On 15th June, BIMprove consortium reunited in Lausanne, Switzerland, to celebrate its Final Review meeting.

Two months before reaching the end, we have showcased to the European Commission the final results of three years of hard work aiming at improving Building Information Modelling (BIM) by real time tracing of construction processes. Have we succeeded? Let’s find out!

The overall objective of the BIMprove project is to go beyond the static Building Information Modelling and create a digital thread, which acts as a dynamic metrical building model (digital twin). This ensures that the situation at the construction site can be easily monitored, resources can be scheduled, and work planning is enhanced, offering flexibility, safety and better productivity. BIMprove focuses on building construction sites, after the erection process or installation of the framework has taken place.

This is achieved by utilizing off-the-self ground-based robots and off-the-self unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to monitor their surroundings and detect deviations for updating the digital twin and the underlaying BIM. Additionally, the personnel’s locations at the site can be anonymously tracked, thus enabling the BIMprove system and the workers’ supervisors to optimize resource allocation, people flow and the workers’ safety. BIMprove is easily accessible to all stakeholders by providing various user interfaces, such as alerts to workers through wearable devices and virtual reality (VR) visualizations to supervisors. BIMprove is a cloud-based service that has a layered structure, which enables the addition of extensions at later stages.

The main results of BIMprove are a significant reduction in costs, better use of resources and fewer accidents on construction sites.

The successful demonstration of the Proof of Concept results, followed by the Prototype system results (read more about it in D3.3 Proof of Concept System Description and Test Results) and the Pilot Use-Case demonstrations (read more about it in D3.6 Benchmarking, Evaluation & Demonstration) confirm that the execution of the project has progressed well.

In this article we are sharing a short summary of the results achieved in the frame of each of the workpackages of the project and we have also prepared a nice summary video developed by our communication partner AUSTRALO.  Hope you like it!

Summary video

Summary of results by Work Package

WP 1 – System design and specification

The main goal of WP1 – Systems design & specification is to specify the concept, design and KPIs for whole BIMprove system, which other WPs were relying on. WP was defining BIMprove’s overall system design, which includes Digital Twin model, layer services and all workflows. To access to Digital Twin the XR based UI concept and user interface categories were defined and evaluated. Also, all of Pilot Use Cases (Fire, Safety and Scheduling) were more detailed defined. Especially for the safety pilot use case the set a common risk detection methodology was defined.

WP 2 – Components, technologies and functionalities

In the last project period, the main work in WP2 consisted in elaborating and establishing the communication between the individual satellites. In addition, systems were improved on the basis of initial experience at construction sites. These would be the results in the individual areas:

  • Drones: New development of another generation quadcopter and camera gimbal. Improvement of communication and robustness of the systems
  • Robots: Improvement of navigation, additional functionality with new BLK-ARC sensor and IR camera. Implementation of new teleoperation functionalities
  • BIMprove: Extension of functionality for e.g. single floors.
  • System backend: integration of functionalities for planning and target/actual comparison
  • AI: Extending functionality regarding detections based on images and point clouds
  • AR: Development or AR tools on HoloLens
  • VR: development of BCF-functionalities in VR, multiuser functionalities

WP 3 – Integration, testing and piloting

This Workpackage has been about bringing everything together – integrating the different parts and functionalities and testing them on the pilot construction sites.

This has meant technical development, like enabling communication via the BIM Collaboration Format (BCF) between almost all technical entities and user interfaces or creating API-endpoints to give access to developed functionality via the BIMprove cloud. But moreover it has meant practical testing. There were eleven visits to the PUC sites over the last 22 months, nine of which were between June 2022 and June 2023. The whole input-processing-output-cycle, which according to the BIMprove vision will become the daily decision cycle, has been covered on site.

WP 4 – Impact, Outreach and Collaboration

Impact and outreach highlights:

Standardization achievements: a working committee with members of the BIMprove team together with external experts has prepared a CEN/CENELEC workshop agreement: “Position markers for digital applications on construction sites, structural monitoring and BIM-applications”. This workshop agreement CWA standardizes markers to be used by modern digital applications: devices like (laser-) scanners, autonomous vehicles, augmented reality devices and others, that are increasingly used by the construction industry. They all require precise geometric information of some reference points to determine their own position and orientation. The CWA now offers a standardized procedure allowing surveyors to provide this geometric data and to make it available in an efficient way. By defining the layout of markers, the working procedure and also a standardized way of human-/machine-readable data transfer, the CWA will help with integrating new technologies into the construction industry. It also ensures, that everybody works in the correct project coordinate system, thus helping to reduce error potential and workload. The final version will be presented to the public for consultation and comment and its final version published in autumn 2023.

Have we succeeded in our mission? There’s no doubt!

What’s coming next? Stay with us, BIMprove not finishes here!