‘The one thing that appeals to us most is DDS-CAD focuses on the building services’

In Hoorn (the Netherlands), between the Maelsonstraat and the Provinciale weg and a short distance from all major facilities, the apartment complex TOREN is under construction. The complex consists of low-rise buildings and a 20-storey tower with two penthouses at the top. The new building will house 209 luxury apartments of various sizes, ranging from 70 to 136 m². It will also have an underground parking garage with 178 parking spaces, a spacious bicycle shed and storage facilities for residents. A private courtyard garden will be built on the roof of the basement. The expectation is that the low-rise part will be delivered by mid-2019. The tower will follow in 2020.

Text: Lieke van Zuilekom

The design of TOREN has been made by GeO Architecten from Schagen. Scholtens Bouw Wognum is responsible for the construction, while Beerepoot Installatietechniek is responsible for all electrical installations. The electrical contractor from Zwaagdijk-Oost has been involved with the project since its preparation phase, to think along with all the electrical installations in the project, says Jesper Kruis, Engineer at Beerepoot Installatietechniek. “Think of central lighting, area lighting, parking garage lighting, emergency lighting, access control, intercom system, fire alarm system and charging station facilities. In addition, we take care of all the electrical installations in each of the apartments, from the distribution boards to the sockets and the lightning points, where every resident can express their individual wishes.” Solar panels will be placed on the roof of TOREN, he says, which have to provide a large part of the energy demand. “All lightning is carried out in LED, with which we meet the sustainability wishes of our client as much as possible.”

Implementation in BIM

The project is executed in detail in BIM. “A specific wish from client Scholtens Group and contractor Scholtens Bouw”, says Kruis. “The big advantage of this method is that clashes/bottlenecks can be identified and resolved in an early stage, resulting in a smooth construction process. In addition, BIM gives the possibility to give the client visual insight into the building and its building services before we proceed with the execution.”

All electrical installations are engineered in the architect’s model by Beerepoot Installatietechniek. “We make a basis installation layout for each apartment unit, which is further elaborated in consultation with the actual residents. The various models are then shared via IFC with the structural contractor, who supervises the BIM process, checks all models, performs the clash checks and processes any changes. We generate our 2D drawings from the BIM model, for use on construction, as well as PDFs for the contractors and various buyers.”

Focus on building services

Apartment complex TOREN is the first project for which Beerepoot Installatietechniek uses the DDS-CAD software. “In the past we worked with Revit, but for cost reasons we went looking for a suitable alternative”, says Kruis. “Via-via we came across DDS-CAD, which turned out to give us great benefits.”

While Revit primarily focuses on the construction side, DDS-CAD focuses on the building services, he indicates. “This really appeals to us. In DDS-CAD we can easily make a combination of different switches. And the background information – for example, to which circuit a socket is assigned – has been carefully considered. In addition, circuit assignments are easy to adjust when changes are applied to the electrical installations. We can draw all conduit boxes into the walls during modelling. Subsequently, the contractor can very easily generate the required sectional wall views from the BIM model, in order to provide the concrete walls with the necessary conduits. These functions, among others, have convinced us.”

Nevertheless, he also makes a small remark. “In Revit you could exchange files via RVT. With DDS-CAD this is done via IFC, which functions less well visually. In order to prevent changes being overlooked, good communication is required in addition to the exchange of files. Moreover, the IFC models can be quite large, which requires the necessary software capacity. There is still room for improvement in these areas in the future.” However, Kruis is very enthusiastic about the default content provided in DDS-CAD, which has a large number of generic products included. “We have already made extensive use of this during the design of TOREN. We have also created some symbols and objects ourselves. This was something which was very difficult in Revit.”

Optimal support

In addition, Kruis praises the helpdesk at the company behind DDS-CAD. “The support from the company is exceptional. The support staff is quickly available and solutions are found instantly for 90% of the questions. In all other cases, there is being worked hard towards a solution behind the scenes, of which we are always well informed”.

Prior to the TOREN project, the BIM modellers of Beerepoot Installatietechniek followed a three-day training. “And at the start of this project, Product Specialist Gertjan Laurenssen assisted us setting up the BIM model, in accordance with our wishes and our company standards. We have experienced that as very helpful. We have already started several projects; in which we have always opted for DDS-CAD. Both for 2D and 3D projects. We expect BIM to be the standard in construction in a few years. As an organization, we are ready for this.”

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