BIM in construction: does knowing the actual situation prevent errors?

The conference organized by “Verslo Žinios” delved into critical aspects of the construction industry, shedding light on cutting-edge technologies and methodologies. Various speakers presented on the current and future macroeconomic trends, as well as other relevant issues in the real estate sector.

One such topic was digital construction and the use of smart BIM (Building Information Model) solutions, directly related to 3D measurement technologies and the organization of new-generation work through a virtual, optimal, and efficient information model. Egidijus Žilinskas, the leader of “Terra Modus,” Marius Žygaitis, certified BIM coordinator at “BIMstart,” and Leonas Jasevičius, technology director at “InfoEra,” spoke about this.


BIM technology in Lithuania


The thematic discussion began with the concept of BIM, emphasizing that it is the functional and physical representation of an object in the digital space, a necessity that will become crucial in the near future. This is evidenced by the fact that BIM requirements have been in effect in the public sector since March 2022, defining concepts such as “real situation model” and other essential information. The deeper integration of BIM methodology and 3D technologies fundamentally transforms the design and other construction processes, and all participants in the construction market need to prepare for this, both those purchasing services and those providing them. Leonas Jasevičius from “InfoEra” notes that an ecosystem of normative documents is currently being created, various templates will make it smoother to adopt innovations. Marius Žygaitis and Egidijus Žilinskas discussed why and how the BIM methodology will improve the construction process, so the inconveniences with regulation or getting used to new standards are only temporary and can be resolved quickly.


Marius Žygaitis, „BIMstart“ BIM Coordinator © Verslo žinios / Vladimiras Ivanovas


„Since 2016, we’ve been implementing BIM tools and methodologies. BIM, through digitization, allowed us to establish unified processes, leading to higher quality and speed in our work. I see BIM standardization as an opportunity to standardize what can and should be standardized. In a nutshell, the modern exchange of data between the client and contractor in a standardized format saves an incredible amount of time.”

Egidijus Žilinskas observes that back in 2008, when they started offering BIM solutions, they faced a situation that was a bit ahead of its time. The company “Terra Modus” was one of the first in Lithuania to embark on 3D scanning projects, using the data for creating BIM models, construction control, but at that time, it was still a bit too cumbersome for most. The company briefly reverted back to conventional 2D drawing production because, “it was quite challenging to demonstrate and explain how to work with 3D data” every time. Now, the situation is much better. With the emergence of the mentioned requirements and recommendations, communication has become much easier — everyone knows what needs to be done and how, especially since there are many technical tools available today. It takes only about a month to retrain a specialist. All of this creates conditions for the market to rapidly adopt and utilize BIM innovations.


Egidijus Žilinskas, CEO of „Terra Modus“  © Verslo žinios / Vladimiras Ivanovas


„It’s important to understand that when implementing BIM technologies, the entire process needs to be adapted, as creating a 3D model alone doesn’t solve anything. I’ll emphasize that the real power of the technology lies in the entire process, where every participant must be involved. For example, if the BIM methodology is used, but the quantity surveyor relies on outdated programs, and during construction, the surveyor establishes control points from scratch rather than using BIM information, it won’t be possible to create anything efficient.“

Architect Marius Žygaitis agreed with his colleague’s thought and extended it by noting that many processes are repetitive, so automating them is logical, which later leads to increased speed and guaranteed quality of work. Leonas Jasevičius, head of the technology department at “InfoEra”, added that BIM has proven itself and is no longer a novelty for Lithuanian companies, especially those working in foreign markets.


Practical 3D laser scanning applications into BIM


Marius Žygaitis shared an example of how BIM technologies highlighted their advantages in a project with “Turto Bankas”. In preparing the technical project, all premises of the object were scanned with a 3D scanner. There were many and of various kinds, so digitization first of all allowed to avoid dangerous, long, and inefficient checks of the actual situation in reality. The digital model also allowed for quick, precise measurements anywhere, evaluate deformations, check real parameters of openings. Errors in ceiling heights and discrepancies in documentation and reality were corrected, which helped to avoid bigger problems in subsequent stages of work. Both architects and designers used the same data for different purposes. Also, in reconstruction projects, scanning data, calculations, save about 1-3 months of work.


3D model preparation from scanned data © Terra Modus


Egidijus Žilinskas provided a broader example of the practice in Great Britain, where 3D scanning and the creation of a three-dimensional model are carried out even before public procurements and other tenders. Only after that are further steps taken. In this way, the real situation is known in advance: what quantities and areas need to be designed, and what are the problematic aspects. Risk management is no less important in project planning. A specialist in 3D scanning and data preparation for the BIM process notes that in Lithuania, unfortunately, these technologies are still more often used in response to an existing problem, while in the practice of foreign colleagues, a proactive approach and the practice of digitizing first, and then physical work, are clearly dominant.


Level of detail


BIM data is typically used with a certain level of detail or completeness. This is described by the LOD followed by a number, indicating at what level of detail the data should be evaluated and at what stage the project or its specific part is. Such labeling helps to communicate accurately and perform, accept, or transfer tasks. Official regulations clarifying detailing standards and their use will be adopted soon in Lithuania. When the rules are the same for everyone, there will be even fewer local errors or inefficiencies.


LOD 200, LOD 300, LOD 400 © Terra Modus / 3D models from scan data


I would recommend that when ordering 3D measurements, you request varying levels of detail based on the actual needs, rather than fixing a single accuracy description for the entire project. For example, if you are addressing deformation data from scanning, it would be necessary to fix the structures in more detail, while for the window frame geometry, a less precise estimate can be planned. This will save a lot of money, and the speed will be higher. Discuss with companies performing 3D measurements and explain what you will do with the data. This will achieve the right quality in later designs. So first specify the goals, and do not start thinking about what tools should be used to achieve those goals. This is done by 3D scanners – Marius Žygaitis, certified BIM coordinator at “BIMstart.


Costs of Implementing BIM


Leonas Jasevičius noted that companies related to construction allocate still too little for digitization – about 1-2% of the budgets of companies. Compared to other sectors, the construction sector lags significantly in terms of investments in digitization, so the situation will have to change. However, the most important thing for companies starting to work with BIM processes is to first evaluate the target digitization tasks and work with them. In this way, it is not necessary to allocate large budgets immediately, but gradually increase the scale where it is most justified. It is important to understand that BIM is a process and it needs to be learned. After learning, the first results are visible – painful and expensive mistakes are avoided, time is saved, communication between parties is simplified, tasks and problems are solved faster and more accurately. To start using the BIM methodology, first analyze your company’s processes and assess where the biggest costs are hidden, where the cost of mistakes is highest. This is where you should start streamlining your business processes.

Martynas Valauskis
Head of Survey Center

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