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7 minutes of reading time (1414 words)

BIM beyond design offices! Interview with Alain LE DOARÉ CEO AriCad

BIM beyond design offices with Alain LE DOARÉ CEO AriCad Eiffage Construction head office in Vélizy ©
This week we are pleased to welcome a historical player in CAD, DAO and now BIM, and this since 1986! Alain LE DOARÉ the CEO of Aricad will present his group to us and talk to us about the industrialization of construction, BIM in the construction phase, the development partnership with COPAC, the specialist in construction equipment, future construction trends and its vision of BIM in France, without forgetting the RDV "BIM by Aricad"June 12 at the City of Architecture and Heritage in Paris!

Hello Alain LE DOARÉ, you are CEO of AriCad, the historical specialist in IT solutions in the field of architecture and industry, could you tell us about your activities around BIM?

AriCad is the 1st VAR (Value Added Reseller) of Autodesk in France, present throughout the territory, both in the field of architecture and building, as in the mechanical field. Our specificity is the support of our customers, by Training, Consulting, Method support (BIM, data management, ...) and the development of additional functionalities (plug-in) with a team of 20 engineers developers . In all, a team of 100 people at the service of our customers.

What types of projects do you work on? Could you give us a few of them?

Our philosophy is to provide added value, we are one of the major players in supporting change related to BIM: BIM training plan, BIM operational management, Support for industrial building suppliers for the production of compatible smart families BIM.

We won one of the first Gold BIMs with Eiffage in 2014 for support in phase EXE of the Eiffage Campus in Vélizy. We are also the leading French distributor of Autodesk Manufacturing (MFG) products with a strong emphasis for several years on the implementation of technical data management.

Eiffage - The future head office of Eiffage Construction in Vélizy ©

You are involved in the industry, do you think it is possible to transpose to the construction market the best practices in the industry in terms of the use of digital tools, project management and design?

It is possible, but it will take more time: the big difficulty is at the same time the diversity of the actors, their level of mastery of the tools, their different size and organization, and also the diversity of the projects; each building project is a new project, with a new team (group of companies, subcontractor, technical and environmental constraints). Curiously, the implementation of BIM rather started with complicated sites (size, structure) whereas in my opinion, it is on more generic projects that we should standardize and automate the Processes and save time and productivity.

Large construction companies work on parametric projects for the tertiary sector or housing. It also requires that the suppliers of industrial building elements provide intelligent and complete digital components at the data level; when we see the “BIM” models that exist on the various publication platforms, we say to ourselves that we are still far from the level of integration achieved between a manufacturer and its subcontractors in the automotive sector, for example.

Currently, BIM is adopted more in the design and operation phases than in construction, what are the reasons according to you? How to take BIM to the site?

BIM software like Revit is specialist software; the site needs simple software, intuitive to use (1 hour of training max). In order for the use to be simple on the site, the complexity must be resolved upstream in the method design offices; it's all a process of process and integration between these two worlds with in particular the meticulous preparation of the data that will be useful on the site.

We are one of the 2 French Autodesk VARs with the Construction specialization and I strongly believe in the penetration of BIM beyond architectural and technical design offices.

BIMVIEW is a technology developed by AriCad allowing the visualization of digital models, what are its particularities compared to other applications and cloud platforms on the market?

BIMVIEW allows simple and intuitive 2D and 3D visualization of geometry and data, but goes well beyond generic site functions:

  • Visualization of construction phases, shuttering rotation plans, ...
  • Preparation of concrete pouring schedules
  • Quality reporting

BIMVIEW also ensures bi-directional synchronization between the data collected on the site and the central models.

Screenshot of the BIM view application

You have signed a partnership with COPAC, the specialist in the rental and sale of construction equipment, you jointly develop SIGMA, a suite of plugins for AutoCAD, Revit and Inventor, what is this solution for and what are its specificities?
The project is to help companies manage site materials such as walkways, shutters, shoring towers, scaffolding. We have automatic positioning functions (layout) according to building models, production of material slips and the generation of assembly instructions.
Thanks to intelligent modeling of these materials in Revit, SIGMA's algorithms allow productivity gains of 50% to 80% for all these functions. In the long term, we are aiming for the complete management of these materials (entry - exit, site stock, etc.).

What do you think will be the next big construction revolution? The cloud? Industrialization? 3D printing? Virtual / augmented reality ...?

Innovation is accelerating; we will no longer build without making models, we will no longer sell without having virtually visited our house or apartment; we will make lego to reduce construction time and costs, we will pilot constructor robots and 3D printers, and technologies that we do not yet imagine!

The Cloud is already now; with the recent versions of BIM 360 from Autodesk we see a rapid adoption of this way of working which is really the platform of collaboration par excellence.

What do you think of the development and adoption of BIM in France and what are your priorities and future axes at AriCad?

Things are going very quickly, we have made a lot of progress in several years, but I believe that in terms of organization, of the value chain, we are still only at the beginning; the APS, APD and EXE phases are still too often load breaks for models, and we re-model each time because the constraints were not understood from the start. Today it is the know-how of the general contractor that ensures the overall consistency of the execution process, tomorrow it is the mastery of the BIM process, from the start that must ensure it.

We also support project owners (donors, investors, etc.) in defining and specifying their needs through the drafting of BIM specifications from the start of the project.

In this context, AriCad must progress in terms of added value and technicality. The development of specific applications, data integration is for example a priority. For example, we have developed configurable connectors allowing Revit to interface with asset management databases or CMMS.

There has been a lot of talk about BIM, but there is also a rapidly growing area, the concept of the digital twin for manufacturers, making it possible to better predict the evolution of their production chain.

One last word ? 

Come join us on June 12 from 13 p.m. at the City of Architecture and Heritage. Subscribe to our website.

We are going to illustrate the progress of BIM through all the aspects just mentioned and above all to have our customers testify. We are very keen on this conviviality: Our days are an opportunity to exchange with your peers, and all this, in a magical place in front of the Eiffel Tower.

There will be partners, representing the BIM eco system (LEICA, HP Workstation, HP PageWide XL, SHEET, SNAPKIN, ...).

On the program of the event:

13h00 : Welcoming participants
14h00 : Alain Le Doaré - Managing Director AriCad
14h15 : Autodesk - CONNECTED BIM
14h45 : FROM THE STUDY TO THE DIGITAL WORKSITE BIM for the construction site Customer testimonial VINCI ENERGIES
15h10 : Pause

15h30 : ECOSYSTEME REVIT Imaging and virtual reality MEP and Fabrication BIM Libraries
17h05 : The AriCad FORGE Development Department - BIMVIEW Development Platform - Communicate, exchange, visualize, ... AUTOMATION Site Methods & Materials Customer Testimonial: COPAC




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