We build better buildings thanks to Solibri

“Solibri helps me to get more insight about the information in a project. The different type of views help a lot and having all the dimensions in one place is awesome. We have a clear view of what needs to be done, when and where. Last but not least; the simplicity to extract ITO’s at the end of the month, saves me a lot of time.”

Sien van der Have graduated as an architect and started to work at the construction company Kumpen as a site manager. Kumpen, part of the Wilmer Group, is a Belgian construction company that executes projects from infrastructure, renovation to real estate development. Sien soon became a BIM coordinator to help starting up the BIM department, and now she manages it. They strive to make themselves close to redundant. “If everyone in the organization is working according to our BIM workflow, we shift from a supporting role to a more coordinating role.” 

The AEC industry is quite conservative, and not everyone is open to new techniques and workflows. We need to take small steps towards a BIM workflow. The management gave the BIM department total freedom in how they wanted to operate. The department choose a bottom up method for the implementation of BIM. They started with what was needed within the organization and how they could support their colleagues. “BIM is important for our organization. It now is the standard for every project, and is used to drive innovation. We have grown fast thanks to our BIM workflow and we can see different positive effects: unambiguous construction models, more centralized and clear documentation. Solibri is important to our BIM workflow and is part of the standard toolset used by the complete organization. The project leader, site manager, planner and calculator, all work with Solibri. 

We first started to use Solibri for clash control, but we soon learned about the other functionalities of Solibri. For example, extracting quantities and structure model data by classifications. In Belgium the site manager has to make a monthly report of all the work that is completed. It used to be 2D drawings and manual lists, but now he/she can make reports in Solibri Model Checker within seconds. You have a clear overview of how many square meters are done in which phase of the project and in which month. You can extract all this data with Information TakeOffs (ITO’s). Before, the quantities in the monthly report were a point of discussion. Since we make these reports with Solibri these discussions belong to the past.

About Stadskantoor Hasselt

The Stadskantoor Hasselt project was a collaboration between different architects and two construction companies; Kumpen and Democo. It was a big and complex project with multiple partners, which inherently meant a lot of (discipline) models. That is why we choose to go for an openBIM workflow, and at the same time it would be our first fully integrated openBIM project. One of the challenges of this project was that we didn’t had the specifications of the building yet, but we had to start with the construction. The constant changes, even in the final phase, was another a big challenge. Keeping track of these changes proved to be very important.

As BIM department, we worked closely with architects, subcontractors and colleagues, to manage and share the data needed for this project. After receiving the model, we used Solibri to derive quantities from the model for our procurement department. We used the ‘coordination model’ for clash control and the ‘as build model’ for construction. 

BIMcollab as an essential tool for communication 

At the end of this project we started to use BIMcollab. We were exchanging issues through BCF files, Excel files and sending each other emails with comments. Due to this massive stream of emails, we lost track of the clashes and the progress of the project. BIMcollab gave us the much-needed overview by collecting all comments and clashes in one central platform. With the BCF Managers (plug-ins for all mayor BIM tools) you zoom immediately to the clash inside your authoring software or Solibri.

Now we use BIMcollab for all projects and grant every stakeholder access to it: from colleagues to all the partners that are involved in the project.