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BIM in Polish studios. An interview with Piotr Trusiewicz of BIM Ally

18 of May '23

"Design in BIM is largely about information, not just 3D geometry," argues Piotr Trusiewicz of BIM Ally, which together with the Faculty of Management Engineering at Bialystok University of Technology is conducting a study on the use of BIM methodology by architects and designers of structures and installations of all types. In an interview with A&B, she talks about the currently most popular digital tools, standards, the advantages of creating a digital twin and the process of implementing BIM in Polish offices.

The purpose of the aforementioned survey, the results of which will be published in a report, is to determine the degree of use and barriers to the implementation of BIM technology among architects and designers, as well as to identify trends in communication. The survey is anonymous and will take 12-15 minutes to complete. You are welcome to participate: LINK.

BIM i cyfrowe narzędzia pracy

BIM and digital working tools

© organizers archive

Ola Kloc: What is the reason for the need to conduct surveys on the implementation of BIM methodology in architectural studios?

Piotr Trusiewicz: The need for this type of research stems primarily from the speed at which technology is developing. The working day of designers and architects today is completely different from the working day of a dozen or several decades ago. Thanks to the use of BIM methodology at work, more and more activities are being automated, the risk of making mistakes is being minimized, and potential collisions on the construction site, thanks to the use of a digital twin, are being diagnosed and eliminated even at the design stage.

The aforementioned aspects are only a small part of the long list of possibilities provided by BIM software or dedicated plug-ins (plug-ins). Their availability and usability, as well as the pressure of investors to use them, make the BIM methodology increasingly popular. However, it is necessary to regularly determine both the degree of use of individual solutions and their benefits, as well as to constantly diagnose barriers, the counteraction of which will support the popularization of the BIM methodology in our country.

Regular surveys of BIM implementation in architectural studios will also provide up-to-date information for the studios themselves, which in turn will allow them to determine their degree of competitiveness.

Ola: Which digital working tools are currently the most popular in Polish architectural offices, and what is the reason for this?

Piotr: Undoubtedly, the two most popular BIM software used by design offices today are Autodesk Revit and Graphisoft ArchiCad. Their popularity is due to the capabilities that each provides, as well as the availability of training materials that allow for further training in the use of each.

Also worth mentioning are additional plug-ins (plug-ins) that streamline specific tasks. Often, design offices have concretized needs, which, thanks to such expansions of the base software, can further optimize the work and its results.

A very important element in the selection of software is the availability of manufacturers' libraries. Design in BIM is largely information, not just 3D geometry. The easier we have access to information prepared directly by the manufacturer, the more efficiently we can work and we don't have to spend hours creating our models ourselves. Therefore, our survey should indicate the real demand from designers, what they expect and what would be most useful in their work. Such a voice is needed, because it is impossible to design in complete isolation from available products. Here, small programs provided directly by manufacturers to select products based on preset design criteria are often of considerable interest. Such solutions enable much more efficient design and sometimes integrate with the designer's main software like Autodek Revit.

Ola: How long, on average, does it take to implement BIM methodology in a studio?

Piotr: The implementation of BIM methodology in a studio consists of several elements. It would certainly be necessary to start with its planning and strategy, i.e. determining for what specific purpose and how we intend to carry out such an implementation. Depending on the size of the studio, this stage could range from a few weeks to a few months. The second element is the selection of the software and the training of staff in its actual use. Here again, the time can be about a few weeks, but it depends on the actual level of knowledge of the staff and their number. Another element is standards and templates - companies that intend to implement BIM should develop internal guidelines on what standard they want to work with. Currently we have some examples available like Revit Standards or BIM Standard PL. Maintaining a uniform standard on projects is important, and most are aware of this, especially when there are already at least five people working in a design studio. Implementing a standard ensures that everyone knows what to expect on a project. How he is supposed to name the next elements and identify them. Using the standard also allows for smooth integration with Open BIM Standard. It's a bit like on a CAD project, when we use the same layers and colors so our prints always look the same. Here we determine how the data collected in the model will be organized and exchanged within the organization, and how it will be shared with contractors. The final element is the implementation of BIM itself into projects - employees have to adapt to new processes and tools, which may require additional time, but only in the first projects. After that, it's a sheer benefit to the turnaround time of individual projects.

Generally speaking - depending on the size of the studio and the strategy adopted, BIM implementation time can range from a few weeks to a few months. It is also a good practice to use ready-made solutions. There are templates and libraries that can be purchased and efficiently implemented. Such a solution definitely speeds up the process of implementing BIM in the studio. In addition, often companies that offer such solutions, can efficiently implement employees in a specific workflow.

Ola: How do you plan to use the collected information?

Piotr: We are primarily interested in presenting the collected information in a transparent way in the form of a comprehensive report. We hope that the information, analysis, as well as comments from industry professionals contained in it will help popularize BIM technology in Poland not only among design offices, but also among other participants in the construction investment value chain.

Another issue is the possibility of using the collected information to prepare specific training materials in an optimal form for architects and designers. We believe that such knowledge will help in the preparation of easily accessible and, above all, effective materials.

We would also like the results of this study to serve as a valuable source of information for working groups working under the ministries. We are referring to the BIM working group working at the Ministry of Development and Technology, as well as the IoT working group at the Ministry of Digitization. We believe that the information gathered regarding the barriers to the implementation of BIM technology among companies in Poland will indicate specific areas that should be supported, using appropriate instruments or programs.

Ola: Thank you for the interview.

Ola Kloc

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