The story of BricsCAD and online AEC collaboration is long and complex (BricsCAD… Bricsnet … Bricsys … Vondle – 2007 post … Chapoo – 2012 post), and appears is about to enter a new chapter subtitled “BIM”. Ralph Grabowski‘s CAD business upFront.e-zine reviews the history of BricsCAD’s architectural design software and reports:
Last week…, the company opened its kimono briefly enough to bare the briefest shadow of a plan for architecture. The company is
– writing a BIM module for BricsCAD
– using Chapoo for the online collaboration platform
– employing IFC and AECxml for data exchange
– releasing a beta in a few weeks that will run for a long time
The plan is shadowed in a Bricsys newsletter (PDF) in which Erik de Keyser gives a brief overview of building information modelling (BIM), mentions neutral standard file formats, discusses the need for a single model repository and then continues:
This process requires cooperation between major contractors as well as involvement of smaller sub-contractor with limited IT knowledge, and as such can best be provided by a cloud-based solution with zero installation hurdles and a seamless user experience. [Emphasis added]
At Bricsys we are actively working on two elements of the overall solution:
- the basic BIM technology with our BricsCAD BIM Module which will be made available for an extended beta over the coming weeks
- the collaborative platform for the management of BIM models, for which we will use the cloud-based Chapoo Premium service
Much of my focus in recent months has been on the BIM movement in the UK and how British SaaS-based collaboration vendors are responding. Some are well advanced in their developments, while others appear to be, er, biding their time. The BricsCAD/Chapoo integration, consolidated in February (post), has echoes of the combined Autodesk offering of Revit/Buzzsaw, and is further evidence of AEC BIM initiatives starting to take place in mainland Europe.
Update (22 April 2013) – The Chapoo website now features case studies, including one on construction of the Waal bridge in the Netherlands which used the Chapoo Premium service.