With software that works together, design workflows can be streamlined for improved productivity, management and collaboration, resulting in better project outcomes
At Allplan, we often refer to the idea of an integrated workflow. But what does this term actually mean, and what are the benefits? In terms of the planning, design and execution of a project, an integrated workflow can be described as putting a supporting structure in place to aid the primary workflow – such as the preliminary planning or detailed design – by adopting processes, content, technology or a combination of these which improve the process. By doing this, there are fewer errors, increased productivity, more automation and a reduction in manual tasks, as well as improved management of multiple activities.
One of the ways to achieve this is by using software that works seamlessly together, such as Allplan and Bimplus. Allplan is a powerful BIM solution – an interdisciplinary platform for architects, engineers and contractors that accompanies and integrates the design and construction process throughout all project phases.
The cloud-based Common Data Environment (CDE) Bimplus enables secure and effective data management throughout the entire project lifecycle. The central, database-driven exchange of information and issue management promotes integrated Open BIM-based workflows, leading to improved productivity and interdisciplinary collaboration. When combined together, an integrated workflow is created that helps ensure that project goals such as budget and time targets are met. Working in this way can benefit architects, engineers and other project stakeholders in these three areas.
Data management: Coordinating and sharing information effectively
To improve the data management process for all the connected teams across every phase of a project, Bimplus works seamlessly with Allplan and brings useful CDE functionalities into the authoring software. This combination ensures integrated workflows throughout the modelling process by delivering the information required by relevant stakeholders in the project but also by bringing a high degree of workflow management into the whole process.
The need to share, coordinate and manage information in a BIM framework is required now more than ever. However, connecting modelling software to the multitude of managed and unmanaged programs used in a project can lead to chaos. As this information comes from different systems – many of which are file-based, it could present management challenges, usage difficulties, and expense – data can quickly and easily become mismanaged.
By using Bimplus with Allplan, an integrated BIM workflow and data management system is created, streamlining the systems, making data instantly available to the project teams, and ensuring that a single source of truth is maintained and governs the process.
Everyone has access to the data they need for their own work, thanks to transparent working processes. With Bimplus, the access to the data is independent from Allplan or the authoring tool of choice.
Quick and easy access to the required data also helps drive productivity and informed decision-making. Besides giving access to the federated model via regular web browser, to all project participants, the federated model from Bimplus can also be viewed directly in Allplan easily via the integrated BIM Explorer, helping team members to understand the design status in a holistic context.
For example, the building services model can be visualised alongside the current architectural or engineering model, helping different disciplines understand how their activities overlap and affect each other.
It also gives access to additional information – objects in Allplan can have attachments where supplementary data is stored in Bimplus, such as calculation results from structural analysis software. An environment that provides all the necessary information for successful planning in this way is truly unique.
Change management: Centrally managing issues and tasks
Another area that significantly benefits from integration is issue management. This is an incredibly important workflow that can suffer from poorly managed data, leading to further delays and problems.
Bimplus has a powerful issue management system, which is also directly embedded in Allplan through deep technology integration. Issues can be managed effectively from within the 3D modelling software as well as in the Bimplus CDE Environment. Whatever your role in the BIM process is, you are free to choose the access point to issue management. The Bimplus database is the single source of truth for tracking the issues.
This offers several advantages to the project team. Without an issue management system, multiple emails may be received, phone calls taken and instructions given from different parties who require changes for different reasons. The result is that it is not clear who should make changes, at what stage these are to be made and who then carries the responsibility of taking these changes forward.
Developing an integrated workflow using Allplan and Bimplus brings clarity and transparency to the change management procedure. The issue can be created in Bimplus, assigned to the relevant person in the team, visualised, annotated, assigned a deadline and signed off, as well as easily tracked throughout the entire process. Incoming BCF files can be imported centrally into Bimplus, validated by the project manager or BIM coordinator, and then assigned to the responsible team members, who receive the tasks directly in Allplan – right where they require the information. This provides a more effective and efficient method for managing and tracking changes, which in turn improves productivity.
BIM management: Fulfilling client requirements easily
Integrated workflows are also the key to fulfilling a project’s BIM requirements easily and in a controlled way. The Employer Information Requirements (EIR) and BIM Execution Plan (BEP) are where these requirements are specified typically, stipulating what information is required for each object or element within the model.
Although this may sound complicated, the solution is quite simple. Bimplus allows object property templates to be created, which can then be applied in Allplan by just one button click. The properties are automatically attached to the model elements and just need to be filled in. This can happen either directly in Allplan, or in various ways using the Bimplus platform. This ensures that any project member can easily contribute, even without specific Allplan knowledge – all that is required is an internet browser. For ease of input, Microsoft Excel can also be used, as Bimplus is cloud-based and has extensive integration with everyday tools such as spreadsheets and project management software.
Enhanced integration for improved project outcomes
Moving to an integrated workflow using Bimplus together with Allplan offers unique solutions for reliable and secure data management, issue management, and BIM execution, resulting in improved collaboration and productivity for the whole project team.
The ability to easily share accurate data with any stakeholder, even from an early stage of the project, ensures that misunderstandings are minimised, transparency is maximised and productivity is optimised. With better integrated workflows, project outcomes – such as budget and schedule targets – are easier to deliver.
Product Manager Interoperability
Please note: this is a commercial profile.