How Traditional AEC Processes and BIM Level 2 Reinforce Silos

By Marty R

The following is an excerpt from End-To-End Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3: An Architecture, Engineering & Construction Industry Solution Based on Manufacturing Best Practices.

Download the full paper here.


Tweet: How Traditional #AEC Processes and #BIM Level 2 Reinforce Silos @Dassault3DS http://ctt.ec/kj9cm+Click to tweet this article: “How Traditional #AEC
Processes and #BIM Level 2 Reinforce Silos”

Siloed Collaboration with BIM Level 2

Construction project contributors can be categorized into teams:

  • Design Team: Architects, engineers, and special consultants
  • Supply Team: Building product manufacturers, fabricators, and suppliers
  • Construction Team: General contractors, sub-contractors, and trades
  • Operations Team: Owners, operators, and facility managers

Feedback loops, task management, design coordination, and other limited collaborative elements certainly exist within each team; however, the ambiguity, rework, and RFIs that persist between teams are symptomatic of broken collaboration across the extended project delivery team.

Research by the U.K. Construction Industry Council indicates the benefits sought by owners—reduced costs, increased value, increased sustainability—are not achievable by BIM Level 2 only.

The inherent handoffs and rework processes prevent integration among the teams and lock value within silos:

Traditional Design, Construction, and Operations Process

BIM Level 2 Benefits Are Locked in Silos

Traditional-Design-Construction-and-Operations-Process-BIM-Level-2-Benefits-Are-Locked-in-Silos

Collaboration on documentation and deliverables exists within each silo, but a lack of collaboration between teams causes errors, rework, RFIs, and inefficiencies.

Tweet: With traditional #AEC Design-Construct-Operate processes, #BIM Level 2 benefits are locked in silos | @Dassault3DS http://ctt.ec/7SEmV+Click to Tweet: “With traditional #AEC Design-Construct-Operate
processes, #BIM Level 2 benefits are locked in silos”

Siloed Collaboration: Weaknesses of a Broken Process

In a BIM Level 2 framework, construction projects suffer from a lack of data integration, disconnected documents, and insufficient data for process simulation—three root causes of unforeseen project delivery issues.

No Data Integration

Siloed collaborative approaches require data to be exported and files to be exchanged. Exchanging files is an inadequate solution, creating massive version control problems as multiple parties provide key data at various points in the process.

Because there is not a Single Source of Truth mechanism, contributors are missing meaningful, contextualized data that would help them make better decisions. Architects make decisions based on design intent, but are missing construction and manufacturing data that could impact the end result. Contractors receive incomplete, ambiguous design information that causes RFIs and change orders.

No Document Continuity

The design team creates permit drawings. The systems manufacturers and fabricators then redesign the drawings for their own purposes. The construction team, in turn, creates sequence documents based on top-down estimates, and spends significant resources processing RFIs, submittals, and change orders.

Permit Drawings ≠ Shop Drawings ≠ Sequence Drawings

Tweet: The Rework Problem: permit drawings ≠ shop drawings ≠ sequence drawings. #AEC #BIM @Dassault3DS http://ctt.ec/dena7+Click to Tweet: “The Rework Problem:
permit drawings ≠ shop drawings ≠ sequence drawings”

The differences between the drawings required at various stages in the process create vast productivity challenges.

Ultimately, the project delivery process resolves most document inconsistencies, but by then the changes are costly and disruptive.

No Process Simulation

An animated 3D model (also known as a 4D model) is an insufficient imitation of how a project is built. Process-based means and methods cannot be represented accurately without adequate process information and integrated design data.

Most of the considerable waste that occurs during a construction project happens within the project delivery phase, when steep material and labor costs are incurred. Without a bottom- up simulation process to predict points of conflict and sub-optimal work sequences, a project team is making an educated guess at how the building will come together.

The inherent limitations of the siloed collaboration model that persists with BIM Level 2 are preventing the industry from moving forward.

Barriers to Effective Collaboration

Change is difficult, and a number of obstacles have stood in the way of the industry evolving its practice of collaboration.

Definitions

Each team has traditionally defined “collaboration” differently, focusing on its individual need:

  • The Design Team tends to think of collaboration as working on a single BIM model.
  • The Supply Team tends to think of collaboration as a review of shop drawings or other supplier-produced documents.
  • The Construction Team tends to think of collaboration as using a structured project management system.

Legal Implications

Contractual relationships and interactions between parties can create indemnity insurance issues. Insurance objections and legal concerns are occasionally raised when parties are unfamiliar with modern collaboration technologies. Reliable governance and traceable workflows create accountability and mitigate legal risks.

Point Solutions

Standard industry tools facilitate coordination within each team, but unfortunately, not effectively across teams. End-to-end collaboration is made impractical with a patchwork of proprietary systems, causing version control problems and opportunities for human error.

Point solution providers position BIM Level 2 tools as collaborative, despite the evidence that they offer limited collaboration support for project contributors outside their application suite.

These challenges—varying definitions of collaboration, presumed legal implications, and insufficient point solutions—contribute to the difficulty of inter-team cooperation, reinforce silos, and cause massive inefficiencies.

Tweet: How Traditional #AEC Processes and #BIM Level 2 Reinforce Silos @Dassault3DS http://ctt.ec/kj9cm+Click to tweet this article: “How Traditional #AEC
Processes and #BIM Level 2 Reinforce Silos”

To continue to the next section, ADAPTING MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY BEST PRACTICES FOR DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION: Extended Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3, download the full whitepaper: “End-to-End Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3: An Industry Approach Based on Best Practices from Manufacturing.”


Cover: END-TO-END COLLABORATION ENABLED BY BIM LEVEL 3 An Industry Approach Based on Best Practices from Manufacturing

Related Resources

End-To-End Collaboration Enabled by BIM Level 3: An Architecture, Engineering & Construction Industry Solution Based on Manufacturing Best Practices

Contact Dassault Systèmes for a consultation: Our experts can help you design the most effective BIM Level 3 deployment strategy for your organization

Storage is the key to next generation energy

By Catherine

Written by Catherine Bolgar*

Batteries

The linchpin in making sustainable energy mainstream is power storage.

Renewable energy sources can’t overtake carbon-based energy without good storage of energy for when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing. Electric vehicles won’t outsell gas vehicles until they have more autonomy and faster charging.

Batteries have become longer-lived, lighter, cheaper and safer, thanks largely to the boom in mobile electronics; new materials, nanotechnology and new understanding of electrochemistry are leading to more advances.

Batteries are an old technology, but people are really focusing on research and development now. I have no doubt that 10 years from now we will see some amazing batteries,” says Charles Barnhart, assistant professor of Environmental Sciences at Western Washington University.

Batteries remain a black box on a molecular scale. “There’s a tremendous effort internationally to understand in detail the processes during charging and discharging lithium-ion batteries,” says Olaf Wollersheim, project manager of the Competence E program at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), in Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany. “It’s really complex, because they are multimaterial systems.”

Lithium-ion, or li-ion, batteries have been adopted by the car industry because they are 98% to 99% efficient. However, they can burn “if they’re not treated with respect,” he says, adding that the auto industry has learned to use them safely.

Dr. Wollersheim recently inaugurated Germany’s largest solar power storage park at KIT, consisting of 102 smaller systems of 10 kilowatts each, with different orientations, module brands and inverter brands. The project aims to find the best combination for storage.

Energy plantOne avenue for improvement is software to control batteries. “A battery by itself is a stupid thing,” Dr. Wollersheim says. “It stores energy and gives it back. To do that optimally, you need an energy manager—a masterpiece of software. It has to take into account all the specifics of the electrochemistry of the cells. KIT has software with 10,000 lines of code just to control the storage system.”

Such controls can increase the battery’s lifetime and the return on investment. If the battery charges while the sun is still rising, it might be full and waiting for discharge at midday. That isn’t good for making the battery last. A control system might “charge the battery a little bit slower, in order to have shorter times of full charge,” he says.

Research also is looking at how stored energy interacts with the grid. Dr. Barnhart compared five kinds of batteries—lead-acid, li-ion, sodium-sulfur, vanadium-redox and zinc-bromine—to calculate how much energy it takes to store the electricity, including building the devices, and the amount of carbon they emit during manufacture and operation. He paired the different battery types with wind-generated and photovoltaic electricity, and matched them up against the power grid average to find the optimum combination.

Lead-acid batteries have a low cradle-to-grave energy cost, because lead is abundant and the technology is well established. However, they last only 200 to 400 charging/discharging cycles.

By contrast, Dr. Barnhart said, li-ion batteries have higher cradle-to-grave costs but last 3,000 to 5,000 cycles, making them the winner among batteries when paired with both solar and wind sources.

The cheapest, cleanest way to store power, Dr. Barnhart notes, isn’t a battery but pumped hydro—pumping water up a hill while the sun is shining or the wind is blowing, and then releasing the water to turn turbines and generate electricity when the renewable source isn’t working. A similar technology pumps compressed air into an underground cavern to spin a turbine later.hydro storage

Pumped hydro is 99% of the storage on the grid today” in the U.S., says Dr. Barnhart. “These are simple technologies that last a long time and aren’t subject to complex chemistries.”

However, geography limits the easy options for pumped hydro. In Germany, “there is strong public opposition to converting nice valleys into storage systems,” Dr. Wollersheim says.

The demand for electricity rose to 1,626 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) in 2012 from 400 Mtoe in 1973, according to the International Energy Agency. The IEA forecasts electricity demand to grow by more than two-thirds between 2011 and 2035, and for renewables to account for 31% of power generation by 2035, up from 20% in 2011.

A big shift toward electric vehicles would add a large load to the electricity network, says Suleiman Sharkh, professor of  power electronics machines and drives at the University of Southampton in the U.K. “We and others say this would also be an opportunity to reinforce the grid, because those batteries on the electric vehicles are available when the vehicles aren’t being driven around. If we connect them to the grid, they could store energy from wind power or solar panels.”

Such a system would require the system to know in advance the driving needs for the vehicle, to make sure it’s charged enough, as well as information about electricity demand on the grid, he says. Costs would have to be calculated—perhaps car owners could charge for free or be paid for allowing their batteries to be used for grid storage, and for the extra wear and tear on the batteries.

With so much territory uncharted, the first applications of vehicles for power storage are likely to be municipal fleets, especially in China, where pollution concerns are accelerating a shift toward electric-powered transport, Dr. Sharkh says.

“It’s something we think is going to be a good option in the future,” he says.

*For more from Catherine, contributors from the Economist Intelligence Unit along with industry experts, join The Future Realities discussion.

Cristiano Ceccato’s 4 Key Lessons for Integrated Design

By Akio
Cristiano Ceccato, Architect at  Zaha Hadid Architects

Cristiano Ceccato,
Zaha Hadid Architects

During his keynote address at a recent Dassault Systèmes event in Japan, Cristiano Ceccato of Zaha Hadid Architects explained how techniques borrowed from other industries have been applied to some of his firm’s innovative projects.

Tweet: How techniques from other industries are applied to @ZAHAArchitect's innovative projects. @Dassault3DS #AEC http://ctt.ec/26LcC+

Click to tweet: “How techniques
from other industries are applied
to Zaha Hadid’s innovative projects”

Ceccato also examined what happens when designers transfer digital data into the built realm, thereby moving away from the perfection of the computer into the “imperfections” of a real construction environment.

Here is his advice for the architecture community:

1. Build Like Boeing

During his cross-disciplinary research with Boeing, Ceccato saw that the firm was able to take on great risks to develop innovative ways of working.

Their 777 aircraft design required a completely new infrastructure; producing it required an entirely new way of thinking and they created it for a market that didn’t yet exist.

How did they do it? In short:

  • Integrated models of information allowed them to have a much more contained risk envelope, and to produce products much more efficiently across the board.
  • Parametrics allowed them to stretch and shrink the aircraft to meet different markets.
  • A decentralization of components and location helped share risk among partners and bring the product to market more efficiently.

Architects—who are building custom structures one by one around the world—can learn from Boeing’s approach, becoming more flexible and effective in producing solutions for clients.

When architects learn to better manage information and processes, they reduce risk and improve how people work together.

2. See the Pieces Within the Whole

Digital modeling allows for the more efficient production of highly complex projects through the repetition of simple elements. This works on two levels.

On the project level, consider the traits shared among projects. For example, towers as a group can be considered a “family” with an artificial DNA. Digital modeling allows designers to easily search through shared characteristics of towers—the need for privacy among units, certain zoning requirements, etc.—and apply specific solutions to a particular market.

On the component level, projects can be broken down into simple fabricated components that can be repeated in different ways to create the seeming complexity.

By working closely with fabricators, designers can create solutions that can be manufactured and assembled as a kit of parts. These kits can be repeated in a variety of ways to create an intricate end result that can be quickly and easily assembled onsite.

Information systems make it possible to define, correlate and repurpose simple parts on a massive scale.

Cristiano Ceccato, Architect at Zaha Hadid Architects

3. Maintain Interoperability

When using digital modeling platforms, interoperability—among components and tools used by the wide array of trades involved—is crucial.

Digital modeling requires strong managers who can invest time and energy resolving interoperability issues among models to make sure that the final result is a faithful translation of information among platforms and the final project.

This must be an ongoing process. The digital model is not a single, finite element. It must evolve to continuously progress the accuracy and level of development of information.

Tweet: Digital models must evolve to meet the accuracy of design information @Dassault3DS @ZAHAArchitect #AEC http://ctt.ec/P6ejQ+

Click to tweet: “Digital models must evolve to
meet the accuracy of design information #AEC”

4. Don’t Underestimate the Human Element

One challenge of working with a distributed team is ensuring all partners are working toward the same design interpretation. Advanced 3D modeling technologies are increasingly enabling the project contributors to efficiently collaborate, iterate, and come to a consensus on the design intent.

For example, 3D tools help fabricators match the designer’s vision by marrying early models with fabrication templates to ensure that what the fabrication team completes is a faithful interpretation of the original design.

And while mock-ups and site visits remain valid tools for incorporating owners into the design process, 3D tools build client confidence by demonstrating that what is proposed is possible within the given time and budget constraints—and will accurately meet the owner’s vision.

Tweet: Cristiano Ceccato’s 4 Key Lessons for Integrated Design @Dassault3DS @ZAHAArchitect #AEC http://ctt.ec/vdfe1+

Click to tweet this article: “Cristiano Ceccato’s
4 Key Lessons for Integrated Design”


Related Resources

Zaha Hadid Architects

Collaborative and Industrialized Construction

Watch an 8-minute demo of the Dassault Systèmes Industry Solution Experience Façade Design for Fabrication



Page 4 of 210« First...23456...102030...Last »
3ds.com

Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), Dassault Systèmes, the 3D Experience Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. 3DSWYM, 3D VIA, CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, NETVIBES, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.