Iñigo González, Group Head of Business Development at Wavin, talks to BIM expert Jose Fandos of Andekan and asks: "what will 2017 bring in BIM Revit content packages?" Here’s what he had to say:
WAVIN: I’m here with Jose Fandos, BIM application specialist at BuroHappold, and CEO of Andekan that is launching Kinship. As an expert in the field, what do you think about BIM adoption rate? What are your thoughts on how countries and different companies are adopting BIM?
JOSE FANDOS: I think the adoption rate accelerates as time goes by. Governments are pushing BIM mandates, and those help the industry. Even though some of them are created in a vacuum without the knowledge and expertise of the best sources for standards or for legislation. I think in the coming years, Europe is going to see mandates in almost every country. The industry as a whole is going to benefit from the increased digitization.
Standards are necessary
WAVIN: Apart from government and public projects, don’t you think that standards are also needed in order to speed up BIM adoption?
JOSE FANDOS: Yes, standards are a beautiful thing, when they are done right and in a collaborative way. A great example is the internet itself and how fast and reliable it is to use. All of that depends on standards that most people are unaware of, but which form the basis for what we nowadays enjoy on our phones. I think the construction industry needs standards to move forward swiftly. Some standards are already evolving, as we gain knowledge and experience to make them better.
WAVIN: Who is ahead in this BIM adoption, and who is still struggling to get involved in BIM?
JOSE FANDOS: Hard to say. There are companies and organizations that are well ahead, and yet many parties that are lagging behind. I think countries where mandates are in place, like the UK, will benefit from that push. In my opinion, manufacturers are mostly lagging behind. Fortunately, you also see some great manufacturers that understand what BIM can do for them. They are embracing BIM and support their customers by helping them out with the use of their Revit packages. I also know that some contractors are really moving things ahead, because they see the benefits of having all that information about the project, being able to use it in all aspects of a project.
WAVIN: Regarding manufacturers, can you name a company that is really rocking it when it comes to creating Revit content?
JOSE FANDOS: Sure. There are a few out there. Victaulic is a manufacturer that is advanced in BIM and also Wavin is a great example, I mentioned it before. In fact, I think you guys quoted me on something I mentioned at a conference regarding the quality of the construction industry.
WAVIN: Let’s think about the BIM modellers, the Revit designers. What is the most common issue that Revit designers struggle with? And what is your main message to them, to relieve them from this struggle?
JOSE FANDOS: The most common issue when talking about Revit in particular is the learning curve. It’s not 'plug-and-play' software that you can learn to use in a day. A piece of advice I want to give is perseverance! Stick to it and it will pay off quicker than you expect. Here at BuroHappold, we’ve seen a transition from only a small group using Revit and the tools around it, to now everyone using it, no matter their age. You see how people using Revit are saving huge amounts of work – because of the tools that automate some of their tedious tasks – and delivering higher-quality work than before. So, there is definitely the idea of perseverance as the best way forward!
Sharing knowledge and best practices
WAVIN: We see the BIM community as quite an open community which is able to share knowledge and best practices amongst companies and to other groups. From a manufacturer’s perspective we need to make as much materials as possible available, especially training videos. What are your thoughts on this? Is this a common thing within the construction industry?
JOSE FANDOS: I don’t know about other industries, but in my experience BIM communities are tight and we have the habit of helping each other out. I’ve been part of the London Revit user group for the longest time; 6-7 years, maybe more. And the conferences and webinars, the online groups, support groups for questions regarding the software, they have all come to life. People have an eagerness to share and evolve, and that is evident with everything we see happening around us.
Revit – done wrong
WAVIN: Your website says “Revit done right”. So, what happens when Revit is done “wrong”? How can you judge if a model is not a solid model?
JOSE FANDOS: There are many markers, and unfortunately you can’t always tell the whole story about a piece of content just from looking at it in 3D or 2D views. A Revit family might look the part, but then there is the effect the content will have on your project. It might affect performance and affect the ways the project is displayed on the documentation side. If you’re talking about mechanical equipment or the MEP side of things, we have parameters and information that is used in calculations and goes into schedules. All those bits need to be done properly or you’re not getting the most out of the Revit content. Now, if failing to get the most out Revit content was the only issue, for some people that would be acceptable. But the bigger problem is that the quality of the files can be detrimental to the extent that you cannot open your project the next morning, because you have been using less than ideal content. So, doing Revit wrong… the costs can be significant, in delays and in the quality of the project. You have to think that anything that affects a project like Revit, where several people are working together at the same time, that makes a project suddenly stop working, costs the organisation working on that project hours and hours of lost time. So, doing things right definitely has that benefit, but it also allows us to do more, to do better, to get those calculations done, or to do several iterations of ideas, which help us to improve and to make better places.
“The thing that Wavin content brings to the table, is how well that content gets put together, helping the engineer building the drainage system. And that’s quite unique in content that is being provided by manufacturers.”
WAVIN: You have seen some of Wavin’s Revit packages for pipe systems. What’s your opinion of our Revit families?
JOSE FANDOS: I am amazed at the quality of the packages. They do something that I have never seen before in piping. They are known for doing great quality pipe fittings. For example, when you have a drainage system, you have to do a take-off. You have to build six fittings to reduce the pipe size, and as you are an expert, you would know exactly which reducers, which fittings would have to be put in what sequence to achieve that. With the intelligent Wavin Revit content packages, that is done for you. That in itself is great. And I haven’t seen it anywhere else.
WAVIN: What should Wavin work on in the near future? What do you recommend we should develop or do?
JOSE FANDOS: Well, I’m sure you have a fantastic team working on that already. Perhaps, look at other file formats that might be used by the industry. Revit is a good one to start with, but definitely there are more. So it’s always good to cover the spectrum if you can.
WAVIN: We noticed that you attend a lot of BIM events like the RTC, that has now become BILT Europe. Which BIM event can you recommend?
JOSE FANDOS: Definitely I would recommend BILT Events – a great get together of the best people, best minds in the industry… all in one place, spending three days, sharing knowledge and being able to talk to peers about their needs, discoveries, and solutions. Apart from that, I think that, depending on your region, getting involved with the one of the many local Revit user groups is worth your while. These groups are another great source of information, inspiration and support. And then for those who have the time and can afford it, Autodesk University in Las Vegas, which takes place each year, is a good place to go and learn, if you can get away from the casinos and the other fun bits that Vegas offers. It’s a great opportunity to learn and connect with others in the industry.
WAVIN: At RTC Europe in Porto last year, you announced that you were stepping back as a member of the European event committee. You want to focus more on your family and on your new professional venture, Kinship. Can you tell us about Kinship?
JOSE FANDOS: Kinship is a cloud-based solution that allows you to search all of your content – including from all your projects in your organization – like if you were using Google. With Kinship you can find any content that you need to use, see all of its data, and get information that can help you make decisions as to what else is needed in your firm’s library.
WAVIN: If people want to connect with you via social media, what is the best place to do so?
JOSE FANDOS: Tinder of course… No, just kidding! Twitter. I’ll say that again, Twitter. It is a great place to reach out to me. And also email or comments on my blog posts.
We thank Jose for his time and insight and look forward to having more BIM discussions with him again soon!
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