New international concept makes construction projects more efficient
Future building information models are managed on the Web
The results of Finnish BIM-related DRUM research were published on Wednesday 14th of May at the SHOK Summit seminar* in Helsinki, Finland. Studying information management and data transfer in construction projects has resulted in a concept that enables linking building information models and sharing the information online quickly and on time. The new distributed way of working is better suited to match the distributed organization model of construction projects and will reduce design errors.
This research challenged the predominant idea of managing building information through one centralized model. A combination model that contains all building information is too heavy to utilize within the intensive information management and cooperation process needed for construction. DRUM was a sub-project under the PRE research program of SHOK Group’s RYM Oy led by Tekla Oy and supported by Aalto University as the main research partner.
“Although the creation of building information models has enormously developed and become more efficient in Finland and around the world, the utilization of the data contained in the models among the construction project parties is still largely in its infancy,” says Seppo Törmä of Aalto University, researcher in charge of the project.
“At the moment, retrieving information from a single model is toilsome. Handling a complete model is hard if you only need to pick out an individual object using, for example, a mobile device. Extra data is often in conflict with the most up-to-date information, which accumulates problems to the user of the model,” says Jukka Suomi of Tekla Corporation, participating company of the project.
The result of the DRUM research is an open concept that is based on linking, managing and sharing building information over the Internet as a way of working.
“Instead of locating the information on certain model servers, it can be easily found and shared on the Web. This makes utilizing the information natural to the different disciplines,” says Törmä.
An open concept advances innovation and development
According to the new concept, the building information model consists of smaller sectional models that are linked with each other and can be put into design as well as updated separately over the Internet. As a result, there are fewer conflicts between the models created by different project parties.
Thanks to the Web-based way of working, building information models can be connected with any other data found on the Internet, the building information can be openly shared among its users and with software developers, and the use of models between project phases can be made streamlined and easier.
“The dialog between the model users and software developers improves the quality of the models and advances innovation as well as new ways to utilize the models,” says Suomi.
Concrete results expected in approximately three years
The DRUM results are expected to proceed into practice in a few years. The new concept has been partially tested at Skanska.
“We expect the results to realize in the construction industry in 2 to 3 years as software houses start applying the concept that has been developed,” says a participant of DRUM, development director Ilkka Romo of Skanska.
The long-term objective of DRUM is to improve the overall productivity of construction projects through information management and the capability to share it. This is a way reduce errors, for example, so that no time is needed to settle them.
DRUM’s results have been noticed internationally: BuildingSMART has been interested in the results, among others, and they will be presented in the European Construction Technology Platform (ECTP) conference in Brussels in June. The results will also be presented in the European Conference on Product and Process Modeling (ECPPM) conference arranged in Vienna in September.
In the end of May, Aalto University and Tekla will organize an international scientific workshop in Espoo, Finland, and an international network of researchers is forming around the topic.
*DRUM (Distributed Transactional BIM) research is part of Finnish RYM Oy’s PRE (Built Environment Process Re-engineering) program that consists of two parts of research. DRUM was kicked off in November 2010 and was concluded in April 2014. Tekla has acted as the leader of DRUM with Aalto University as the main research partner. Other participants include Skanska, Solibri, CGI, M.A.D. and Progman Oy. Some of the research was contracted to Georgia Tech and the Technical Research Centre of Finland VTT.
*The SHOK Summit was held on May 14 In the Millennium pavilion of Helsinki. The event presents the top research results of six hubs of leading-edge strategic know-how by CLEEN, DIGILE, FIBIC, FIMECC, RYM and SalWe. The SHOK group was established as a cooperative platform for innovative companies and advanced research. For more information, please visit www.rym.fi and www.shok.fi.
For more information, please contact:
Seppo Törmä, researcher, Aalto University, tel. +358 50 3160979, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Jukka Suomi, product manager, Tekla Oy, tel. +358 40 510 3101, e-mail email@example.com
Ilkka Romo, development director, Skanska Oy, tel. +358 50 5201 596, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org