Each year, BIM World aims to bring together all of the members of the AEC chain to discuss how BIM tools can improve the processes of individual companies and people in the industry forward as a whole. This year, a number of innovative presentations redefined how BIM can benefit AEC professionals.
Strong attendance at this year’s event, which took place this year in Paris, April 6-7, demonstrated just how much the adoption of BIM tools and technologies has grown in France. The theme of the event, “breaking the innovation code of real estate industry and urban design,” attracted an audience that included software vendors, as well as architects, general contractors and subcontractors.
Dassault Systèmes was on hand with information about all of its product offerings, from the latest versions of CATIA to its 3DEXPERIENCE platform. At the 2016 event, Dassault Systèmes received more than double the number of inquiries compared to last year. Part of that expanded interest could be attributed to presentations given by Dassault representatives and customers.
Respected engineering and fabrication company A. Zahner Company is participating in the 2016 Façades+ Conference this week to promote the team’s system for creating unique façades and for improving design throughout the construction process.
CEO/President L. William Zahner will speak about the company’s technologies, techniques, and successes around the world.
Prefabrication is the designing and manufacturing of assemblies under factory conditions, then transporting them to—and assembling them on—a construction site. The technique is most widely used for concrete and steel sections in structures where a particular part or form is repeated many times.
In civil engineering, prefabrication plays a key role in the construction of bridges, roads, tunnels, and more. Prefabrication can be used for:
cantilevered decks of elevated bridges in highway projects
parapets of expressways and road curbs
precast girder units and beams for elevated roadways, tracks, viaducts, and pedestrian footbridges
decks for long span bridges
tunnel linings, especially for tunnels formed by tunnel boring machine
noise barrier panels
overhanging ducts and service channels for underground facilities
storm water discharge culverts
and many other elements of a civil design project
Contributing Factors to the Prefabrication Trend in Civil Engineering
The main reasons for prefabrication construction is to reduce the overall time period of construction time on a project. This time savings can yield significant budget savings.
AEC Industry Solution Experiences on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform enables designers to view 18 floors of MEP elements at fabrication LOD 400 on what will be the world’s tallest wood building.
CadMakers Virtual Construction understands that the cost to construct a building is a small percent of the total lifecycle cost the structure. The company thinks it’s just as important to efficiently plan for maintenance as it is to build a structure, which is why CadMakers takes a holistic view of the AEC process.
“People have thought that you can’t use manufacturing best practices in AEC because everything is different in our industry,” explained Javier Glatt, co-founder and CEO of CadMakers, a service company built to streamline the AEC industry and has executed 35 projects worth over US$3 billion in construction value since early 2014. “But new technologies, such as the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform, are enabling this industry to automate processes and create a lot of value.”
The process begins by either leveraging the included Civil Engineering Catalogues (i.e. smart tools, reusable components, and IFC-compliant objects which speed up the creation of the skeleton), or the design can start from scratch.
Zahner is an internationally acclaimed engineering and fabrication company best known for its highly crafted architectural metalwork.
One of Zahner’s recent projects, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), demonstrates how supply chain integration can help move complex buildings quickly to completion.
KPF principal Trent Tesch brought Zahner onto the project during its early stages to prove to the owner that the proposed façade — a complex swirling structure of stainless steel ribbons—would indeed be possible to fabricate.
The AEC industry is moving toward embracing a collaborative environment. It is crucial that owners, designers, engineers, and fabricators have simultaneous and real-time access to design models and project data.
AEC business leaders are advocating for Building Information Modeling (BIM) as the future of infrastructure projects worldwide.
Adopting BIM technologies into the civil design process will enable stakeholders to instantly collaborate with each other on an integrated design platform. BIM can provide for digital sharing and collaborating of models, instead of individually working from drawings.
As the global population continues to rise, worldwide spending on civil engineering projects is expected to grow. Emerging markets such as China, the Middle East, and Latin America will be looking to facilitate rapid increases in infrastructure projects quickly and cost-effectively.
To keep pace, civil engineering and infrastructure professionals will need to address industry challenges, such as managing costs and schedules, reducing waste, and improving efficiency.
One key reason for inefficiency in AEC infrastructure projects is fragmentation. An integrated, collaborative environment would eliminate fragmentation, address business challenges, achieve higher quality, and improve efficiency.
Some of the big changes in the AEC Industry are being pushed by A. Zahner Company, an engineering and fabrication company based in Kansas City, Missouri.
In January 2016, we met with Zahner representative Ed Huels, Director of IT / VDC Services, to learn how the company is responding to the challenges that face the AEC industry.
Edward Huels, Director of VDC service, A.ZAHNER COMPANY
Zahner has a long history in the sheet metal fabrication industry, dating back to 1897 when it was founded by Andrew Zahner. The company went through several transformations, producing a variety of standard sheet metal applications.
In the 1980’s, L. William Zahner, took the reins as the fourth-generation great-grandson of the family business. The company moved beyond producing standard systems to exploring architecture as art, just as the design world was beginning to explore new technology-based design solutions.