11.10.2021 - Startups

BIMSynch hopes to achieve a paradigm shift in construction

BIMSynch, a construction project synchronization platform, offers a tool for optimizing and controlling construction processes. This allows you to quickly check every detail and stage of the project on-site, avoiding unplanned costs by correcting unnecessary mistakes.

“As the world is keeping up with technological possibilities, similar platforms are already being developed, but I think they are still far from perfect in terms of functionality and stability,” says Uldis Šiliņš, BIMSynch’s chief programmer.

 His colleague Jānis Delviņš adds that the company wants not only to offer a new technical solution but to change the paradigm of the construction process. He explains that the current challenge in construction and architecture is the mismatch between the design and what is actually built on the site. Although everything happens in a 3D environment, there is no tool that makes it easy to use 3D models on site. That’s why you see more and more professionals on construction sites, frantically looking at computers, tablets, or sheets of paper for the information they need.

“The idea for the product was born out of laziness. On-site, it is not convenient to compare the current situation with the design drawings and material specifications, either digitally or on paper. These are usually large rolls of drawings and thick specification books that are slow and uncomfortable to work with on-site. It takes time to find and check something, which costs money. In principle, you can only check a few things in a day,” says Māris Putns, the third co-founder of BIMSynch.

A Construction Site on a Mobile Phone

The BIMSynch product is a professional tool for optimizing and controlling construction processes. Its user can check the 3D model of the building project in real-time and on-site in 1:1 scale on the mobile app. With the BIMSynch app, it is possible to synchronize the 3D model of the project with the surrounding environment and use it in augmented reality from your mobile device. Each 3D object is accompanied by its technical specification. The person who needs to view the plan scans the space, downloads the required 3D model, synchronizes it in the required location, and checks its compliance. The user can not only view all the details of a particular detail but also make notes, such as leaving messages with pictures and linking to colleagues to quickly communicate problems with the rest of the team.

The developers of BIMSynch are convinced that this technology will help to improve communication between stakeholders, boost productivity and help avoid mistakes.

“The first leap forward in architecture and construction was when we moved from drawing by hand to two-dimensional vectorial drawings on a computer. Later, the three-dimensional design came in. Now it’s time to bring 3D into real construction processes,” says Jānis.

He hopes that the product will be used throughout the whole process from A to Z: architectural concept, design, construction, and property maintenance. In the even more distant future, also in demolition.

Jānis, Māris, and Uldis took part in an augmented and virtual reality hackathon at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences two years ago. 

“What was only in my head finally became tangible,” says Māris. The product prototype was recognized as the best-augmented reality commercial project with the most potential. A year later, they set up a joint company.

Last year, BIMSynch received a 25,000-euro Riga City Council grant from Atspēriens, as well as 75,000 US dollars in Epic Game Mega Grant funding. The company is currently working on attracting further investment.

Eliminating Non-compliance Early

“This solution not only allows us to watch and check every corner of the construction site but also to immediately see non-compliance with the project. One subcontractor designs the ventilation, another the sewerage, but there is little communication between them. So, it often happens on-site, for example, that wires go where the ventilation pipes are supposed to go, and vice versa,” says Māris.

That’s why all construction projects have a “contingency” column in their estimates, which can be up to 10%. There are always mistakes due to a mismatch between plans and real life, and time is always wasted trying to figure out whose fault it is.

“Every minute that work is not done on-site is a loss. We want to help reduce those losses,” says Jānis.

The BIMSynch team hopes that using this technology will help reduce contingency costs to almost zero.

Used in an Environment That Suits Everyone Best

People in every profession have a brand of hardware and software they prefer. Uldis, however, says that many of them almost require special courses to learn how to use them.

“It’s important for us that anyone who sees our app for the first time can understand how to use it quite quickly. We are not tied to any particular technology platform. We test both Apple and Android devices. You can use our product on your phone, tablet, virtual reality glasses: any device that supports augmented reality and 3D rendering,” says Uldis.

Tested in Cooperation with Industry

Jānis admits that the project is at an early stage of development. But he sees great potential. 

“The most important thing this year is to show that it all works, not just for us in the visualization and demonstration version, but in the real world with real customers,” he says. 

The company has started testing with its first customers. The main aim is to get feedback from industry players.

“Our goal is to develop a product that is needed and increases productivity in the industry,” says Māris.

He hopes that there will be a strong demand for the product. 

“We offer a more convenient and precise way of working, without the need for expensive equipment. No one should resist such an offer,” says Māris.

BIMSynch aims to reach 300,000 subscribers in 2025. On a large site, the number of users could be between 500 and 1000.

“Every year, Building Information Modelling (BIM) software is being used more and more,” says Jānis. 

The number of countries with different requirements, such as mandatory use of BIM design on public and large sites, is also increasing. He predicts that soon, projects will need to be coordinated in augmented reality. 

“It’s not that implausible. Now you can’t imagine coordinating a project without 3D visualizations, but relatively recently, some 15 years ago, it wasn’t a requirement,” says Māris.

Source: labsoflatvia.com


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