KÉSZ Group works on the BIM model of the whole construction value chain - interview with László Szalados

KÉSZ Group works on the BIM model of the whole construction value chain - interview with László Szalados

In the recent decades construction industry has extremely transformed on the part of designers, contractors and manufacturers alike. The more sustainable, efficient and cost-efficient methods gain larger and larger ground. It was recognized that, owing to the technology, such process optimization can be implemented that could not be imagined earlier or its circumstances were not given. The time for BIM age, i.e. to change over to building information modeling, has come. KÉSZ Group also started this way and is a pioneer on it. Its extraordinary group structure allows, covering the whole construction value chain, to coordinate the BIM methods of its member companies and to unify them on company level. We had a talk on the present and future with László Szalados, the Deputy CTO of KÉSZ Group.

Owing to the investment projects, the volume of construction industry has considerably increased in the recent 3 to 5 years. Everyone seeks how construction projects could be implemented more efficiently and so faster and more economically, moreover in an appropriate quality. Such a method is needed that focuses on transparency, predictability and quality. BIM methodology will not be able to solve the digitalization problems of the construction industry entirely but it can participate in it. There are steps in catching up of the construction industry on world, regional and national levels alike, for example appearance of the Industry 4.0 or BIM standard and education - and KÉSZ Group is also taking part in them.

Szalados László

Due to its unique structure on the market, KÉSZ Group should determine the BIM-related processes not only for the whole company group but also it should integrate them in the operation of the individual sectors and member companies so that a uniform methodology is established on company group level as well. The company group launched such a program that finally connects the construction member companies and so it prepares for the next challenge before the industry. In their opinion, all regulations related to operation of the construction industry should be reviewed or made sooner or later BIM-compatible.

Construction industry is about to make a big leap. How can it be presented in a tangible way?

It is about the digitalization of construction industry. The designs develop into models and are able to contain information seeming endless. The big leap is utilization of such information and the decision-making process supported or controlled by it. It will appear in accuracy, predictability, transparency and finally efficiency. BIM methodology with the BIM model and its numerous other dimensions - schedule from a model (4D), budget from a model (5D) - and tools is capable to manage and utilize all building-related information uniformly. Taking account of the whole life cycle of buildings, it offers numerous advantages compared to the usual project methods from the real estate development planning of the project through technical designing to the implementation and operation phases.

The models available by the participants in the project may contain real-time data and so the technical requirements become clearer, the decision-making processes become faster and the costs become more predictable. By model-based progress the current status of construction can be tracked up to date.

Let's look at the theme from another aspect. We bear the automotive industry in mind and would like if the construction industry operates also in that way from many aspects. Several people could already seen an exploded view of a car model on which we can see what parts it has, how they are connected with each other and all the features can be checked based on IDs. In the manufacturing process one can predict and track what arrives and when, what is installed and exactly in what car. A well-built BIM-model is a similar 3D design in which each building element can store the relevant information (quality of materials; technical parameters; scheduled and real manufacturing, transport and installation dates, information; packaging and waste management information; commissioning, operation data sheets, information etc.). The same information will be available for generation and collection on several buildings, through the project. By unifying the labor need of recurring tasks, generation and use of information can be reduced, the data collected can be analyzed, and can be learned from, the tendencies can be observed and responded to.

How did we start the process within the Group? Where did we start to and what are our conceptions?

In order to be able to utilize all advantages of application of BIM, enormous changes should be made in approach and methodology. This is a long process to start from and we have to progress while continuously keeping our eye on the developing technology and the customers' demands. This will be a series of continuous development and technology changes. We can see that in respect of BIM objectives can be set only in a long-term convergent way relying on and strengthening each other - as it is usual in a good BIM life cycle.

A teljes építőipari értéklánc BIM-modelljén dolgozik a KÉSZ Csoport

Our specific objective is to be able to utilize the "from model to schedule" and "from model to budget" solutions to support our activities as soon as possible. Just for this reason, unification and recording of the operating processes, standardization and setting up requirements will be the first step towards BIM. It should be taken into consideration that KÉSZ Group is of unique structure both in national and international terms, each operator of the construction value chain can be found in our operation: real estate developers, designers, manufacturers, fitters, operators. We have prepared an action plan for each member company, according to which the BIM processes should be set up and coordinated on company group level. By surveying, optimizing and reviewing according to BIM aspects of our processes we can develop the data content of the models. Simultaneously with this, we can realize that our existing databases are connected to the models. We have to add that BIM is not a novelty within the company, it is used by our several member companies but now it is time for unification.

Coordination of so many member companies is not an easy task. How to manage this process, how to coordinate the processes of member companies?

It is aimed at mapping on the existing value chains within the company group (real estate developers, designers, manufacturers, fitters, operators) what is the information our ecosystem needs. It requires extreme coordination and forecast from our member companies that such unique and simultaneously universally applicable BIM models are set up on all possible levels that can be used on Group level. We collect what we expect of a BIM model and how we can generate, store and process such information. We must be able to define in connection with what building element an operator needs data and when and for whom such information is available and when. This is the condition for starting to introduce more efficient processes. I can bring up the example from the automotive industry again: all data should be compiled on the same level, in the same detail and for our own benefit.

It is an important aspect that only those data can be obtained from the models that has already been entered in them. No information can be obtained comprehensively from an improperly compiled model, the formula is not so simple. In order to avoid this, as detailed designs will be prepared as detailed information we wish to manage. Here we are focusing on the information that are relevant to us. For example: in the course of designing the generation, storage and distribution in a model of the information as are required for preparation and implementation should be ensured. Each operator should be able to understand and use this information.

Has the demand of customers for a BIM model already appeared?

Yes, in several cases, and simultaneously the models received from the owners contain different data. The undisclosed purpose of our work is to contribute to creation of a BIM professional standard. The demand for manufacturer-specific BIM content that represents not only the physical parameters of the products but contains other essential data, such as product information, installation guide, energy consumption, ecolabels, operating costs and lifetime of the product, is constantly increasing. The manufacturing companies can implement specifically computer-aided production from a model faster if it is about elements designed by parametric methods. We trust that the owners will make the designs available also in the form of models and their data content will show an ever increasing tendency. It might result for all operators a more transparent decision situation. Moreover, this approach is a great progress not only in connection with construction of new buildings but also in more efficient management of the already existing portfolio and cooperation might also become more efficient because a customer can enter the processes under the appropriate circumstances even in the design phase.

A teljes építőipari értéklánc BIM-modelljén dolgozik a KÉSZ Csoport

Our colleagues may play a prominent role in a change of such level. How do you plan to involve employees?

As one of our five values shows excellently, we build on knowledge. We at KÉSZ Group always strive to develop our internal capacities and knowledge and to integrate the experience we acquired. We will digitalize our knowledge. However, it is fact that for strategic implementation deep commitment is required, involving several tasks. In each case the daily "routine" activity of the operating companies needs to be supplemented and supported. It can be implemented together with the colleagues who know and apply the BIM procedures and who - in connection with their daily work - constantly seek better and better solutions and opportunities in respect of the relation of the model and the processes. This requires a complex change in mindset and the processes, data requests and work phases should be reconsidered on employee level – and cooperation of employees is indispensable for it.

Our long-term objective is to become outstanding experts of BIM 4D (time planning) and 5D (cost estimates) and to be able to have such experts beside us who are pioneers in this field. We could compile a serious team of our experienced colleagues open for new things, with whom we can form the old way of thinking. Beside using internal knowledge, we seek such external experts who are not only receptive to this new direction but also who have already acquired experience in this field. We will integrate BIM methodology into our training program and will develop targeted educational materials for our specialized fields.