The Future of the Construction Industry is Based on 5D Construction Models

Large-scale Industry Sets New Course for the Entire Construction Industry

The model-based work method is intended to make a 15 per cent cost saving in construction implementation possible in the event of stringent material purchase and supply management. For developers 20 to 25 per cent are possible.


The future belongs to digital engineering and construction – this is the philosophy of engineering company Pinkert in Sandersdorf, which was established in 1990. Its founder and manager, construction engineer Dieter Pinkert, says that the specialty of the company is its holistic approach to construction project management. This is reflected in the company’s range of services, which covers the entire planning chain from tendering and site management all the way through to full project management. The portfolio also includes structural engineering and technical design as well as supervision and management of planning and construction costs. State-of-the-art work methods are applied to keep pace with ever-growing customer requirements. To be able to carefully examine the opportunities and risks of their customers’ ideas in the preliminary planning phase already, Dieter Pinkert and his team of ten engineers rely on model-based processes. In 2010, they introduced Autodesk Revit Architecture and iTWO from RIB, an integrated software solution for digital engineering and construction in five dimensions. Dieter Pinkert and his colleague Thomas Kunte are convinced that this high-tech-software system will equip them to address customer requirements even more specifically and provide a basis for delivering the demanded quality. As Pinkert says, ”There is a continuous and massive increase in customer expectations.”

Large-scale Industry Demands Five-Dimensional Planning

Located in Sachsen-Anhalt, the engineering company works for major industrial enterprises, i.e. the classic manufacturing industries. One of the core competences of Dieter Pinkert’s team is the service phase 5 of the HOAI (Fee Scales for German Architects and Engineers), which mainly covers implementation planning and cost management. ”Perspective planning in this line of business, for instance in the automotive sector, the solar industry or power plant engineering, is oriented to construction management”, says Pinkert. ”The basis for this is the 5D construction model”, he continues.

The Sandersdorf engineers are convinced that traditional software for tendering and contracting construction services is no longer adequate for coping with the standards of quality, cost accuracy and delivery reliability demanded in large-scale industry nowadays. For example, customers of the Pinkert company already expect not only extremely structured planning but also especially accurate realisation of their construction projects. The execution phase is a particular challenge for materials procurement and project accounting staff; all the data must always be transparent for the customer. ”Our work in the planning sector comprises project control activities, the exact planning of technological processes and, above all, end-to-end management of all costs incurred in a project”, adds Dieter Pinkert.

The company meets these demands of industry with the integrated software solution consisting of iTWO from RIB and Autodesk Revit Architecture. The 3D geometry ensures the desired quality, iTWO Business Suite focuses on cost accuracy for the customer and the scheduling system MS Project, which can easily be linked up to the system solution, helps to guarantee the deadline reliability expected by the client.

The 3D geometry guarantees the quality the client desires. iTWO Business Suite focuses on cost security.


Strategic Switchover

In 2010, the company, which has meanwhile used RIB software for 20 years, switched from the predecessor system ARRIBA to the new iTWO solution. This was a strategic decision, as ”engineering and construction with 5D construction models will establish itself as standard practice”, as Dieter Pinkert emphasises. The Industry has clearly indicated that the construction business is expected to adopt this technology. Pinkert estimates that roughly 50 percent of all Germany’s engineering and construction capacities will have implemented the new work method within the next five years.

At the moment, however, the picture is rather different. Four members of staff use the integrated software solution at the Pinkert company, producing 3D models on the basis of dwg files in Autodesk Revit Architecture and transferring them to the RIB iTWO technical ERP software. In a power plant construction project, the specialist engineers from Sandersdorf planned a conglomerate of factories consisting of 15 separate buildings on the basis of pdf files. ”The processing of the models involves a tremendous amount of work, particularly in the initial phase”, explains Thomas Kunte. ”It is extremely difficult to be done without a special affinity with high-tech applications”, adds company boss Pinkert, ”and as a company you naturally have to invest a great deal of time at the beginning to be able to use the new solution efficiently.” Looking at the planning time for this project however, which has a total volume of approximately 40 million euros, the fast payback period of the 5D solution is immediately apparent. The project has reached the execution stage in the same year in which the Pinkert company made the changeover.

Dieter Pinkert estimates that in about five years around 50 per cent of the entire planning and realisation capacity in Germany will make active use of the new work method based on the 5D construction model.


Basis for Smooth Construction Workflow

According to the experience of the staff, the group most hesitant to use the new planning methods is that of the technical building equipment engineers. ”If these people didn’t shy away from the expenditure involved in changing the system, it would be possible to integrate all aspects into an end-to-end model that could be used as a basis for a smooth construction workflow”, comments Pinkert. After all, the technical ERP solution from RIB already incorporates integrated clash detection for such structured planning.

High Savings Potential on Both Sides

The company founder sees tremendous savings potential from the use of 5D. Contractors can save about 15 percent provided they apply stringent materials purchasing and process management. According to Dieter Pinkert, engineering companies can save even more, as ”more planning accuracy means less deviation from the actual construction. We can save 20 to 25 percent of planning and engineering costs using the model-based method”, Pinkert sums up. ”This savings potential alone shows why the future belongs to 5D and why there is no alternative.”





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