‘Integrated design provides efficiency for all stakeholders involved’

Source: www.bbhd.nl

Recently the construction of the community and sports center has started in Nibbixwoud (NL). In 2016, this new accommodation will become the place where villagers meet and provide facilities for sports, weddings and funerals. The design of 3.000 m² GLA includes a seven-meter high sports hall, hospitality, meeting rooms and an auditorium. Moreover, additional space is created for a music and dance school. The outdoor sports facility accommodates an artificial turf, two grass fields and a handball court.

Text: Lieke van Zuilekom

The property is designed as a pavilion with a roof construction that has many sloped parts, says Robert Rodenburg from Vintis, an engineering and consultancy company for MEP systems. In this project, Vintis is responsible as consultant for all the building systems, including the electrical and mechanical installations and fire alarm and evacuation systems, as well as the user installations such as data, burglary protection, access control and sound systems. During the execution phase, Vintis acts as a auditor, who ensures that the quality and arrangements shall be respected as defined in the project specifications. So that the client will actually get what he paid for.
“The particular shape of the building lends itself perfectly for BIM”, says Rodenburg. “In the consultancy phase, we have already started to design the project in 3D. This way we managed to perfectly fit the installations in the available space. In addition, all stakeholders now have a good understanding and see how the building will look like in the future.”

Wishes and requirements

Vintis translated all the wishes and requirements of the Program of Requirements into a technical solution for the municipality Medemblik, he says. “The sports hall for example, must not only meet the guidelines of the Royal Society of Teachers of Physical Education (KVLO), but also the Olympic requirements of the NOC*NSF. The amount of air flow and the lighting level play an important role. Soon the municipality will offer an environment in which athletes can perform at their best.”

During the design phase Vintis worked closely together with BBHD Architects. “Since we have all been working on the same model, with the same values and principles, an optimal design has emerged”, says Rodenburg. Vintis makes use of DDS-CAD, an open BIM software. “In the design we can easily adapt the technical systems to the building's aesthetics. Both the architect, the contractor and the end user get a clear insight into the design choices made at an early stage. By using the 3D model, we can design more accurately. All the space is optimally utilized.”

The difficulty in the design was related to the recessed open space in the core of the building, which had to be used for the MEP systems. “The building has no effective technical room on the roof or elsewhere in the building. The space available was limited. This forced us to puzzle quite a bit. The cooling and air handling units, for example, initially towered quite high above the recessed space.” To assure that these unit were hidden, the roof deck was locally placed at a lower position. This way we could still comply to the architectural design. “In consultation with BBHD Architects we have found space for all installations.”
Rodenburg praises the calculation power of DDS-CAD. “We use the software to determine the capabilities of the various technical installations and to calculate optimal dimensions. All quantities are the extracted from the model and exported to Excel, to create accurate cost estimates.”

Benefits of integrated design

After approval by the client, Vintis translated the design to a contractual document. Meanwhile, the contracting parties are known and the construction of the project has started. “In many cases, the contracting parties continue their work on our BIM model”, says Rodenburg. “But in this case both parties were not ready for this yet. They still work in a traditional way. Too bad, because if all parties work in the same model, the execution time can be shortened. This way the coordination problems and shortcomings during the execution phase can be avoided and corrected already during the preparation phase. In several projects we have already noticed that by modeling in 3D the other project partners gain a better understanding of the size of the installations, which ultimately leads to a better design that meets the needs of the client. At the construction site and during the operational phase one benefits from this.”

However, research shows that currently only about 36% of the entire construction value chain has adopted BIM, he says. “So there is still some room for improvement. Because integrated design provides more efficiencies for all stakeholders involved and improves the communication. Moreover, the quality of the design is much better in most cases. Therefore I would like to call out to all architects, constructors, contractors and installers to start to get acquainted with BIM.”

Future of BIM

Vintis has been working since 2009 with BIM as a 3D model. “Since a while we are doing all our projects in BIM”, says Rodenburg. “And with every project we learn something new. BIM is a continuous development. To make qualitative improvements in the design process, the software should also develop accordingly. Fortunately, Data Design System is aware of this. International sales manager Mark Bouten is open to our feedback. And bugs are always resolved quickly.” At present, Rodenburg is in contact with an architectural company to investigate how even more additional value can be generated by BIM and how the coordination with DDS-CAD can be further optimized. “Nowadays, BIM efforts are focusing on a detail level. However, we think that BIM can provide an added value at a more abstract level as well, for example, we are thinking of modeling technical performance requirements based on an architectural zone plan. By overseeing all relevant consequences, for example, the required space, energy costs and investment costs, you can design a more efficient building.”

Also for maintenance and facility management Rodenburg expects big steps. “In the future, the building management systems combined with a BIM model will specify independently which facilities need maintenance and / or must be replaced. All building and usage related components will be equipped with sensors that tirelessly generate and pass on data. The 3D BIM model will be deployed to make all components and data visual in the building. The unnecessary early replacement of components or energy-inefficient functioning of a building will belong to the past.”

Project info
Client: municipality Medemblik
Architect: BBHD Architecten
Constructor: Adviesburo W.F.O. bv
MEP consultant: Vintis installatieadviseurs
Construction period: March 2015 – April 2016

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