How a top Portuguese consultancy company enhanced their BIM process using BIM open formats

How a top Portuguese consultancy company enhanced their BIM process using BIM open formats

TPF - Consultores de Engenharia e Arquitetura, S.A. is a Portuguese company with more than 40 years of experience, focused on delivering high-quality fully integrated architectural and engineering services, ranging from technical consultancy to the design and construction process. TPF Consultores strongly relies on innovation and sustainable development, especially supported by BIM methodologies and processes.

TPF Consultores has worked on more than 7250 projects, in different sectors such as; Buildings, Energy, Water, Sanitation and Agriculture, Environment and Transports. TPF Consultores started their BIM implementation 7 years ago and they consider their dedicated team – the Innovation Center – a key component to find, test and implement new tools to carry out successful improvements.

Dealing with different software

Recently, TPF Consultores was involved in the design of 2 hospitals in Angola. These projects came with several challenges, such as dealing with several multidisciplinary teams working from different locations. Each Hospital consisted of a 3-story main building, surrounded by several support buildings, with total construction areas of approximately 25,000 m² and 27,000 m². The interaction among all teams working with different software solutions was a big challenge overcame by implementing the use of Open BIM format as IFC and BCF files. 
 

Everyone access to the same information

Having an Open BIM based process was essential to improve and streamline their communication. BIMcollab is a cloud-based solution that brings together teams working from different locations by ensuring a more efficient communication flow.  In these hospitals’ projects, there were team members working from different countries with Revit, Archicad, BIMcollab ZOOM and Solibri, thus the implementation of BIMcollab Cloud enhanced a broader multi-platform communication approach.

BIMcollab’s wide range of BCF Managers plugins was an essential tool for TPF Consultores to synchronize the project issues and to make the whole communication flow more productive. Thanks to this solution, everyone could access the same information, regardless of the BIM software they were using. On the top of that, they could create the exact same viewpoints from software to software.

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Validating models with BIMcollab Zoom

The hospitals in Angola empowered the use of BIM open formats within TPF Consultores. The improved process led the company to rely also on BIMcollab ZOOM in order to ensure the quality of IFC models. Data quality assurance and the detection of elements clashing in IFC models were driven by rule-based tests and resulting in the desired smart views and lists. Sofia Henriques, BIM Consultant at TPF Consultores, mentioned that smart views is one of the favorite BIMcollab ZOOM features: 
 

“BIMcollab ZOOM offers a fast and easy model navigation, with user-friendly features for IFC models analysis and validation.”

Future ambitions and plans

Following the success of the first two hospitals, TPF Consultores has been awarded several other large projects, currently underway, with plans to engage in others. Luís Ribeirinho, Director of the company's Innovation Centre, pointed out that while the use of BIM in Portugal is growing, TPF Consultores are leading the industry and developing a cutting-edge workflow.

Hugo Silva, BIM Manager at TPF Consultores, summed up the benefits of implementing BIMcollab in the company's current workflow, stating that:

"BIMcollab has been an important tool for the management and control of project issues, making it easier to centralize information and enabling faster communication among different stakeholders".


The use of BIMcollab ZOOM also allows IFC models visualization and checking by stakeholders who do not have access to modelling software to view and check models in native format. In this way, BIMcollab ZOOM made BIM models more available and meaningful to all stakeholders.