For Dutch construction firm Dura Vermeer, digitization provides the opportunity to execute challenging projects. By fully integrating digital technology into a construction project from the design phase, Dura Vermeer is able to increase transparency and collaboration amongst all project stakeholders, leading to a faster design process, a more effective and efficient construction process, and ultimately a better quality building.
Exterior rendering of Huis van Delft in Delft, showing the complexity of the design managed in Autodesk BIM Collaborate Pro. Image courtesy of Dura Vermeer.
Dura Vermeer is a family-owned Dutch company with more than 160 years of experience in construction, engineering, and related services. The company’s corporate aspiration is to become one of the Netherlands’ "top three highest performing and digitized construction companies."
To achieve this goal, Dura Vermeer is focusing on improving operational results and achieving excellent customer experiences, by creating an agile and innovative organization and leveraging more digital solutions focused on Building Information Modeling (BIM).
Interior rendering of Huis van Delft in Delft, showing the complexity of the design managed in Autodesk BIM Collaborate Pro. Image courtesy of Dura Vermeer.
An example of Dura Vermeer's transformational change is seen in the execution of Huis van Delft, a residential project in South Holland, Netherlands, which has been fully integrated digitally from the design phase. All partners involved, from the architect, contractor, and installer to the frame supplier and facade builder, tested the technical feasibility of the project's complex design together in a digital model with "a total of thirteen modelers involved in this building,' says Sander de Zee, BIM manager at Dura Vermeer. 'We all work together on the digital platform Autodesk BIM Collaborate Pro and see each other's work."
With the implementation of Autodesk BIM Collaborate Pro, Dura Vermeer is able to effectively manage the collaboration with subcontractors during all project stages. This has not only improved communication and decision-making but also has led to a significant reduction in time to mature the design before physical construction work starts.
Controlling coordination and risk in an organized and transparent way is key to project success. This is why it was crucial for Dura Vermeer to invest in properly training project teams on their new tools. “At first, the level of communication and coordination required for uploading and sharing the subcontractor’s models and related information took up significant time in the workflows and led to misinterpretation of versions or mixing up different aspect models,” says de Zee.
For each new project, team leads went through a time-consuming process of setting up and training new users on the Autodesk Revit server. Upskilling users on Autodesk BIM Collaborate Pro was essential to streamline the implementation of the software across the various teams. By training and guiding subcontractors in a hands-on environment on live projects, users now have the knowledge and skills to guide the implementation of design collaboration on each new project Dura Vermeer takes on.
Overall, digitization leads to improved building processes and thus, to satisfied customers. Because we want to scale up these benefits, we are driving the roll-out of BIM throughout the entire chain. This requires drastic changes. The most important driver behind change is that everyone understands usefulness and necessity.
—Ronald Dielwart, Directory Board, Dura Vermeer
The Autodesk BIM Collaborate Pro implementation resulted in highly positive project outcomes, including reduced design re-work and reduced failure costs across their projects. With faster design iterations that quickly led to a high quality and matured result, Dura Vermeer successfully decreased time to construction by 25 percent average per project—achieving construction readiness.
With Autodesk's cloud-enabled environment, projects can be set up in real-time, saving the IT department and project office weeks of effort each year. The new solution seamlessly integrates with current Autodesk Revit capabilities and Autodesk BIM 360 Docs. Project teams with new members or subcontractors can now implement the solution in only a few days due to the ease of use and reduction of complexity.
While Dura Vermeer’s BIM implementation has resulted in—and will lead to—valuable cost savings, the team also came away from the engagement with some key learnings. The biggest? Discovering that BIM is as much about change management as it is about technology. By taking the lead and making the investment in organizational transformation, Dura Vermeer can reap the benefits of the technology for years to come.
A version of this article ran previously on Autodesk Connect & Construct Blog. Some product names have been updated to reflect current offerings, including BIM Collaborate Pro which was formerly named BIM 360 Design. Photos courtesy of Dura Vermeer.