The next exciting step in BIM
Some of our readers may have noticed that this week we made an important update to our popular U-value Calculator: the addition of BIM Objects. Our resident expert Hannah Etheridge gives an insight into how and why we are playing our part in the future of digital construction.
A digital way of working is essential for most industries. For us in the construction industry it is beginning to evolve from what could previously be considered a niche area for those with money and resources to spare, into a more commonplace process seen throughout the trade. Before long it will be the everyday practice for most of us: the processes, the organisation, the integration and collaboration.
I have been a part of the development of BIM at Kingspan Insulation over the last three years. During this time we have collaborated with the NBS National BIM Library, becoming one of the first manufacturers in the industry to provide our products in a suitable digital format to be used in BIM Level 2 projects. We have maintained and developed these Objects with the help of the NBS to ensure this solution is still suitable and useful.
However we always strive to provide more. We asked ourselves, how can we give the market a better, simpler and more efficient solution to their request for manufacturer data? How can we ensure that the Objects we provide are not only accurate in terms of data content and geometry, but can help the designer to produce a more efficient and technically accurate project both quickly and easily?
The solution, we realised, was already there: the Kingspan Insulation U-value Calculator. Designers and specifiers already use this to get quick confirmation of build-ups, U-values and thicknesses. As such it already contributes hugely to the specification of our products for their intended purpose, and also saves the designer time in acquiring the specific build-up for the building element. If we can provide BIM Objects to reflect this, then the designer can go one step further and just drop the completed build-up into their project without the need to switch out layers, research product values or use generic build-ups that don’t reflect the intended solution.
So that’s what we did. With the aid of Howitt Consulting & Metz Architects we have created BIM Objects of the whole building element, which directly correspond to the constructions we have on our U-value Calculator. This way you can just input the build-up you need as usual, and the U-value Calculator will email not only the U-value, calculation and thickness, but also the associated BIM Object. This is then free to save and drop straight into your project.
We are now launching this next exciting step in the development of BIM here at Kingspan Insulation, with the inclusion of flat roofing objects on our U-value Calculator. We decided to begin with flat roofing, as my background in this area means my understanding of the build-ups and requirements at the time of development was greater. However, once launched our intention is to develop similar solutions for floors, walls and pitched roofs, in order to provide solutions for all available build-ups.
And who knows what might be the next step after this? You’ll just have to wait and see…
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