Interview

Regional Sales Director | Trimble India & SAARC Region

Harsh Pareek

Q1 How does Trimble’s technology work in the entire construction lifecycle- from designing to construction to maintenance?
Trimble is a global leader in construction technologies and the mix of hardware, software and mobility technologies that is offers the industry, streamlines communication and collaboration throughout the construction lifecycle, from planning, design and site preparation to the finished project. Trimble’s solutions improve workflows between key stakeholders—wherever they are located in the world —and make it easier to track time, costs, materials, staff and resources. 
Trimble products fulfil the exacting standards of the Constructible BIM process, which is a significantly evolved form of BIM and refers to the actual constructibility of a BIM model. For example, the virtual models created using Tekla Structures are accurately detailed and highly constructible; and they help build smarter, more accurate, more profitable projects for all stakeholders involved in the construction lifecycle. These models retain their constructibility regardless of material or structural complexity. In addition, they can be used across the entire construction lifecycle: from conceptual design to fabrication, erection and construction management. Having a central data-rich model means that every output, be it a drawing, report or schedule, is consistent for all stakeholders; which removes ambiguity, mitigates potential errors and paves the way for a successful, on time completion of project within the budget.
The advantages of Trimble’s technology are completely transparent and visibly impactful for all groups; architects, structural engineers, MEP experts and the building contractors. For example, in the design stage, architects use a BIM model to create a centralised digital (virtual) representation of important information related to a building that is enriched with manufacturer-specific data, calculation parameters, or maintenance details. 
In the engineering and construction stages, the information flow from design and detailing to construction site enables engineers and fabricators to streamline actual processes of fabrication, erection and construction management regardless of complexity. A well-designed 3D constructible model with the right information speeds up the building process and saves time and reduces wastage on site. Tekla Structures helps visualize the true scope and context of schedule line items, material ordering, payment requests, and the objects that other project parties create.
Tekla Structures is also used for managing the process from supply to installation, including erection sequencing, schedule and reporting. Additionally, you can simulate and calculate any changes to the installations in the 3D model before applying them. As a result, we witness improved quality, increase profits, minimize errors and reduce risks. 
Apart from streamlining the construction process, Constructible BIM goes a step further and also provides owners or managers of buildings with useful data related to various building components. Building administrators get access to real-time information about the services or components installed in the building; and they can make accurate assessments of the condition of such assets, how the building operates and where efficiencies can be made, which in turn will enable better usage and utilisation of assets.
 
Q2 How has the construction technology evolved from BIM to Constructible BIM?
Conventional BIM often produces ‘Design models’, which are markedly different from ‘Constructible models’ on parameters like information accuracy, development and richness of detail included in the model. Think of it as the difference between a low-detail map of a city, versus a highly detailed navigation map that has every single corner and turn marked on it, and thus allows a vehicle driver to navigate to destination accurately. A Constructible BIM model follows the same principle and is much more useful for the engineers and contractors in their job, compared to a conventional BIM model.
The word “constructible” thus refers to the accuracy and efficiency with which structures can be constructed from a 3D BIM model. While all models can be used to communicate a building concept, they often require a lot of accurate data to actually support construction, fabrication and procurement, before they can be called ‘constructible’ BIM models. 
In many ways, constructible BIM has become a necessity today because of the complexity in building design and construction. It can deliver benefits at every stage of the construction process. All profiles and details, embeds, reinforcing bars, anchor bolts, formwork components and even critical site set-out points can be modelled quickly and precisely right at the design or engineering stage, thus ensuring that everything just fits when actual construction begins.
A constructible virtual model built using Tekla Structures, which is a global technology leader in facilitating constructible BIM, allows stakeholders to streamline their to work efficiently and collaboratively and synergistically towards constructing and operating a modern building processes. The precise dimensions of materials, e.g. steel beams or pipe fittings, can be calculated and used by fabricators to produce the exact materials required for the job. It also reduces errors, delays, increase construction speed and efficiency, minimise construction waste and increase sustainability over a building’s lifetime and thereby injecting unprecedented efficiencies into the entire construction process. These models also help increase predictability and repeatability in a workflow. 
 
Q3 According to you, what is the next giant leap in technology and where would it take the construction industry?
The construction industry has traditionally been slow to adopt technology when compared to other industries such automotive or manufacturing, however the situation has changed in the last few years. As I said, we have seen a huge shift around the world from conventional BIM to Constructible BIM. 
The next giant leap would be in the adoption of Mixed Reality (MR), which would mark the beginning of a new era of visually immersive technologies and will have a significant impact on the AEC industry. From 2D to 3D to augmented reality—blurring the line between the virtual and the real world—mixed reality technology is addressing some of the industry’s major inefficiencies in the design, construction and operation stages. Using MR to plan a project can enormously reduce the costs while delivering other benefits that eventually lead to better construction.  Mixed Reality (MR) presents an opportunity for an infinite environment where additional sets of data such as schedule, specs and simulation can be overlaid for a hyper-reality environment.
Trimble’s Hardhat solution incorporating Microsoft’s HoloLens technology is a great example of how MR is making construction smarter and more efficient. Our Hardhat allows construction professionals to visualize their 3D models as holograms placed in the real world—enabling them to quickly analyze various “what if” design scenarios in the context of the physical environment. Trimble’s innovative mixed-reality solutions allow the firms to feed 3D engineering models into the HoloLens world, including models of large or complex projects in the real world. The mixed-reality technology supplements conventional working practices and improves communication, collaboration and visualization and accelerates the engineering design process.
It also allows a project manager or contractor to walk-through a construction site and easily view an overlay of a 3D model on top of as-built construction and compare the two, into the real environment around a user. 
A designer or an engineer can also manipulate objects, use voice commands, and move inside the designed environment using mixed reality. This technology has a potential of greatly improving the safety of the construction site by allowing for a more elaborate safety plan to be designed as well as providing training on heavy equipment on real sites with augmented hazards. The outcomes are improved productivity, enhanced production control and a much better output. 
 
Q4  What are the various products offered by Trimble which have helped automate the construction process? 
At Trimble, we believe all tools - like the teams who use them - should be oriented toward a common goal. We believe that a platform of intelligent solutions will help create intelligent buildings that can be achieved through automated construction.Trimble’s collaboration tools have greatly facilitated the automation of construction process. Trimble Connect, a powerful cloud-based collaboration platform, empowers teams involved in the design, construction and operation of buildings to come together under one umbrella. It provides users with better visibility into a project’s status, reduces guesswork and offers better predictability of the costing and completion of the project.For architects and design professionals, we offer SketchUp Pro that can be used to map plans and see the planned project come to life as an accurate 3D drawing. A lot had already been mentioned about Tekla Structures, a premier tool for structural design, detailing and fabrication, a software the construction world simply loves to work with.
Trimble Quantm provides alignment planning and is used in the initial project scoping stage, when there is greater flexibility to identify the full rang e of corridor alternatives by generating 3D corridors and route alignments.
VICO office from Trimble is a future-ready tool that allows the planner to plan, review and implement their schedule within a seamless workflow. VICO Office extends basic 3D models with constructability analysis and coordination, 4D location-based scheduling and production control, and 5D estimating (cost).