The Nordplus Project helps to improve the study programs of Civil Engineering and Architecture

Important | 2017-09-28

The Faculty of Civil engineering and Architecture of Kaunas University of Technology, together with partners – Tampere University of Technology (Finland), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway), Via University College (Denmark) in 2017-2018, is implementing Nordplus-funded project ‘Nordic_BIM_edu – Development of skills for Building Information Modeling (BIM) in Nordic countries higher education‘, wich aim is to improve the curriculum and teaching methods of higher education institutions in the fields of architecture and civil engineering.

Particular attention is paid to the compatibility and applicability of design and innovative technological solutions through the use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) methodology and to the development of co-operation between higher education institutions and other organizations interested in implementing of BIM in the countries of the Nordic region.

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a process in which all building information is developed and managed at all stages of its lifecycle, from the initial design concept to its demolition or renovation. The BIM includes the entire design geometry of the building, spatial relationship with the environment, lighting analysis, geographic information, quantitative and qualitative calculations of building components, energy indicators of the building and their optimization, as well as the entire infrastructure of the building (water, electricity, communications, etc.).

Implementing BIM as an innovation is not only a matter of technology or information management, but also includes social, economic, political, legal and other aspects. For this reason, the implementation of BIM requires a complex and comprehensive approach that includes not only the BIM implementation and development strategy in designing companies, but also builders, contractors, manufacturers and property valuers’ organizations and development of BIM standards globally, but also in the field of education and professional training.

Digitizing construction processes requires additional and interdisciplinary expertise that enables the BIM process to proceed smoothly in order to achieve the essential benefits of BIM application – precise design and reduction of construction costs, elimination of errors and conflicts among different building elements, efficient time and cost management, quality and / timely communication between the participants in the construction project (designers, manufacturers, builders, estimators, etc.) and many others.

European countries are developing or implementing policies that promote or require the use of information modeling and play a key role in strategies for the restructuring of the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) sectors. The implementation of BIM, as an innovation, is important not only from a technological point of view, but also due to the organization of work and the reorganization of workflows, and the obstacles to the adoption of BIM in the construction sector are the difficulties in changing work habits and adapting the established workflow and legal framework. Therefore, curricula that incorporate BIMs should be coordinated with other stakeholders – construction companies and public institutions.

Leading Lithuanian architectural, engineering and construction companies seek to apply BIM in their activities and thus, be part of the team with the participation of advanced construction projects. Naturally, it requires additional resources for the training of employees, the creation of the necessary infrastructure, and etc. In 2013, the Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture started introducing BIM competency-based study programs. Undergraduate studies in Civil Engineering, Building Engineering Systems and Architecture are adapted to the BIM process, with more emphasis on developing skills of  static information model design, change management, teamwork and data exchange competencies.

From the middle of June 2017, KTU Civil engineering and architecture faculty started to implement the activities of the project “Nordic_BIM_edu – Development of skills for building information modeling (BIM) in Nordic countries higher education“. Project partners: Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway), Tampere University of Technology (Finland) and the Via University College (Denmark).

On August 23-25, an introductory project meeting was organized at the KTU Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture. During the meeting were discussed: the role of the partners in the project, the goals and expected results were set. A very important aspect of the meeting was the visits to the BIM’s leading companies and associations in the Lithuanian architectural, engineering and construction sectors: VŠĮ Digital Construction, UAB Concretus Designers, UAB AGA CAD, and AB YIT KAUSTA.

Dalius Gedvilas, Director of VŠĮ Digital Construction, has presented an organization that brings together associations operating in the construction sector and is dedicated to coordinating the process of building a digital digitization process in Lithuania. The creation, implementation and development of the National Construction Classification has been presented as one of the most important areas of activity and the most pressing issues at the moment. VIA University College BIM Coordinator Per Christensen shared insights on the deployment of BIM in Denmark and briefly presented “Molio,” an organization that provides digital tools, continuing education and professional literature, helps to enhance digitization and efficiency in construction.

The head of UAB Concretus Designers Rytis Mušauskas presented the best Lithuanian BIM project abroad in 2017 – Clarion Hotel Helsinki. The construction of the Clarion hotel was a challenge in the design, manufacturing, logistics and installation area. The application of BIM technology has helped to accurately, timely and qualitatively design, manufacture and install the entire construct of this building. Moreover, the whole project communication, change management, the search and control of mistakes and conflicts took place with the help of an information model.

The “Tekla“ software was used to design the building construct, and the structures were designed taking into account parts of the information model developed by other parts of the project (disciplines): architectural, facade constructions, HVAC, water supply and sewage, electricity, etc. As different project participants used different software, communication was conducted through the IFC Data Exchange Standard. The BIM co-ordination between the project participants was performed by “HENT AS“ using “Solibri Model Checker“, an information model verification software.

AGA CAD Director Donatas Aksomitas had presented solution for BIM – Tools4Revit, wich they are developing and implementing and which are adapted to the Autodesk Revit platform.  He also presented the initiative to build the National Construction Classification and the work done.

During the visit to YIT Kausta, Nordplus project participants were introduced to the largest construction company „YIT Corporation“ (Finland), to which group YIT Kausta belongs. The project participants had an excellent opportunity to communicate with BIM team: BIM coordinator Darius Kvedaravičius, BIM manager Audrius Leonavičius and Arimantas Glebauskas, the head of the administration. During the meeting, it was also introduced The best public building BIM project in 2017- “Duetto“ and the best  BIM project for residential building in 2016 – „New Riviera“ (AB YIT Kausta and UAB Unitectus). In the presentation of projects, attention was drawn to the fact that the company use tools such as RIB iTWO, Dalux and Solibri Model Checker. The aforementioned softwares are used for the purpose of BIM 4D, 5D, where the building information model is supplemented with time and cost components, which allows the construction of projects to be built accurately, timely and at a fixed price.

Another meeting of “Nordic_BIM_edu – Development of skills for Building Information Modelling (BIM) in Nordic countries higher education“ project is planned at the Via Univeristes College in Denmark, where legal, economic and social issues will be discussed in the BIM integration process. 

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