Mykola Kovlev: Thanks to BIM-technologies it is possible to achieve a single concept of the city

BIM literally translates as "building information model". This is a fundamentally new approach to design, which synchronizes all construction processes and allows you to manage the complete life cycle of the object.

Terra Project SEO Mykola Kovlev told how BIM technologies have turned the understanding of modern construction, what information modelling gives to homebuyers and why Ukrainian companies are not yet ready to abandon the classic design method.

– What are the benefits of the BIM design? Why do modern companies choose this particular model of work?

– The goal of any new technology is to simplify the process. The BIM technology is not an exception. It's not just a way of designing a three-dimensional building, it's a voluminous information model. The BIM allows you to collect the maximum amount of the object data, structure the information and view it in three-dimensional form. This makes it easier for us to coordinate construction processes. We can detect and correct bugs and mismatches beforehand before sending the drawings to the construction site. This is one of the key benefits of the BIM process.

Why do modern companies choose this particular model of work? Here is a small example. In two-dimensional design, the specialist places a window on the house plan. He needs to manually add this element to the facade, then to the section, to the specification, etc. If there are changes in the plan, in the same way he makes changes to the drawings: section, facade, specification ... When working with the BIM, it is enough to change one element in the model, and it will automatically change in the whole structure. In addition, you can add to the project information about every detail: from its physical parameters to the address of the manufacturer's website with the ability to generate specifications.

– The BIM technologies are often confused with 3D modelling. What is their difference?

– 3D model is a digital layout of the designed building, which is used to render the object.

The BIM model is a digital copy of the designed building from which all the necessary design data can be read, from drawings to volumes of materials.

– How long has the BIM design been used for?

– In Ukraine, BIM modelling appeared relatively recently – around 2010. But companies have started to work with it actively for the last few years.

Developers and design organizations understand that today you must abandon the standard design method to be competitive. Of course, the implementation of BIM technologies takes more time to develop the project, but in the future, with full development of information modelling, these timeframes can be significantly shortened.

The other obvious advantages are savings of an average of 20% of the object construction cost, as the world practice shows.

– How are the BIM technologies used during the operational phase?

– Upon completion of construction, the operating organization receives a complete model of the facility. Even after a few years, you don't have to pick up a whole bunch of papers to analyse problems: the company has quick access to information about all the building elements, materials and their specifications. It's much easier to buy equipment or carry out repair activities, renovations or redevelopments with a BIM model.

– How widespread is this technology in Ukraine? Are contractors and builders ready to work with it?

– Today, many companies mistakenly believe that having made a 3D model, they work with BIM. But there are few who really understand and actively use information modelling in Ukraine.

Designers have obvious advantages of working in "volume", but not everyone can use them. The main obstacle is the lack of an educational base. Ukrainian universities do not pay much attention to the BIM design. Of course, there are special courses in software, but improving the skills of the staff is more of a company initiative. Much also depends on the specialist — whether he is willing to step out of the comfort zone and switch to a different way of design, since the "old school" architects and engineers are often mistrustful of innovations.

– And what are the main difficulties you encountered in the transition to the BIM design?

– As stated earlier, the lack of an educational base is the first thing our company has encountered. Only thanks to enthusiasts who have realized in a timely manner that the future is precisely on this design principle, we are now training our staff almost independently. For each discipline, we use different software that best suits the needs of professionals. We have done a tremendous amount of work to create internal standards, libraries, templates, instructions and regulations from scratch.

The main message is that BIM is not a software product, BIM is a set of activities, ranging from where to store the file and how to name it, to the principle of sharing information and issuing drawings to a construction site or a customer.

– For which SAGA Development projects are the BIM technologies used?

– The Happy House, the O2, the RYBALSKY, the PHILADELPHIA Concept House, the CHICAGO Central House, the EINSTEIN Concept House and the RESIDENT Concept House: most of the company's projects have been designed using BIM technologies.

– Tell us about the cases when BIM has made it impossible to find solutions that are impossible when using other technologies?

– BIM is, first and foremost, a tool that allows you to see and correct even minor errors at work. This is what we have learned while working on the RYBALSKY project.

In one of the buildings there are many premises for various purposes with a complex engineering system. To coordinate six systems simultaneously in the plane is an insoluble task in a two-dimensional drawing. But nevertheless, the work went exactly over two-dimensional drawings. When the engineers started to work, we are convinced that information model is necessary. Thanks to BIM technologies, we have changed the necessary sections in time before the construction drawings were issued.

– What does the BIM design give for the company's customers/investors?

– The BIM design accelerates the construction process and improves the quality of the facility, which saves the developer a great deal of money. The advantage for the investor is that he gets a better idea of ​​his apartment. Not all buyers are technicians, and it is difficult for them to understand the two-dimensional plans. With the BIM technologies, the investor has the opportunity to open the model in his smartphone, view through VR glasses, see the room in which he will live or work. And this, in turn, greatly affects his decision to buy.

– How will the BIM technologies affect construction in the future?

– Information modelling will affect urban planning in general. In the future, there will be no need for paper display of information. The BIM design will move to the state level: state standards will be written for building models to be assembled into a single urban interactive environment. This will greatly facilitate the work of architects and engineers. And, most importantly, thanks to the BIM technology, you can achieve a single city concept that is comfortable for every resident.