Digital Builder

The Future of School Infrastructure Starts with BIM

When it comes to infrastructure, few landscape elements are as symbolic of the future of a people as its elementary schools. In Stockholm, Sweden, SISAB is the public entity responsible for developing and managing school infrastructure, and they take responsibility for their city’s future seriously.

SISAB is committed to developing school infrastructure that is sustainable and supportive of the city’s hundreds of thousands of students, parents, teachers, staff, and visitors. Toward this end, they partnered with one of Sweden’s leading community development consultancies, Tyréns, to create a building model according to which all new elementary schools in the city can be constructed.

Called the BIM Future School Starter Package, this digital model concept enables reuse of the best technical and spatial solutions that SISAB has developed during many years of design, production, and management of school properties. Powered by Autodesk’s suite of architecture, engineering, and construction platforms, the BIM Future School Starter Package makes it possible to quickly and cost-effectively roll out new schools with only minor adaptations and adjustments based on local needs and design variants.

Here’s how they did it.

1. Two Companies Rooted in Community Building

Tyréns is one of Sweden’s leading consultants in the field of community building. They create sustainable solutions in urban development and infrastructure. Because Tyréns is foundation-owned, its ownership model allows them to invest purposefully in research and development in the field of community building. They are driven by curiosity and work closely with universities, colleges, and other educational institutions.

SISAB owns, develops, and manages the majority of the schools and preschools in Stockholm. Together with tenants, they create safe and inspiring educational environments for Stockholm’s children and young people.

Together with their extensive experience in the industry, the companies worked collaboratively to develop the reusable digital models.

2. Together, They Set Clear Cost and Quality Goals

Together, Victor Cabezas, Tyréns Business and Service Developer, and Michael Thydell, External BIM Strategy Advisor for SISAB set out with the goal to reduce costs. With the old way of doing things, each new school building cost more than the one before.

“When we were done with the pilot, we wanted to have a model ready for customization,” says Cabezas, “and we wanted it to be better and cost less for SISAB, not more.”

In order to provide both cost-effective and high-quality facilities, together SISAB and Tyréns set clear goals to:

  • Reduce design costs
  • Reduce the number of errors
  • Increase quality

Toward these ends, they set out to create reusable BIM documents to meet the following criteria:

  • Well-made without design errors
  • Reusable in upcoming projects
  • Prepared without objects for specific brands and products

By accomplishing these goals, Tyréns and SISAB were also able to:

  • Reduce design time
  • Meet all quality and performance goals

3. Implemented BIM 360 as the Primary Collaboration Tool

At the outset, SISAB was not using an effective collaboration platform, which led to delays. Substantial amounts of time were spent in coordination meetings. Additionally, their internal software was not designed to hold the necessary size of files.

Tyréns worked closely with SISAB stakeholders to understand the benefits of using BIM 360 within Autodesk Construction Cloud™ to manage collaboration. Ultimately, the starter kit files were created in Autodesk Revit, and then moved into BIM 360 for collaboration.

4. Removed Barriers and Overcame Siloes

With project files available inside BIM 360, there is no longer any need for file viewers to have a Revit license. As SISAB and Tyréns moved into the construction of the pilot project, this became more important. Stakeholders at SISAB were able to be more intimately involved in the project. They could look at the models and create issues.

The process was faster for architects and engineers and enabled everyone’s involvement from the project leads to architects, structural engineers, managers, and all other stakeholders and contributors.

5. Reduced Time and Errors

By aligning all project stakeholders early in the process, SISAB and Tyréns learned to reduce errors and ensure quality delivery. BIM 360 replaced coordination meetings, saving two hours a week over five months, resulting in 50 hours in time-savings and Tyréns’ innovation product called IFC-validator automated the process for quality assurance of the IFC-files resulting in more than 150 hours in time-savings.

TyrensTime

They also reduced the time spent downloading and uploading files and reduced the number of errors to be corrected during construction.

TyrensCost

The pilot project has yielded more than 60,450 kr in cost savings over past projects, and the reusable models, files, and improved processes and tools will save SISAB substantially on future projects.

6. Became a Model for the Country

Cabezas says the relationship between Tyréns and SISAB has grown stronger as a result. 

“With BIM 360 and the IFC-Validator, SISAB had visibility and insight into the project to see how we were taking the lead in making projects more efficient to better meet their needs, which helped our relationship,” he says. “There are still construction and design companies that are thinking in terms of billing more hours to customers, rather than thinking about what’s in the customer’s best interests. This is the wrong way to go about it, especially because customers are expecting greater efficiency and higher quality on increasingly complex jobs.”

Cabezas believes that this is only the starting point and that the industry’s future lies in creating new business models to reduce costs and increase quality.

This post was a cross-collaboration between WWFO and ACS Customer Success Managers Silja Makinen and Monika Hoffman with key insight and perspective derived from Victor Cabezas, Business and Service Developer at Tyréns, and Michael Thydell, External BIM Strategy Advisor for SISAB.

Photo credit: Bara Bild

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