A shopping centre with “the seeds of AI”
Real estate developer Baltisches Haus hired AGACAD to oversee the BIM work in its 6.5-million-euro project for an environmentally friendly “shopping centre of the future”. The building, which opened this year, has won BIM awards and helped AGACAD advance with its new BIMAXON platform for buildings with AI.
Baltisches Haus UAB is a real estate developer founded by Belgian investors in 1995 in Lithuania to support a major Baltic retail chain. Now independent, the company manages 264,000 sq. m. at 94 commercial properties in 37 cities. Its values include ethics, innovation and sustainable modern buildings.
The three core ideas for the ŽALI shopping and service centre in the outdoorsy Balsiai suburb of Vilnius were clear from the start: state-of-the-art in every sense, maximally environmentally friendly, and integrated into the community.
“We set ourselves the goal of building a shopping centre of the future – to show that things can be different: more efficient, smarter and greener. BIM technology was an obvious choice,”says Audrius Masionis, the CEO of Baltisches Haus.
“We decided to use a maximally detailed BIM model not only at the design stage, as is common, but also for construction and later maintenance,” he notes.
The developer’s reasons for using 3D models and Building Information Modelling included ensuring design quality and coordination, getting accurate estimates, facilitating effective project management, and laying foundations for efficient operation and maintenance.
Baltisches Haus asked AGACAD – as BIM consultants well-known for being at the leading edge of global advances in digital building technologies – to handle the crucial task of managing overall BIM processes in the ŽALI project.
“In representing the client’s interests, we first helped them produce the Employer’s Information Requirements (EIR) for this unique project. Then we oversaw how the design team responded with a BIM Execution Plan (BEP) – examining the classification principles, parameters, geometry detail and so on” says Donatas Aksomitas, AGACAD’s CEO.
Ten BIM process teams were involved in developing the new 3,774 sq. m. building (with A+ energy efficiency and a green roof and facade) plus the full land plot, surrounding streets, a new ring road and related infrastructure. During the design process, AGACAD did quality assurance on the BIM model, which helped the developers make key decisions easily and confidently.
AGACAD also set up a Common Data Environment to serve as an information gathering tool during construction and then as a single database with all related information and documentation. Donatas Aksomitas calls the CDE “a digital archive for the building, its memory or brain.” This was an early application of AGACAD’s innovative new BIMAXON platform for efficiently managing data flows using a lean set-of-information methodology.
The third major task for AGACAD, and one that is ongoing, involves launching a live 3D operating model of the facility, with a wealth of information for each building element, its lifecycle and maintenance specifics, all accessible to different users in accord with their specific roles and needs.
The ŽALI shopping and service centre opened its doors in March 2018, certified under international BREEAM standards for its environmental, social and economic sustainability. In April 2018, ŽALI was recognized as the “Public Building BIM Project of the Year” by the digital construction association Skaitmenine Statyba together with the Lithuanian Builders Association.
Baltisches Haus proudly shows off the project as a calling card for what it is able to achieve in commercial property development. “The results exceeded our most daring visions,” says Masionis, the CEO, adding: “ŽALI has set a high standard. We managed to develop a complex model of unprecedented graphic and information detail. Projects like this are what stimulate the growth of professionals in the area of digital construction.”
AGACAD’s Donatas Aksomitas agrees. His own team, and his company’s unique IT solutions, benefited from having to deal with this project’s challenges.
Among other things, ŽALI, as a “shopping centre of the future”, is full of sensors, smart solutions and automated systems. They all add value for the building’s tenants, customers and owners. And they also rely on effective handling of data. Thus it is important now to complete the BIM operating model and further enhance it over time through ongoing development of BIMAXON.
“We’ve sown the seeds for AI in this building,” Aksomitas notes. “There’s still a lot of work left to bring it fully to life, but that’s the vision we’re pursuing at AGACAD – buildings will true artificial intelligence,” he says.
AGACAD is a team of visionary engineers with expertise in computer-aided design, BIM processes and software development. We create solutions to accelerate Building Information Modelling based on the insights and experience of progressive practitioners worldwide. We help reduce stress in BIM processes while boosting the safety and payback of related investments.
For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +370 618 55 671.