Redefining How AEC Can Apply BIM for Digital Design & Construction: A Recap of BIM World 2016

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Each year, BIM World aims to bring together all of the members of the AEC chain to discuss how BIM tools can improve the processes of individual companies and people in the industry forward as a whole. This year, a number of innovative presentations redefined how BIM can benefit AEC professionals.

Strong attendance at this year’s event, which took place this year in Paris, April 6-7, demonstrated just how much the adoption of BIM tools and technologies has grown in France. The theme of the event, “breaking the innovation code of real estate industry and urban design,” attracted an audience that included software vendors, as well as architects, general contractors and subcontractors.

BIM World expo floor

Dassault Systèmes was on hand with information about all of its product offerings, from the latest versions of CATIA to its 3DEXPERIENCE platform. At the 2016 event, Dassault Systèmes received more than double the number of inquiries compared to last year. Part of that expanded interest could be attributed to presentations given by Dassault representatives and customers.

Presenting Solutions for Big- and Small-Scale Needs

The BIM World presentations featured a unique range of Dassault Systèmes solutions—from the very large to the very small.

On the large end of the spectrum, Alexandre Parilusyan, vice president, Business Transformation, Smart City and Asia Pacific South, Dassault Systèmes, co-presented on the use of 3DEXPERIENCity in constructing a Virtual Singapore, a government-mandated digital initiatives of the existing city.

The goal of this unique project is to create a collaborative platform for city departments and businesses, and a communication platform between the city and its citizens. The digital twin is set to incorporate real-time data from a number of state departments that, through 3DEXPERIENCity, will provide useful updates of activity around the city and the potential impact of any construction or other projects.

The first phase of the project, the 3DEXPERIENCity Platform, is set for completed in 2018.


But solutions from Dassault Systèmes aren’t just for the large scale—a separate presentation proved how these tools can be adapted for designing an apartment.

HomeByMe is a service from 3DVIA that helps consumers create an online 3D home through which they can create, plan and manage any type of home-related project.

This unique B2C solution uses the power of Dassault Systèmes technology to help consumers better visualize their purchases before making an investment. It is a community that is growing in popularity among home builders, kitchen retailers, architects, and consumers around the world.

Digital Solutions Support the Transition to Energy Efficiency

BW16 ENGIE Valentin Gavan (3)

Valentin Gavan, Ph.D., Building Energy Efficiency Project Manager at ENGIE Lab, presenting First Steps to the Development of a 3D Generic Modeling Platform for Urban Infrastructures.

Beyond using 3D technologies to model the construction and assembly processes, a building’s “behavior” can be modeled to simulate energy usage and optimize building performance. CATIA, powered by the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, offers building energy efficiency analysis capabilities.

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Arbodomia Demonstrates How the Smallest Businesses Can Benefit From Digital Design

BW16 Arbodomia (3)

Thierry Albert, CEO of Arbodomia, presented another unique use for BIM:

While the AEC industry has long seen the value of digital engineering for large-scale, highly innovative projects, few small businesses have understood the potentially high return an investment in these tools could earn them. Not so for Arbodomia.

This single-family home builder with a staff of four has not only seen speed and efficiency improvements through its use of CATIA, but also is selling its subcontractors on the benefits.

Albert became familiar with CATIA during his work in the automotive industry, and later applied his digital skills toward industrialization of sailboat manufacturing.

About five years ago he launched Arbodomia to optimize the construction of single-family homes. His specialty is homes that use cross-laminated timber (CLT), an engineered wood solution growing in popularity in northern Europe, as well as the United States and Canada. This prefabricated wood panel is known for being lightweight and quick to install, while offering high thermal, acoustic, fire and carbon storage benefits. These large panels can be cut and prepared in a factory environment and then assembled onsite, making it a perfect fit with the trend toward industrialized construction.

It’s unusual today for such small business owners to put these high-tech tools to use, but Albert sees big benefits through his use of CATIA.

First, using highly accurate digital design tools, Arbodomia is able to produce energy-efficient passive houses. In fact, Albert finds CATIA to be invaluable in this regard because it helps manage the intersections among various trades, where efficiency can be lost.

Second, Arbodomia is able to accommodate design changes late in the game without a significant impact on the overall schedule.

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When working in residential design, the schedule is based upon the whim of the homeowner. But Albert is able to add changes into the design and easily update the entire model to get updates on materials needed, drawings to be generated for the construction permit, etc.

Arbodomia also has been able to generate savings for its subcontractors. The company works primarily in small towns with local family businesses, few of which have sophisticated design tools on hand. But Albert takes subcontractors drawings and integrates them into his 3D mockup while the subcontractor watches.

This 3D run-through becomes a “site preview” that helps the team to identify issues that may arise onsite, and the type of tools necessary to solve any challenges. This process has helped small subcontractors reduce workflow and costs by about 40%.

New Understanding to Lead to New Application of Digital Design

Armed with this new insight that nothing is impossible when armed with the right digital design solutions, this year’s BIM World attendees are prepared to expand their application of these tools.

Next year’s BIM World event is set for March 29-30 in Paris. Visit for more information.

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Related Resources

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As head of global marketing for the AEC Industry at Dassault Systèmes, Mr. Moriwaki launches and promotes groundbreaking Industry Solution Experiences including "Optimized Construction," "Façade Design for Fabrication," and "Civil Design for Fabrication." He is a member of buildingSMART.