
It’s a pleasure to meet a customer who is equally ambitious with his projects and his technological understanding. I think Lex may well be the perfect beta tester for the future. He certainly has good development ideas for me to take back to the office.