Digital construction: Meet BIM4Ren, easy-to-use BIM tools for renovation

In a context where digital and remote exchanges are becoming increasingly important, the European BIM4Ren project has launched its series of webinars on the issue of BIM in energy renovation works. Co-funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation, BIM4Ren is a project exploring the potential of BIM for renovation works.

Held on Tuesday 26 May, the first BIM4Ren webinar, entitled “Meet BIM4Ren: easy-to-use BIM tools for renovation”, had for main objective to allow construction professionals and BIM experts to meet the team behind BIM4Ren, but above all to learn more about the concept, ideas and philosophy behind the initiative. With more than 135 registrants, this edition was a very successful and encouraging start!

Moderated by the European Builders Confederation (EBC), responsible for the communication and dissemination of the partnership, the programme included the following presentations:

  • The construction sector and the need for easy-to-use digital tools

EBC explained the general context in which BIM4Ren operates, namely a sector which is among the least digitalised in Europe, while the overwhelming majority is made of micro-enterprises (around 94 %) that need affordable and easy-to-use digital tools, especially for one of the most important market segments, energy retrofitting and buildings renovation. As sustainable and digital changes in the sector cannot be reached without the right inclusion of construction SMEs and craftsmen, EBC identified several barriers for SMEs regarding digital tools, to which BIM4Ren ambitions to provide solutions.

  • The BIM4Ren Concept

The coordinator of BIM4Ren, the French research centre NOBATEK/INEF 4, continued by sharing the ambition of the project and the methodology which aims to bring together different digital BIM tools in a single platform, based on tests and demonstrations carried out on 3 pilot sites in France, Italy and Spain. The final objective is to enable construction SMEs and the entire value chain to carry out their renovation projects faster, in an environmentally responsible, efficient and collaborative manner. To this end, in addition to research and technological developments, training sessions will be first set up for the national members of EBC and the pilot sites actors, before opening the training programme to the whole community of BIM4Ren stakeholders.

  • The potential of BIM for renovation

Finally, Professor Jakob Beetz from the RWTH University of Aachen explained why BIM has a real potential for improvement in energy retrofitting. Today focused on the new buildings, BIM is not sufficiently exploited for renovation while tools exist for data capture, data procession, object recognition, geometrical design, in short a BIM that allows to update the data of a building as it was built. He added that BIM4Ren is looking at IFC and ISO standards for exchange formats as well as cloud-based management models.

These presentations were followed by exchanges with the audience on the challenges faced by BIM4Ren such as data storage limitations, reluctance for digitalisation, obsolescence of some buildings or data management issues.

Want to watch or re-watch the BIM4Ren webinar? Don’t worry, the recording will be available next week!

Click here to consult the speakers’ presentations !

This webinars series is a key tool of the BIM4Ren stakeholder community. Also presented on this occasion, this community gathers the partnership and all stakeholders interested in participating in BIM4Ren events or monitoring its activities in general. Flexible, open to all, do not hesitate to contact us for more information or to directly express your interest in collaborating with BIM4Ren partners!

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