From preconstruction to field execution: Why Estimators are an essential part of BIM?

From preconstruction to field execution: Why Estimators are an essential part of BIM?

It’s almost time for us to take flight for the ASPE Estimator’s Summit 2019 and while you are packing your bags and preparing yourself for the estimating week in Kansas, we are delighted to share more updates about our tech presentations at the Summit, so you don’t miss out!

Our take on BIM

Over the past few years, BIM has gained a lot of traction in the construction tech marketplace. Yet, there are some misconceptions and confusions about the role of BIM in construction and how it can help contractors and cost estimators.

As the construction industry focus on increasing productivity, digital process support grows. Hitherto this has mainly affected the design and engineering roles – but digital is moving into pre-construction. Fast.

The goal is to create an ecosystem where project information is shared across stages, so data generated can foster better collaboration when driving a construction project.  Sigma enables users to embrace the next level of 5D VDC workflows as it offers easy to use, and time saving options for users of any level to participate effectively.

Join us to learn the next step in the evolution of BIM – bringing 5D BIM into the workflow, connecting design, pre-construction and field execution with Magnus Therkildsen, our CTO and Co-founder as he presents on the topics ” The growing role of estimators with BIM” and “Going from what to how in construction” on Thursday, June 20th 2019 at the show.

In his talk, Magnus will show how BIM is affecting General Contractors in general and the cost estimator specifically, understand which tools you’re going to meet, where in the process they function, how it will affect your job and how should you improve estimating to grow with BIM.

What you’ll learn?

  • Connecting design, estimating, and field execution
  • Show and understand BIM360, Revit and Sigma
  • What to look for in your tool and how to transition without major investments or downtime
  • Show and understand Sigma with 2D and 3D
  • Align tools and data with roles in construction process
  • Discuss implementation considerations: Data import, training and support.

If you happen to be there, be sure to join Magnus for both presentations. You are also welcome to stop by and have a chat with team Sigma at our booth.

If you would like to get a demo or have a more in-depth discussion on what the solution can do for you, call us directly at 514-487-3317 or email [email protected].

Please note: We have a Sigma Summit Special competition going on from now until June 22, 2019 wherein users who sign up for Free Trial enter into a competition to win Sigma Enterprise free for 6 months loaded with a complete list of BNi cost data.

Sign up to enter >

For more updates, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn using hashtag #ASPESummit. 

Look forward to seeing you at the event!


How cost estimators are disrupting the construction industry and enabling full BIM execution

How cost estimators are disrupting the construction industry and enabling full BIM execution

According to McKinsey, the global construction industry can boost productivity on projects by some 50-60%. For General Contractors aiming at leapfrogging to a more efficient construction paradigm, the partnership between BIMobject® and Sigma Estimates delivers a promises tangible value.

End-to-end BIM is more than WHAT we build. To deliver on the BIM promise of efficiency, resource optimization and quality, the process must support HOW we build. Which means that the BIM/VDC process must move from the conceptual and design phase and into preconstruction and field execution.

In this new territory for full BIM execution, the contractor needs data for Planning, Purchasing, Sub Contracting, Cost Management and information for Project Close Out. If the cost estimator is using a tool like Sigma, integrated with for example Autodesk BIM360 or Revit, all the above data are available at-a-click.

This way of working with full 5D BIM represents a potential for significant productivity improvement. And for many in the construction industry, this represents a revolution in efficiency and transparency. But it is a readily available solution, already implemented in several large and small construction companies.

But the train is only just gaining speed – the partnership between BIMobject and Sigma Estimates, offers a potential revolution in productivity, by putting the cost estimator front-and-center in disrupting the efficiency of the construction industry! has the full story – and you can read it here

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Tangible disruption: BIMobject starts strategic cooperation with Sigma Estimates

Tangible disruption: BIMobject starts strategic cooperation with Sigma Estimates

Taking time and mistakes out of the pre-construction equation spells a brighter future for the construction industry – add increased flexibility for simulation and manufacturing-style construction, and you have both developers and McKinsey jumping with joy. The good news? This is not a distant vision but the practical reality of this new cooperation.

By: Susanne Lund, Executive Advisor, Sigma Estimates

Disrupting the construction industry with the cost estimator in focus. BIMobject and Sigma Estimates launches strategic cooperation @AU2018.

Imagine being able to develop a serious proposal on a 100-story high-rise in a matter of hours, not weeks or months (and for the estimators: We are talking a very serious SWAG, not a WAG – complete with materials, wages and equipment, etc). We’re talking serious savings and increased flexibility for simulation, tailoring and sourcing.

Or the impact on government officials, when a budget for adapting a building to climate changes, is no longer a high-risk guess, but a proposal you can base your career on? Granted, a business model for exploring weak budgeting goes away (So I’ve heard) – but isn’t it in our mutual, sustainable interest to build better, at a predictable cost?

Adding cost estimating data to the BIM workflow improves productivity and reduces risk.

We have just released the news, that BIMobject® now integrates with Sigma. Searching for new objects in Sigma, using the BIMObject® catalog provides a fast and value creating process, where the properties such as instruction videos, resource links and classifications are carried directly into the “how” in pre-construction. With that, the above and much, much more is a reality, not a distant future.

Basically, all buildings are constructs of objects. Now objects in BIMObject® are available in Sigma with full 5D data, making objects available for cost estimating, planning and execution. And the data carries on to the construction process for use on-site.

This promises value to all parts of the construction value chain:

  • Precise Cost estimation is available already in the design phase, saving time and promising to develop projects with lower risk, better alignment with users and lowered project cost
  • Reduced resource in the design phase as object re-usage will increase rapidly, focusing creativity on value-creating differences and mitigating errors from manual processes
  • Improved constructability: Material Sourcing improvements (supply chain gains), site optimization and work force instruction available and distributed as project matures.
  • Improved maintainability: Complete documentation ready for hand-over, including data for maintenance of all parts of the project.

Interestingly, the above is achieved without adding extra resource to the process and at the same time taking tedious manual data re-entry out of the process. The answer is simply to make new tools available to the estimator and integrate the data in the construction management process.

Want to know more? Let’s connect on LinkedIn or give me a call on +4551780491.





Top 10 benefits of BIM in construction

Top 10 benefits of BIM in construction

Why you MUST get on the BIM-train

BIM is so much more than 3D. And so much more than just technology. Unfortunately, many contractors think BIM is not for them – and that means missing out on opportunities right now. Therefore, understanding BIM and how it can and will affect your work processes, across the project life-cycle and through the entire construction value chain, is a must for professional leaders in the construction industry.

An excellent starting point to glean essential knowledge, is reading John Hall’s piece on the ten most important benefits of BIM for the construction industry.

Model-Based Cost Estimation

From our perspective, John’s benefit #2: model-based costs estimation is something that is close to our hearts. For one, of course, we are proud to be referenced by Autodesk as a partner in this field and secondly: We simply have the best, most flexible and versatile solution for 5D BIM together with Autodesk BIM360 and Revit.

Want to know more?

You can read John’s original piece here. You can also get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you board the BIM-train

5D BIM/VDC will ensure the profitability of Bonava’s projects

5D BIM/VDC will ensure the profitability of Bonava’s projects

Bonava have signed a global agreement with Sigma Estimates

One of Northern Europe’s leading companies in design and residential development, Bonava, is entering into a global agreement with the software company Sigma Estimates.  This agreement forms part of a clear strategy to digitalize Bonava’s entire production flow across operations in all countries, as well as delivering accurate pricing estimates in the very early stages of their projects.

Bonava will replace their existing estimation systems with the new 5D BIM estimation software from Sigma Estimates, which globally becomes an important part of Bonava’s VDC portfolio. The plan is to implement the Sigma program in all 8 operating countries during 2017-2018.

With Sigma implemented across all countries, our design and development teams will get a digital estimation workflow, with everyone having instant access to updated data.  In addition, the production managers will gain a better financial overview throughout the entire construction process because data can now flow freely between Sigma and our other systems, explains Patrik Lindvall, Global Head of VDC at Bonava.

Automatic live-link ensures precise prices

Having live data flowing across all platforms was crucial in Bonava’s selection of Sigma as a future BIM/VDC partner.  The Sigma program is built on an open API that allows integration with other programs and apps. Another important factor in Bonava’s decision is that Sigma is easily integrated with their purchasing systems and reporting platforms.

For Bonava one of the most important features of the Sigma program is the direct Live-Link with the 3D building and design program, Autodesk Revit.  This means Bonava’s employees have an integrated solution where they can instantly see the impact of their decisions, for example their choice of material in the 3D model is reflected in the price of the 5D model.

The Live-Link between 3D and 5D means we can now make choices based on accurate information. It helps ensure precise pricing, while providing better management early in the process, and these are paramount parameters for us, says Patrik Lindvall.

5D is the next big win in BIM

Sigma Estimates, who also recently entered into a global agreement with the engineering and construction company Rambøll, sees a clear trend for businesses in the construction industry to use 5D BIM to optimize and control project costs by being able, for example, to save time, reduce errors, quickly update the pricing models and automate quality assurance.

In addition to financial modelling, 5D in BIM also improves the quality assurance of the data in the model – so 5D is also about data management, with error-free data flowing freely to other systems.   Additionally, 5D provides data to subsequent processes, such as Planning, Facilities Management etc. and we now see 5D continually gaining momentum, says Business Consultant Susanne Lund.

For Bonava the selection of Sigma also depended on other things.  Together with Sigma’s strategic collaboration with Autodesk and Sigma’s open API, the company has the best opportunities for customizing and integrating solutions as the need arises.  This deep integration is possible with external systems and databases through apps.

As digitalization increases, it is now more crucial than ever that data flows freely between systems and that it is easy and fast to integrate 100 percent with precisely the solutions companies need in the day-to-day running of their businesses, explains Susanne Lund.

BIM makes a massive impact at Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

BIM makes a massive impact at Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects has made huge efficiency gains using digital production platforms including the 5D calculator from Sigma Estimates and the online collaboration platform BIM Shark.  These impressive gains come from better pricing accuracy and smoother-run projects.  Schmidt Hammer Lassen used the BIM approach at their new Hospital Hvidovre project. The BIM offensive is part of a clear ambition to deliver better architecture and improved financial returns from projects.  This is achieved by employees having a more digitized and standardized workflow.

“Our primary focus is, of course, to deliver world class architecture.  With BIM we can now deliver this consistently because we have a better structure and more visibility in our projects”, says Nicklas Østergaard, ICT & BIM Manager at Schmidt Hammer Lassen.

The contractor benefits from providing better pricing and more accurate plans

At Schmidt Hammer Lassen the 3D program Revit is used with the 5D program Sigma, bringing a vital link to enable more structured work and better visibility, which is part of a clear strategy to minimize risk and maximize quality assurance, together with the delivery of better pricing and more accurate budgets.

“We have been significantly sharper in the pricing of building materials on our projects. When we provide quotes, they are for the exact quantities that the contractors need, and this will be borne out in the project.  It gives us great confidence in design meetings, knowing that we can deliver more accurate prices than before”, says Nicklas Østergaard.

Better project management right from the start

With the Live integration between Revit and Sigma, Schmidt Hammer Lassen has a solution where they can immediately see the impact of a change of material selection in the 3D model, because this will be instantly reflected in the price in the 5D model.  This means they can make choices based on accurate information, providing better project management, right from the start. Also, the online collaboration platform, BIM Shark is a powerful tool for linking to the model.  For example, providing accurate quality assurance descriptions in Word can be a challenge when there is no digital link.  Schmidt Hammer Lassen solves this with BIM Shark, coupled directly with Sigma.  So, if product codes are changed in one place in the model, this change flows throughout the production platform, instantly keeping everything up to date.

BIM provides benefits for all projects

According to Nicklas Østergaard, so far Schmidt Hammer Lassen has mainly seen the benefits of BIM on hospital projects during the tendering process, which is made easier with more accurate quantities and better quality assurance. The Sigma program can even extract volumes directly from building models in Revit and link them together as quotation lists.  In doing so, Schmidt Hammer Lassen can deliver fully-detailed quotes with accurate quantities significantly more quickly, accurately and flexibly than before.

“The new Hospital Hvidovre project required us to classify our building lists with traceability between the drawing, the model and the quotation.  With Sigma, we can ensure that every item listed in the drawings comes out on the quotation, and this process is optimized”, says Nicklas Østergaard.

This BIM development resulted in significant gains in the hospital projects, which have flowed through to Schmidt Hammer Lassen’s other projects.  This is an important part of the strategy of automating what were previously manual workflows.

“With 5D coupled with Revit and BIM Shark we have come a long way towards optimizing our internal processes and spreading this best practice throughout the organization, making it easier for employees to find out which building components are needed and an accurate financial status of the various projects”, says Nicklas Østergaard.

On most projects, different employees work on the plans, pricing calculations and models.  It is vital, then, that they always have access to the same updated information, no matter what platform they log onto.  Therefore, having the structure and integration between the systems is crucial to reaping the huge benefits of BIM.

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