As little theory as necessary, as much practice as possible
Commissioned by thyssenkrupp AG, Essen, Kaspar Kraemer Architects BDA of Cologne took over the responsibility for planning a new multi-functional building for the thyssenkrupp elevator works in Neuhausen auf den Fildern, Baden-Wuerttemberg. On a gross area of 16,500 sqm, the “elevator campus” was set up in December 2015, with a showroom for exhibitions, product presentation and events of all kinds – for example, conferences, educational and training areas – and to provide space for the main administration of the thyssenkrupp elevator factory. The new building, in the form of a quadratic cuboid, was erected in front of the existing thyssenkrupp plant. On the western side of the plot, space remains for potential future extensions.
The architectural office, which is well known always for working in close collaboration with the owner in order to find a common solution with regard to form, function and efficiency, carried out this project with a BIM workflow throughout. The company has relied on digital planning and construction according to the BIM methodology (Building Information Modeling) since 2012 and has implemented the ArchiCAD IT system by Graphisoft and iTWO 5D by RIB. More than ten employees now work with modern software programs. Under the leadership of BIM manager Oskar Molnar, at Kaspar Kraemer Architects an integrated BIM process for all phases has been implemented– from modeling to cost and tendering handovers.
The special thing about Kaspar Kraemer Architects BDA: All of the office’s projects, from new buildings, transformations and extensions to renovations , e.g. large detached houses, public buildings or offices, are planned throughout with the BIM methodology. In addition to visual 3D planning, the architects/project leaders are responsible for the handover of all project information relevant to tendering, award and billing (AVA). In this way they can carry out both a visual, alphanumerical and a logical check of the cost information. The integrated BIM workflow based on newly defined standards for the architectural office forms the foundation for this thoroughgoing planning with ArchiCAD and RIB iTWO 5D. The time saved, which in the past would have been needed for a usually laborious calculations, can now be invested sensibly by the architects on the design itself or for basic project details. A large proportion of the cost elements can be determined very easily and directly with the aid of the BIM workflow. The remaining cost elements, for which the planners in the office still use classical methods, only relate to information such as, for example, excavations or scaffolding. All other elements of any measure are fixed parts of the BIM workflow.
We do not work with a classical, externally prescribed project manual but always on the basis of our own BIM standards
This is why clients value highly working with the office, with its conceptual work on BIM models. “We do not work with a classical , externally prescribed project manual but always on the basis of our own BIM standards,” explains BIM manager Oskar Molnar. “Only in this way, the integration of the programs used in our company works in a totally transparent manner,” he adds. An important role in the collaboration with the client is also played by the representation of the costs. “With bar charts in RIB iTWO 5D, we can virtually run through large items of a construction project with the client. This is fundamentally more transparent than bare figures. Our prescribed structure allows us to illustrate alternative measures directly in AVA and simulate the savings. Together with the 3D model, we can offer our clients a fully virtual and thus transparent set of plans before physical work is started,” he concludes.
The foundation for this continuous planning system is laid down in the internal standards of Kaspar Kraemer Architects BDA: An office manual for the model-oriented working approach, including cost information. It contains, for example, codes for all the components used, such as concrete walls or steel doors, or references for documentation. Lest work with this manual remains easily comprehensible, it only contains as much information as necessary. While the total content grows and extends with every new BIM project at Kaspar Kraemer Architects – containing, for example, all the doors the office uses for planning – the manual is restricted at first to the information that the particular door has the most important attributes. All attributes – for example, different types of wooden door – are then addressed in AVA and supplied with the corresponding prices. Special extra sheets in the form of Microsoft Excel tables are added additionally and implemented in the content where there are particular client wishes. Not only the overall content, but also the manual with which Kaspar Kraemer Architects works, are updated with every new project and are thus always up to date.