Making the complex simple.
We are “einfach BIM”.
We make the complex simple.
We inspire enthusiasm for digitization.
We spread knowledge.
We think from beginning to end.
We are up for the challenge.
We make you ready for business.
The interdisciplinary cooperative alliance ‘einfach BIM’ aims to establish the open BIM method as a matter of course in the design, construction and operation of building structures. For this purpose, lead users in digital design, construction and operations develop ideal-typical BIM processes and templates for practical application in a hands-on exchange. This article introduces the ‘einfach BIM’ team’s motivation and working methods as well as the main results of the collaboration.
One Alliance – Numerous Perspectives
Since 2019, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf’s (HZDR) construction department has been preparing for the digital transformation of the planning and construction process in cooperation with the WPW Leipzig GmbH planning firm. Both partners, who today form the project management of ‘einfach BIM’, quickly realized that the desired change in philosophy can only succeed if thought of holistically. This means, on the one hand, that new digital concepts must be developed which take into account the multifaceted perspectives of all stakeholders. On the other hand, it is necessary to align newly developed ideal-typical processes with concrete practical implementation in real projects. Three real construction projects at the HZDR location, possessing varying characteristics, provided a suitable starting point in this regard. The ‘einfach BIM’ cooperative alliance was formed in January 2021 through a self-motivated coalition of interested participants in these construction projects and other BIM innovators from planning, construction, building operations, software development, law and science.
All partners are united in the goal of actively shaping the new direction of an open BIM-based method of working: disseminating knowledge, inspiring enthusiasm for digitization, making ideas fit for practice and making the complex simple. For this purpose, the members of the network met in online workshops every one to two months and discussed concepts, which were prepared weekly in detail by smaller working groups. The Leipzig University of Applied Sciences (HTWK Leipzig) assumed the role of scientific support in order to document the work results from a neutral perspective and make these results accessible to a broad community of users.
Bringing open BIM into practice – action areas
The ‘einfach BIM’ team understands Building Information Modeling as a collaborative and networked working method that facilitates an increase in efficiency and quality of planning, construction and management processes through the assistance of digital automation, improved visualization, as well as consistent and transparent data management. In order to leverage this envisaged potential, a common understanding of BIM-compliant processes is required, which do not need to be rethought and negotiated in every construction project. Based on this motivation, the partners consistently developed universally applicable, practice-oriented open BIM workflows across the entire life cycle of a building. The ‘einfach BIM’ team has identified the following challenges as primary fields of action:
- the awarding of planning and construction service contracts
- the use of digital modeling guidelines for creating BIM professional models
- the coordination process using open BIM standards
- the integration of visualization tools in planning decision-making processes
- the integration of BIM2Field
The developed workflows will be applied and evaluated in phases within the three HZDR construction projects with different requirements (low-tech, high-tech). Online surveys within the BIM team were developed, conducted and verified to optimize the work results.
Developing and sharing knowledge
Openness and initiative form the basis for acquiring knowledge and making progress with ‘einfach BIM’. The team therefore strives for a cultural change in the construction industry, to disseminate groundbreaking ‘lessons learned’ and to make these lessons freely available for public as well as private sector projects.
In a knowledge repository, the ‘einfach BIM’ team has made ready for use its view of best practice for planning, building and operating with the help of BIM methods. The developed workflows are documented on the basis of DIN EN ISO 19481-1 and VDI/bS 2552-11.1 in the form of separate use cases. The visualization of the ideal-typical processes is undertaken with the help of swim lane diagrams (Business Process Model and Notation, BPMN), whereby the individual process steps are explained in the use case documentation. In order to promote a low-threshold application of results, templates for commercially available software applications complement the provided knowledge repository. Last but not least, evaluated surveys reflect the experiences of the ‘einfach BIM’ team from the HZDR’s real pilot projects.
The full published results are available through this website. An interactive filter enables quick access to the relevant knowledge modules—tailored to the individually relevant role, project phase and software landscape. With this contribution, the ‘einfach BIM’ partners aim to raise awareness, reduce preconceived notions about BIM and advance the digitization of the planning and construction processes.