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Adopting Practical BIM Step by Step
The ARP ArchitektenPartnerschaft office is located in Stuttgart with over 80 employees and has been in existence since 1970. Valuing partnership at the core of their thoughts and actions, the firm determines the level of cooperation with clients, employees, and project teams and uses those relationships to advise project phases and design tasks. Along with project management, they handle all areas related to urban and open space design, as well as architecture and interior design.
The firm uses BIM extensively for various design tasks. They realized it is not crucial for every detail to be designed in 3D; rather, it is important to use a digital design process to facilitate project work and improve work processes. In essence, they are successfully integrating practical BIM.
If the benchmark for BIM is collaboration through the exchange of project information and geometric models across disciplines, ARP has been carrying out BIM for years. Their biggest limitations have been due to project partners (or stakeholders) not yet ready to prepare their data for a shared digital building model.
However, both the Principals and the Associates at ARP wanted to pursue a digitally-driven design process. Their resulting pilot project in 2015, which was partially executed with a BIM process, encouraged the use of BIM in future projects. Since then, every new construction project is set up in 3D, where the building objects also have data; if it is feasible, the design by the MEP and Structural project engineers is also integrated into the model.
Dennis Thumm, Architect at ARP Stuttgart
"With Vectorworks, we can work consistently in one program - from the first stroke to the window detail."
Consistent 3D Design is Key
Since the firm is comprised of a variety of different personalities and skillsets, not all teams at ARP work in BIM. “Our Associates range in age between 25 and 65 years old,” said Tobias Hamm, project manager at ARP. “This means a heterogeneous workforce and different levels of competency.”
Nevertheless, ARP uses BIM processes consistently. Burkard Illig, who is one of the CAD/BIM experts for Vectorworks in the office alongside project work, sums it up:
“We are planning most projects with Little BIM, our own in-house BIM, so to speak, but we have also had our first experiences with BIG OPEN BIM,” he said. “In service phases such as conceptual design, documentation, and construction, 3D modeling proves to be very useful. Only some details in the contract documentation are created exclusively as 2D drawings. It doesn’t make sense to model every detail in 3D.”
“It was always clear that our design software was to be an important working tool,” Tobias Hamm said. “It must be intuitive and logical to operate. In addition, there should be a gain in both time-effectiveness and quality, which is the case with 3D modeling in Vectorworks."