“BIM is a way to enable better productivity through smarter information exchange between the companies and people involved in a construction project,” says Johannes Ris of Swedish technical consulting company Tikab.
Here’s what Johannes Ris, who is a BIM Manager at Tikab, thinks about challenges in the construction industry and why he’s supporting StreamBIM software for his customers.
“Tikab is an independent technical consulting company with long-term technical front-end experience and we provide services in the field via our subsidiaries BuildTech Services and Mechanical Engineering. We are active in construction, infrastructure, and heavy industry in the transport and power sector, and our customers are contractors, authorities, other technology consultants, and real estate companies. In the BuildTech Services business area, we are working on the digital transformation of the construction industry,” says Ris.
Tikab’s business group BuildTech Services has received attention for its work on BIM, VDC strategy and management, and implementation on assignments such as the massive Slussen redevelopment project in central Stockholm, a retrofit of an aging transportation hub. It has evaluated 3D BIM field software and chose to invest in StreamBIM, which is now established in Sweden.
We hear a lot about BIM, but what is BIM?
BIM for me is about collecting as many data points as possible to make a common picture or a digital twin. BIM is the process of developing and utilizing a digital variant of what is to be built in the smartest and most efficient way. A open BIM collects all information in one place, thus minimizing sources of error and misinterpretations and giving the right information to the next player in the construction process chain. Primarily, BIM is a collective name for all digitization underway in the construction process.
Why is BIM important for construction projects and the Swedish construction industry? What is achieved by using BIM?
According McKinsey, the construction industry holds the dubious honour of having the lowest productivity gains of any industry and has the lowest level of digitalization. There are many parts that need to be better. BIM helps enable increased productivity through smarter information transfers between industry players. Using the BIM concept, you can make calculations, analyses, purchases, releases, etc. in a smarter and more quality assured way. BIM also provides increased understanding of the product to be delivered by creating a common image. By using BIM, we can detect errors earlier, reduce material usage in production, package deliveries more efficiently, track up errors faster, evaluate different decisions, etc. In this way we can contribute to sustainable production. The climate pressure we create in the construction process must be radically reduced and I am convinced that BIM can help the industry do just that.
What do you need to get started and succeed with BIM?
The most important thing to succeed with BIM is to realize that you are ultimately involved with people: people who understand, interpret, and make the right decisions based on information. There are also people who create all the information to be conveyed. I think a key for success with BIM is to begin with an understanding of the usage applications for the BIM data but also how the process should go. Having someone who understands the everyday lives of the users on the project. To start a dialog and communication early on why 3D and object information is important. Then the understanding of the project is built, the quality of the models will improve, and the effect of BIM becomes bigger! It’s more justified to do that little extra if you understand why. Begin with the person, not technology!
What have you seen when considering 3D BIM Field software?
For many years, BIM has only been available for those working in an office even though it’s essential information for a construction project. Previously, the information needed in a construction project was available by using computers, in files, in paper drawings stored in folders and on web pages. In other words, key information was not accessible for the people working on site. And further, the user interface of the most commonly used software was so complex you might have to be a construction engineer in order to take a measurement.
If the information is supposed to be used outside an office, the software must be intuitive and user-friendly, and the software must be made available to everyone working in the project. StreamBIM is 3D BIM software that’s made for the field.
Ease of use was the highest criterion when we evaluated 3D BIM software. If it’s not easy to understand, it’s not used. We also looked at the players’ capability to access to the information. Construction projects consist of a number of experts and various craftsmen who just check in for a short period to assist with something. So charging per user is very restrictive and prevent collaboration. We want to invite in all the people who produce or need to access produced information in a project in a smooth way, so we were looking for a solution made for people working with a construction project and not for ICT people. These two factors were crucial to our choice of StreamBIM. We chose based on the simplicity and accessibility of everyone in the project… and the bonus is StreamBIM is fun to work with and the team is amazing to follow up and assist when we address questions.