“As little theory as necessary, as much practice as possible.”
- Kaspar Kraemer
develops multi-functional buildings with BIM
Commissioned by thyssenkrupp AG, Essen, Kaspar Kraemer Architects BDA of Cologne took over the responsibility for planning a new multi-functional building for the thyssenkrupp elevator works in Neuhausen auf den Fildern, Baden-Wuerttemberg. On a gross area of 16,500 sqm, the “elevator campus” was set up in December 2015, with a showroom for exhibitions, product presentation and events of all kinds – for example, conferences, educational and training areas – and to provide space for the main administration of the thyssenkrupp elevator factory. The new building, in the form of a quadratic cuboid, was erected in front of the existing thyssenkrupp plant. On the western side of the plot, space remains for potential future extensions.
The architectural office, which is well known for always working in close collaboration with the owner in order to find a common solution with regard to form, function and efficiency, completely carried out this project with a BIM workflow. The company has relied on digital planning and construction according to the BIM methodology (Building Information Modeling) since 2012 and has implemented the ArchiCAD IT system by Graphisoft and iTWO 5D by RIB. More than ten employees now work with modern software programs. Under the leadership of BIM manager Oskar Molnar, at Kaspar Kraemer Architects an integrated BIM process for all phases has been implemented– from modeling to cost and tendering handovers.
Project manager are responsible for the BIM model
The special thing about Kaspar Kraemer Architects BDA: All of the office’s projects, from new buildings, transformations and extensions to renovations , e.g. large detached houses, public buildings or offices, are planned throughout with the BIM methodology. In addition to visual 3D planning, the architects/project leaders are responsible for the handover of all project information relevant to tendering, award and billing (AVA). This way they are able to carry out a visual, alphanumerical and a logical check of the cost information. The integrated BIM workflow based on newly defined standards for the architectural office forms the foundation for this thoroughgoing planning with ArchiCAD and RIB iTWO 5D. The time saved, which in the past would have been needed for a usually laborious calculations, can now be invested sensibly by the architects on the design itself or for basic project details. A large proportion of the cost elements can be determined very easily and directly with the aid of the BIM workflow. The remaining cost elements, for which the planners in the office still use classical methods, only relate to information such as, for example, excavations or scaffolding. All other elements of any measure are fixed parts of the BIM workflow.
Construction carried out virtually
“We do not work with a classical, externally prescribed project manual but always on the basis of our own BIM standards.”
- Oskar Molnar
This is why clients value working with the office, with its conceptual work on BIM models. “We do not work with a classical , externally prescribed project manual but always on the basis of our own BIM standards,” explains BIM manager Oskar Molnar. “This way only, the integration of the programs used in our company works in a totally transparent manner,” he adds. An important part in the collaboration with the client also plays the representation of the costs. “With bar charts in RIB iTWO 5D, we can virtually run through large items of a construction project with the client. This is fundamentally more transparent than bare figures. Our prescribed structure allows us to illustrate alternative measures directly in AVA and simulate the savings. Together with the 3D model, we can offer our clients a fully virtual and thus transparent set of plans before physical work is started,” he concludes.
A basis for BIM-Standards
The foundation for this continuous planning system is anchored in the internal standards of Kaspar Kraemer Architects BDA: An office manual for the model-oriented working approach, including cost information. It contains, for example, codes for all the components used, such as concrete walls or steel doors, or references for documentation. In order for the work with this manual to remain easily comprehensible, it only contains as much information as necessary. While the total content grows and extends with every new BIM project at Kaspar Kraemer Architects – containing, for example, all the doors the office uses for planning – the manual is restricted at first to the information that the particular door has the most important attributes. All attributes – for example, different types of wooden door – are then addressed in AVA and supplied with the corresponding prices. Special extra sheets in the form of Microsoft Excel tables are added additionally and implemented in the content where there are particular client wishes. Not only the overall content, but also the manual with which Kaspar Kraemer Architects works, are updated with every new project and are thus always up to date.
Employee's own initiative required
“Through the responsibility that we give our architects along the way, we have laid the foundation for their intensive engagement with the BIM material.”
- Oskar Molnar
“Through the responsibility that we give our architects along the way, we have laid the foundation for their intensive engagement with the BIM material,” BIM manager Molnar reports. To receive cost information that is in accordance with the stipulations of the German construction tendering and contract regulations (VOB), the project managers at Kaspar Kraemer Architects BDA are required to get familiar with the integrated IT systems ArchiCAD and iTWO 5D. “They are already collaborating intensively on the content and have quickly recognized the advantages of the software solution.
Such an initiative triggered by the employees is essential, according to the BIM manager, so that they can make the change from a classical to a model-oriented working method. At Kaspar Kraemer Architects, this took around one-and-a-half years. The employees were first started on individual components. Since then, the content, which they are carefully adding and maintaining, has grown to a great extent. It includes all information from real projects, in accordance with the office motto: “As little theory as necessary, as much practice as possible.” Oskar Molnar concludes: “Through this progressive thinking and working method and with our manageable number of employees, we are able to take on projects that would otherwise be reserved for larger planning offices. We are particularly proud of this.”
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