Root B.V. uses software to share knowledge

Traditionally, decision-making in the construction industry has often much relied on experience and interpretation, which is error-prone for anyone and extremely difficult for young professionals. Therefore, Root B.V. strives for finding new ways such as software to share that experience collaboratively, one example being automatic creation of rulesets for case-specific checks.

Root B.V. is an engineering company focusing on architectural engineering and consultancy, based in the Netherlands. Founded 5 years ago and growing fast, the company celebrates the idea of “innovating by doing”. Paul Bos, CEO and co-owner of Root B.V. describes: “It’s what motivates us all. Every day is about innovating by doing. We want to do it better, make it more interesting and always value high quality. We look at every assignment as a puzzle.” Further, the company aims at innovating together with the clients. “We were once told by a client that although they asked for a car without a steer, luckily we didn’t give them that, we gave them a self-driving car because that’s what they actually meant.”

“We can translate experience into a ruleset and share it between colleagues.”

Everyone at Root B.V. working with building information models must also check their own work. “We are all working with verified and trustworthy data,” Paul explains, “So everyone in our firm has to know what they have, for example, in their IFC models. Everyone has to check themselves that the model is correct before passing it on.”

Consequently, most Root B.V. employees are experienced Solibri users, not only capable to create their own rulesets but also skilled in finding ways to translate their experiences for their colleagues to share, for example, in terms of what the rulesets should contain. “It’s about passing on experience that somebody has, for example, saying watch out if you design a balcony above a certain level because then the balcony requires different heights. We can translate that knowledge into a ruleset and through that, everyone gets notified in this kind of a situation based on the experience of another colleague. It helps us share the knowledge between the colleagues and between new people.”

Bos doesn’t see Solibri as something difficult for his colleagues to learn. “It looks like a high step to get familiar with the program but the barrier has been quite low for most people we’ve hired. I think the real power of Solibri is the speed and the intuitiveness. The information is shown logically so that you can find it, which is one of the key factors.”

Innovating by doing on video:

How can you check data for an ever-changing need for information? Root B.V. describes their invention to create rulesets automatically.

Interested in creating rulesets automatically? Check out the related Root B.V. tutorial (in Dutch).

And indeed, the way things are done around Root B.V. is much driven by finding ways to share and learn from each other, technologies being an important help. Bos smiles: “I’ve always been fascinated by how the communication around a building design process works.” He brings out the fact that the work today much evolves around the IFC models. “It’s growing to be more important than the 2D drawings, and the industry is moving from a documentation-driven industry into a data-driven industry. The 2D information is still important in the field, but you need experience and interpretation to read it and to recognize errors in the drawings.”

Using software for the quality checks – that is, running model checks for the BIM models, helps catch flaws in situations where personal experience or visual examination of drawings simply isn’t enough. “When you have complex projects with over 2 million properties, the models must be trustworthy, and using model checks and rulesets, information takeoff, presentations and the BCF connector – all the different features of Solibri – we can assure that the quality we produce is trustworthy,” Bos describes and continues: “We have one rule in our office: check your work every day. We don’t do weekly checkups but instead, before going home every day, we reserve at least half an hour for checking your own work in Solibri. And the first thing you can do the next day is fix found issues in the model. How else can you do your work right?”

“We have one rule in our office: check your work every day. How else can you do your work right?”

As the technology is growing, Root B.V. keeps finding more ways to visualize complex data and share the experiences to help make rounded decisions. “That’s what motivates me and everyone at the company. As more and more emphasis is put on the data, whether that be in the construction process, facility management or maintenance, we can find ways to use tools or validate information in a way that allows us to trust the information, and sequentially, visualize the information in a way that it helps us make rounded decisions. We no longer have to solely rely on experience and interpretation, but instead, we get in control by knowing what we have. Because if you don’t know what you have, how can you make the right decisions?

ABOUT THE INTERVIEWEE


Paul Bos founded Root B.V. with his partner 5 years ago, a company to innovate by doing and delivering quality designs and consultancy to its clients. An architect by education, Paul today strives towards finding new ways to base decisions on data and to support the market to grow towards a data-driven industry.