During a busy week of BIM-related meetings and conferences, North-East based businesses such as 4Projects and Kykloud featured several times.
Last week, I was pretty much BIM-ed out (see below), so I had to postpone a couple of blog posts until this week.
4Projects’ new release
Having visited Sunderland and SaaS construction collaboration vendor 4Projects last month, I was interested to read about the latest release of its online platform, announced on 16 April. According to the Viewpoint subsidiary’s news release, key enhancements include:
- a completely redesigned Matrix Transmittal feature which provides the option to schedule a transmittal automatically at whichever time and frequency is required. In addition, once a transmittal is created and scheduled the process of notifying the project team is now completely automated
- an enhanced workflow process that includes a ‘weighted voting’ option. A ‘quick vote’ feature can override a specified outcome and avoid keeping rejected documents in the workflow, saving time and providing more workflow transparency
- a feature that makes it much easier to get documents into folders with new email drop-box functionality (developed at the request of end users). I understand that emails previously sent to the email dropbox were converted to a .pdf and all attachments were stored as separate linked items. Now the administrator can configure these emails to be stored in Microsoft’s Outlook .msg format with an option to embed attachments within the .msg file.
4Projects’ location in the north-east England BIM hotbed also led to its platform being used as the Common Data Environment for a North East BIMHub competition (news release). Teams were given eight hours to design a school and provide supporting COBie information using collaborative BIM, based on a pre-determined scope. Initial documents and drawings were distributed to teams via 4Projects, which was then used for collaboration.
The competition involved two COBie data drops: a work-in-progress update at 1pm, and a final submission at 5pm. All teams used the 4BIM tool (post) to produce COBie data for the project from their IFC files. 4BIM was also used to view and interrogate the models during judging. The winners were:
- Best use of Interoperability – Niven
- Best use of Visualisation – Summers-Inman
- Best use of Asset Management – Cundall
- Best Support to SMEs – BIM Academy
- Overall – Summers-Inman
The Summers-Inman team included, among others, BIM consultant Rapid5D who used Vico Office (post) to move beyond 3D and provide a 4D schedule and 5D cost estimate, and, to “put the icing on the cake”: COBieUK data drops, open source validation, an environmental analysis, and a 6D model for facilities management (thanks to Rapid5D’s James Hunter for the additional information and image).
The competition format was similar to that used in the 48-hour BuildLondonLive contests and, more recently, the BuildQatarLive competition (post) – where Asite’s cBIM platform has provided the common data environment.
During last week, I attended:
- Monday’s launch of BIM4SMEs at the Building Centre, London (see Su Butcher’s Storify account) – during which there was an honourable mention by government minister Chloe Smith for another north-east England SaaS company, Kykloud (15 February post – also part of the Summers-Inman team above).
- a meeting about integrated project insurance and BIM
- BIMnet in London, on Monday evening
- a Tuesday meeting in Manchester of the Constructing Excellence BIM Task Group
- Thursday’s ThinkBIM hosted at WSP Group in Leeds, featuring Mark Bew, chair of the Government’s BIM Task Group, and BuildingSmartUK’s Nick Tune, among others (event content here), and
- a later lecture on BIM and innovation by Mark Bew at Leeds Metropolitan University’s Rose Bowl.