Joris Hoogeboom started his career at Páu after obtaining his MSc in Architecture and Engineering at TU Delft. With his passion for innovation, he was given a flexible role at Páu to test out innovative technology such as Blockchain, 3D, BIM, IoT, AI and data management as a whole.
Analyzing, developing, conducting and managing construction works is a complex matter that combines several disciplines and stakeholders. Effective coordination is not always easy. This is where Building Information Modeling (BIM) comes in. In simple terms, it is a 3D model with added data/information, which forms the basis for cooperation within a team throughout the construction cycle. Apart from the model, there are also a set of agreements between the parties involved on how to go about the cooperation, and where responsibilities lie. This translates into efficiency gains and better risk management.
BIM has already been used for a long time in building and construction works but is less well-known in the infrastructure world. The Belgian Agency for Roads and Traffic (AWV), which manages infrastructure in Flanders, wants to take a leading role in this area. There is still a major added value to be found in this sector, for all the parties involved.
To build this data source for the entire AWV portfolio and not just for each project, it is important that we speak the same data language. To facilitate this, AWV has developed an Object Type Library This is a semantic model published as an open standard that maps and defines assets/infrastructure objects. This gives clarity to partners on how data should be delivered and enables AWV to guarantee compliance.
The OTL and BIM agreements enable processes to be automated. This means for example that, when BIM models are delivered, we can extract the data and check whether it complies with the OTL. For this, one of the things we use is the Autodesk Forge cloud platform for automatic extraction. This platform also allows the 3D models to be viewed in your browser. We integrate this Force viewer in our applications, to display the 3D geometry and provide context. This makes managing infrastructure assets a lot more visual. To seek and explore even more opportunities in the technical domain, we participated in an Autodesk Forge accelerator in London. A Forge Accelerator is a week-long opportunity for developers to work intensively on a chosen project with help, support and training directly from Autodesk’s international Forge team.
This is, of course, a complex subject for which there isn’t necessarily already a blueprint. My role is to analyze and research this in combination with hands-on prototypes, and development on the topics of data extraction and viewing. By combining this analysis with prototyping, we can iterate and deliver the building blocks for our internal digital products.
There’s a big opportunity as an industry to ramp up the use of BIM to deliver more efficient, and cost-effective projects. The introduction of BIM in infrastructure projects will boost AWV and firmly position itself as a leader in technological innovation within Europe.