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ARCHICAD drives project efficiency for Skanska

Stockholm architects leverage the accuracy and flexibility of Graphisoft ARCHICAD's Virtual Building model to the full, eliminating costly design errors and greatly adding value to their project.

Budapest, December 08 - Working on a school development, Stig Bengtsson, Project Manager, Jacobson and Flank Architects, utilized a 3D Virtual Building™ model created by the initial designer to produce construction documentation and accurate quantity take-offs. This when combined with the elimination of potentially costly design errors, greatly added value to the entire project.

The school project started life as a design competition, which was won by Kristian Lindgren Arkiteker. Comprising 8,000 m² new development and 12,000 m² rebuild, the school is located in Haninge, just outside Stockholm. Lindgren used ARCHICAD® for the initial phase of the project and for the bid documents. In addition, he used ARCHICAD to produce all the construction documentation for the building's interior.

Model consistency

Skanska were the winners of the contract to build the school, and they turned to Jacobson and Flank to provide the construction documentation for the building itself. The project owner, Tornberget, stipulated that the project had to be carried out in AutoCAD®. Jakobson and Flank, however, were totally committed to using ARCHICAD on the project. Their recommendation to work fully in 3D was backed up by Skanska who used their influence to convince Tornberget of the value of allowing the project to be done in ARCHICAD. A strong argument in favor of this was that the Virtual Building model of the project - which had already been made by Kristian Lindgren Arkitekter in the early design phase - could be further exploited in later stages of the project.

130 construction drawings were generated directly from the Virtual Building model by Jacobson and Flank who have been dedicated, long-term ARCHICAD users. "For me ARCHICAD is a natural tool. I have used it for 10 years and it feels very natural," says Stig Bengtsson, Project Manager, Jacobson and Flank. Further exploiting the Virtual Building's accuracy and speed, Skanska started to request quantity take-offs from the 3D model to ensure that the bids submitted by their sub-contractors were correct. This was of clear benefit to them, and they could charge for this additional work.

Quality control

For the architects, quality control was another way of fully utilizing the versatility of the Virtual Building. The building's new roof was based on concrete columns and a new steel structure, which was critical from a height point of view. "We carried out clash detection with the steel construction and found errors in 3D that had been undetectable in 2D. We examined the shop drawings of the steel construction and found a steel beam that was too low," explains Bengtsson. "We had to do some rapid redesigning to solve the problem. If we hadn't created 3D models, we wouldn't have found this problem and we would ultimately have been held liable. Solving this issue on site would obviously have been very costly." The Virtual Building not only detected the error, but it also accelerated the entire redesign operation.

Bengtsson sees ARCHICAD's main benefit as being that all project revisions are automatically made to the drawings; any change made in the 3D model ensures that all the linked documentation changes. "I am absolutely convinced that we are faster at creating construction documentation when leveraging the full power of ARCHICAD and building a 3D Virtual Building model, instead of using traditional 2D functionality," he concludes.