PARVIAINEN ARCHITECTS NOT FORGETTING THE ‘I’NFORMATION IN BIM

Nemetschek brand involved: Solibri

Maybe others forget the ‘I’nformation in BIM but that’s what defines our models – we input as much information into them as possible and, of course, what is demanded by customers.” explains Jaakko Berg.

Jaakko leads BIM coordination in Parviainen Architects in Finland. Established in 1962, they focus on large scale projects in their own market. They are, and have been, responsible for some of the biggest Finnish architectural projects in modern times, ranging from Finavia terminals in Helsinki-Vantaa airport to a huge 190 000 m2 delivery center in Sipoo. They have over 40 design staff, including architects and interior designers - all using BIM.

Jaakko has been working at Parviainen since 2000 and was instrumental in their adoption of BIM and the creation of their BIM strategy. “In 2006, we made the brave decision to go with BIM. We understood that it would add a level of disturbance to projects at the beginning, but even then, we knew it was the way to go. We focus on large-scale projects that have grown more complex over the years. We were comfortable with CAD since using it in the 1980s, but moving to BIM to help manage these complications seemed an obvious choice. We have better control of our projects with BIM – in our work, the head designer, designer and BIM coordinator all use BIM”.

I ask Jaakko how he uses Solibri in his work. “I have two screens: one with the design software and the other with Solibri open and in use. As a BIM coordinator, Solibri is my main software with which I combine models and do clash detection. We have a major project design review meeting every few weeks and the process is one of iteration - iteration meaning that we check and redesign to make sure we have the accuracy and quality information in our BIMs. As said, the designers themselves use Solibri. They are responsible for checking their own work and I manage the larger coordination. If a designer uses BIM, they will use Solibri on a daily basis”.

Parviainen has been expanding over recent years. At the same time, Mikko Lahikainen has started as the new CEO in the office. The focus is on finding good designers first, then training new team members on BIM. Jaakko has written his own rulesets for Solibri Model Checker and has noticed the change in new recruits over recent years. Most arrive as ‘digital natives’ – understanding 3D design and BIM. It’s Jaakko’s job to get them using BIM in a way that supports Parviainen’s approach to project design.

I ask what their customers understand about BIM. “It’s changed a lot. Previously we had customers who were offered and declined to use BIM. One year later, these same customers were coming back to us when their contractors required them to use BIM. It’s getting better these days. We show customers what BIM means and we explain what Solibri is. They now trust us and see the later benefits of using BIM in large-scale projects. In the SOK mentioned delivery center the customer actually mandated BIM and wanted an accuracy of 3cm in the overall design. That may sound crazy, but we made it happen. It also became apparent why they wanted BIM – we soon learnt that the delivery and dispatch robot also was designed by BIM so it was critical to collaborate everything with BIM. If we continue on this path, BIM will be standard in five years and no customer will challenge the cost. We need to push things like IFC standards to make that happen.  It’s only a matter of time for big projects”.

Parviainen is one of the very few architectural firms that separate BIM project design from the regular design on their website. When you check their website, you soon notice that all the big projects are BIM ones.  It’s a visual example of their confidence and knowledge regarding BIM. (They also list the SWECO project as one of their design successes. You can read a separate article regarding that project in this magazine. It was delivered clash-free for construction by using Solibri).

Jaakko will now go back to his current project – the Iso-Omena (Big Apple) shopping center in Espoo, Finland. This will again require plenty of reiteration rounds to get the designs ready for construction. But never fear, Jaakko knows BIM ‘inside-out’ and Parviainen love the challenge of a massive design project. Thank you Jaakko for sharing your vision with us.