Dutch firm’s precast work gets a major boost from AGACAD BIM software and support
A BIM modelling and consulting firm in the Netherlands has found big added value in the unique features of AGACAD’s suite of tools for precast concrete work in Revit as well as in the company’s ongoing expert support.
BIM4ALL B.V. is an innovative BIM services and consulting firm based in Rijssen, the Netherlands, a home to prominent construction companies. It works on a wide range of projects for buildings, utilities and infrastructure.
BIM4ALL takes pride in staying at the cutting edge of the technologies which are boosting quality and efficiency in AEC. That means a focus on both state-of-the-art tools and employee expertise. In this case, the company needed a better way to design precast concrete elements in Revit®.
“We’d started working a lot with developing concrete casings and production drawings. We do that on the base of assemblies,” says Niels Docter, a BIM modeller at BIM4ALL.
Working with precast assemblies in plain Revit requires a lot of time-consuming manual work, he notes, explaining the company’s search for BIM tools to automate things like view layouts, dimensioning and take-off, and for quickly inserting elements to achieve greater detailing.
“The software needed to be simple to learn and use. And it had to let us get right to work without a lot of complicated setting up,” Mr Docter says. For that, BIM4ALL turned to AGACAD.
BIM4ALL choseAGACAD’s Precast Concrete suite of tools for modelling prefabricated concrete walls, floors, and columns with real-time project updates in Revit. The software also creates element views with automatic dimensions, and generates bills of materials and shop drawings for combinations of structural and architectural elements.
“We had a positive experience in the past with AGACAD software, so we chose to go with them again and were not disappointed,”says Mr Docter.
The Precast Concrete package includes split, update and modify options for precast walls and floors, as well as rules-based batch insertion of connection details, plates, grout tubes, etc., and easy renumbering/marking of elements.
One tool that immediately impressed BIM4ALL was Sort Mark. It quickly sorts and/or renumbers precast elements (beams, columns, foundations, walls, connections, etc.) based on volume, location, ID, length or any other parameter, and adds information to them. It can also recalculate shared coordinates and create new shared parameters.
“There are benefits here that we can’t get from other tools. We use elements with all different names, which is normally hard to do in Revit. But with Sort Mark it became easy to make any assembly unique.”
Another tool, Smart Assemblies, turned about to be even more valuable for creating and managing assemblies. It combines hosted or nested concrete and steel elements into a single Revit entity and generates all needed views, rules-based dimensions and assembly sheets based on rules and templates. It also updates existing shop drawings when changes are made to the project.
“What’s most useful? The automatic measurement of elements. Making the walls unique and automatically entering the gravity point. The software itself measures. So we save a lot of time in the preparation of assemblies, which are then easy to update and maintain,” Mr Docter says. “The great advantage is we don’t have to make every element ourselves. Once a parameter is added, the software does all the work.”
Between those and other tools in the precast suite (like Floor Panel Layout, Metal Framing Floor+, Smart Connections and Smart Walls), BIM4ALL has achieved faster design, better quality results, and an ability to handle more complex projects. Now they can take even more pride in their work.
But AGACAD has not just provided software, the engineer stresses. They’ve also shared valuable productivity tips and industry insights in the context of ongoing support: “Working with AGACAD has helped to expand our team members’ know-how, especially on working with prefab construction and automating drawings. We’ve gotten some really good tips that certainly have helped us in our work,” Mr Docter notes.
This client relationship exemplifies “Building BIM Together!” – the slogan at the heart of everything AGACAD does. The focus is on accelerating Building Information Modelling for everyone in AEC based on the insights and experience of advanced BIM practitioners. We automate or eliminate unnecessary BIM tasks so our clients can focus on value-creating work.
AGACAD is the developer of the world’s widest range of true BIM software for Revit® professionals, with 12,000+ users in 130 countries. The company is now celebrating 27 YEARS DELIVERING TOMORROW’S AEC.
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