AllplanNews, Volume III 2008

CUTTING A GOOD FIGURE WITH BIM

The possibility to journey into ones self or your body is a surreal dream that could previously only be experienced in the cinema, But that's all changed now with the opening of the Corpus Museum, in Oegstgeest, close to Leiden in the Netherlands. Opened this spring, the special activity center takes visitors on a journey through the human body from head to toe to find out "in situ" how we work.

This is made possible thanks 10 a 35-meter high figure of wood and steel that flanks the narrow side of the glass museum structure. Designed by PBV architecten, construction of the building was a particular challenge, which the commissioned designers from 3D Blueprint Architects &Engineers overcame with flying colors. Thanks to Building Information Modeling and Allplan from Nemetschek, the Amsterdam-based architects were able to complete the building on time and even remained below the planned budget.

Effective Cooperation
Building Information Modeling (BIM) relates to the consistent use of a virtual building model across all phases and disciplines of design, construction and management. It thus provides the opportunity to plan a building at low cost, without errors and on schedule. This is exactly what Joep Esser and Wubbo Hazewinkel had in mind when they founded their company six years ago, and they have therefore used BIM and Allplan from the very start: "3D Blueprint's goal is to build better and at lower cost through effective cooperation", explains Joep Esser, managing director of the company.

The architects and engineers have developed their own working method for this, known as the "Regiplan method-, which is based on BIM, In Allplan's virtual building model, all project relevant information is entered centrally and made available to all those involved across the complete planning and construction phase. The Nemetschek solution offers exactly the right range of features, as employee Persijn Bongers explains: "The software is so sophisticated and powerful that even the most unusual components can be saved as intelligent objects - an important prerequisite, if you want to work exclusively with BIM."

The designers draw up the project requirements with the building client in advance in a "building program", which formulates a cleariy defined and feasible goal. An initial (basic) three-dimensional building model is created for this in Allplan, which allows reliable statements to be made on quantities and costs on the basis of the assigned material properties. Economic factors can therefore be taken into consideration from the start and tracked over the entire project period: "For decision-making, the coupling of planning and costs enables us to identify the lower-cost option and therefore counteract incorrect developments at an early stage: explains Joep Esser. "As a result, we are able to reduce the costs of a building project by 10 -15 percent, for example, or to deliver a higher-quality building at the same construction costs."

Central Building Model
The Amsterdam designers have already executed a number of projects successfully in this way, most recently the new building lor the Dutch Railroad Museum in Utrecht. It's therefore no wonder that the company now has more than 50 employees and has long been coordinating international projects. 3D Blueprint has made a name for itself as a specialist in integrated project planning, and was involved in this capacity in the Corpus Museum. The company was more or less called in to save the day: because execution and design planning had been carried out completely removed from each other in 2D, a number of planning errors had already crept in after just a short time due to the complex shape of the building. As a result, costs had spiraled out of control. In order to bring things back on track in time, the building client, Heddes Bouw, handed over the entire project coordination, as well as tendering, approval and work planning to 3D Blueprint.

The planners soon got the project under control thanks to integrated project processing. All project information -that is, all geometric and technical data of all the companies involved - was merged and coordinated in a central Allplan building model. In the first step, 3D Blueprint created the building and the human figure as a 3D model, and generated floor plans, views and sections from this. A comparison of these plans with the steel construction data, which was imported to Allplan first in 2D and later as a 3D DWG file, brought a whole series of design errors to light. For example, there were points where the diagonal crosses of the reinforcing bonds ran exactly in front of doors, or the required heights of openings could not be adhered to because of the steel girders in front of them. By bringing together the various disciplines in one single data model, these problems could be identified long before the ground-breaking ceremony and corrected in good time.

Production Made to Measure
This also applied for the building technology: once it had been ascertained that there was sufficient space for the required installations, all the installation plans were imported to Allplan and checked on the basis of the execution plans. This was mostly done in 2D, but also in 3D at particularly complicated points. This allowed them to identify potential collisions between steel structures, finishes and building installation immediately on the model and correct these where necessary. The building client and planners were therefore spared any unpleasant surprises on the construction site.

The steel elements could also be made to measure on the basis of the information from the 3D model. They could therefore be installed on the construction site without the need for various additional tasks. The steel company took the construction data and added further production-relevant factors to the 3D model. This 3D model for the steel construction was integrated in Allplan via the open data exchange format IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) and was then available as the basis for planning the wood structure, which together with the overlying metal elements, formed the external "skin" of the figure. Avirtual building model was created in which all the key factors - relating to design, function, structure and production technology - were incorporated and optimized. It is an excellent example of Building Information Modeling with Allplan - and was a determining factor in ensuring that the museum could be opened on schedule: The opening ceremony was performed by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, who had long had the date noted in her calendar.

For more information and pictures on the project, visit: www.allplan-news.com