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“For an organization that is active in the Dutch construction industry one thing is essential: the balance between organization, process and systems used. One cannot exist without the other. Whoever wants to improve their competitiveness will have to implement improvements on these three fronts.” Speaking now is Edgar van de Kamp, BIM Engineer at Heijmans Utility. He shares his knowledge with project managers, engineers and architects within the organization so that the BIM process can soon be implemented company-wide.

He also uses the knowledge he gained in this field in other parts of Heijmans for this. “In the building and construction departments of Heijmans we are working with BIM at a high level: they have the correct software and the work processes are also optimized for this method of working. We are slightly behind as installers, but because we can benefit from the knowledge gained we need to be able to catch up quickly.”

Optimize
To work within a BIM Heijmans uses Revit. It is also intended that the internal exchange normally occurs with the source files of this package. IFC is also used for the external exchange. Arjen Rademaker, another BIM engineer at Heijmans Utility adds to his colleague's remarks: “It depends, of course, on which files are delivered to us. From the installation angle these are often Revit files, while we more often receive ArchiCAD models from architects. In the latter case it must obviously go through IFC. We're just still trying to figure out how we can optimize the exchange. For now it is most convenient for us to receive Revit models, but it is not as if we have to tell other parties what software to use.”

The coordination of the sub-models is done using Navisworks, where the Heijmans engineers merge the 3D data from their own installation data from Stabicad with the construction model and/or the data of the architect. This total model is then examined to see whether there are places where the sub-models are not compatible. Arjen: “We have already been explicitly asked by several architects whether we could work in this way and so we have now carried out a number of projects in this way. It is, of course, now the question of whether it is not possible to further automate the process and actually virtually build it into a complete Big BIM. Thus, the architect and the builder in our Meander Hospital project in Amersfoort worked simultaneously on one BIM model and eventually it went according to plan. So we know it can be done, but the success or failure of everything depends on the way the project is organized.”

Earlier and earlier
Because the design of a project is essential to Big BIM, Edgar thinks that it should not be up to Heijmans Utility to carry the full responsibility for the Big BIM. “We are researching Big BIM, but because we, as installers, come quite late to the construction process, it might be better if another party takes the lead in this. The intensive collaboration with Heijmans as the main contractor does ensure that the specific knowledge of Heijmans Utility can be used earlier and earlier in a BIM process.”

“The type of contract which a client selects is very decisive for the added value that BIM can have. When a client sets up a Design-Build-Maintain-construction design, for example, this leads to a Big BIM where our consultants can also play an active role and where the investment in setting up the model can also be earned back. For example, we do projects where we are both responsible for the implementation and the maintenance and it is very useful to keep track of all the data in the Revit model there. Because the construction details of the building are precisely available, we can plan the maintenance schedule better and in the case of a fault we can immediately see what impact it is having and where we need to intervene. In this way our field staff no longer have to deal with any surprises,” concludes Edgar.

Heijmans Utility  builds and maintains mechanical and electrical engineering installations. The company has been developing concepts for a wide installation technical scope. This involves both new construction and renovation as well as service and maintenance.

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