International developments in mobile and web collaboration technologies for the architecture, engineering and construction sector… from PetroBIM, BIMSync, BaseStone and Bridgit….
PetroBIM helps on heritage
Launched three years ago in Oviedo, northern Spain, PetroBIM is a digital tool focused on historical heritage conservation projects and master plans. Despite its name, it is nothing to do with the oil/gas sector; it takes its name from petrology (Wikipedia definition here): “the branch of geology that studies the origin, composition, distribution and structure of rocks”. It addresses the life cycle of a historical building’s management (graphic documentation, analysis, design, planning, control, intervention and maintenance) using a database linked to 3D models and a viewer specifically designed for this application. According to an email I received:
“… it is possible to convert traditional cultural heritage master plans and restoration projects in a unique and lively 4D model in which an information system is implemented, allowing users to walk, navigate and interact with the building, create virtual sections, update information, generate filters for graphical and numerical queries of as many elements as there are in the model, as well as to generate searches for information.”
I am hoping to get a more detailed briefing on PetroBIM shortly. In the meantime, most of the resources I have been able to find online about PetroBIM (like the YouTube video below) are in Spanish, but it clearly aims to provide a visualisation tool for architects, archaeologists, historians, restorers and others involved in heritage projects – with the base data about the structure and stonework presumably captured using laser-scanning and/or photogrammetry techniques. In English, there is a blog post about PetroBIM on VisualARQ’s website, which describes how the solution can be used to view models imported in .3dm, .dwg or .ifc. A similar platform is apparently also being developed, focused on landscape models.
Update (8 June 2017) – In the UK, the North West BIM Region is holding an event on BIM for Heritage in Manchester on Tuesday 4 July – Register here.
BIMSync by Catenda
A spin-off from SINTEF Building and Infrastructure, where its employees where responsible for research on buildingSMART, building process and knowledge system development, Catenda was established in 2009 to “give the AEC-Industry a simpler life and better products by connecting knowledge, processes and people, through the use of technology.” It is involved with buildingSMART both nationally and internationally and takes an active part in the development of IFC, IFD, IDM and BCF standards.
Built on these same buildingSMART standards while also supporting COBie, BIMSync lets users share, visualise and collaborate on BIM models, issues, documents and drawings in a standard web browser, without plugins or other installations. A hosted online service it allows stakeholders to collaborate, with issue management and secure digital data management features. What particularly stands out also is the company’s commitment to APIs, making it easy to embed and access BIM data from other software tools. BIMSync APIs enable 2D and 3D visualisation, issue handling using the standard BCF API and access to all BIM data through an intuitive REST API.
London, UK-based application provider BaseStone is continuing to develop its web and (iOS-only) mobile product set, adding new reporting features designed to reduce the administrative burden by letting users generate bespoke reports in one click. New features include time-stamped photos on reports, options to include or exclude items in reports (including attachments, comments, callouts, photos and signatures), and options to select issues across multiple drawings in reports (read the BaseStone blog for more on this).
Bridgit embraces Android
Talking about mobile operating systems, Viewpoint recently announced (post) that its Field View application is now available on iOS and Windows devices as well as the Android platform upon which, as PriorityOne, it was originally developed. Expanding beyond a single platform is also the name of the game for Ontario, Canada-based Bridgit, whose Bridgit Closeout software was – like BaseStone’s – previously only available on iOS devices and the web.
Bridgit Closeout is now available as an Android app, allowing main contractors to automatically track and communicate tasks with their entire team, including subcontractors. Android users who previously used Bridgit’s web application will now be able to create and view photos and photo markups, have real-time access to task lists, and send updates from anywhere. Co-founder Lauren Lake says:
“Bridgit was created to fill the gaps in communication on site. Bridgit’s tracking process saves time and money by automatically updating construction teams about tasks and deficiencies. Using an Android device shouldn’t be a barrier to this process—and now it isn’t. We’re delivering the same experience across iOS and Android, so everyone receives the same information, and the entire site is on the same page.”