We meet Jonas Thornqvist in the clouds. Well, not literally but we’re on the top floor of the WSP Stockholm building. There’s a great view over the city and the interior design team must have taken this as inspiration when designing this lofty space. Above us hangs wireframe cloud installations. A perfect backdrop for what Jonas, Robert Priller/Graphisoft and I are soon to talk about.

Jonas has great experience in WSP and BIM. He’s the BIM Coordinator and Product Manager within WSP. It’s why we wanted to talk with him. I wanted to hear how WSP is using BIM in their processes. I also wanted to understand how Solibri fitted into all this. Jonas explained he’s been working with 3D since 1994 and has watched technologies come of age. It’s only been in the last 2 years that IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) have truly come of age in Sweden. They have offered Jonas an excellent export format to share and coordinate information between different BIM programs. Different disciplines are now much more integrated in the workflow. We’ll hear more of that later as we speak with Jonas.

WSP is involved in building city and local government projects – schools, hospitals and the new subway line in central Stockholm. WSP does not have a BIM manual as such but does use BIM in all large-scale projects. Jonas tells us “WSP has investigated the value of BIM to its business. By using BIM, we can reduce the number of modifications on a project from 10% to 3%. It’s a big difference when you’re talking projects with a cost of over 1 billion Swedish crowns. It’s a good argument for our clients to demand BIM and it’s a big reason for us to offer it.”

“BIM to me is all about communication, not just clash detection. The government has seen the value of BIM in the lifecycle of a building. They are starting to understand that BIM isn’t just used in the design phase. It’s also valuable for the facility management process of their buildings. IFC files provide that link.”

I question Jonas on the benefits of Solibri to his work. I’m interested how he uses it for himself and within the project team. “Solibri is a very easy software to use in the building environment. You prepare the clash detection, then create a presentation with notes and share with the building manager. You reduce the number of issues, solve problems upfront and then you start to see the benefits. One of my key favorite features is the visualization. A colorful 3D model with indicated issues allows us to have solution driven discussion, not a problem driven discussion. That’s how WSP operates, thoroughly with a sense of responsibility. It’s the best thing for the project and we have only one earth, we should preserve its resources where possible.”

I wonder if Jonas sees savings with Solibri Model Checker. “It’s hard to give a specific number but I see savings in work efficiency and communication. We can now define improved success in the early design phases and then manage them before they become a big problem. I believe one hour of changes in the design phase is worth 1000 hours in the project phase.” Jonas is also driving the improved usage of components and classifications. He under-stands that better BIM models from the start means improved data down the line.

Jonas goes on to discuss quality and what he sees to be the future of construction. “Quality to me means I can sleep on a Sunday night. If the information is correct and I can control it, then the Monday coordination meeting is going to go well.” This is especially important when he looks towards the future. Builds are becoming increasingly complex with environmental regulation and energy efficiency. Today you don’t have the amount of human site resource like in previous years. You need to make sure the project is perfect before you start the building phase. He believes ‘the cloud’ and shared databases will be the way to go to handle these large files on the move and on site. WSP and their team are professional and conscientious. They want to do a good job and for the right reasons. Jonas is one of those team members making that happen.