Digitising fire safety design in a BIM environment with Brandprojektering Sverige AB

Brandprojektering Sverige AB

In 2021, Alexander Alniemi and his colleagues at Brandprojektering Sverige AB began to take a closer look at Bimfire Tools, a Revit plugin for fire safety design in a BIM environment. Today - almost a year later - Brandprojektering AB is one of the few companies looking at bringing fire protection into 3D.

"For us, it was easy. We are still a relatively small company, but above all, we are motivated. Brandprojektering gives our customers and partners many benefits and added value. After a number of enquiries about whether we designed in Building Information Modelling (BIM) - and as many evasions - we accepted the challenge", says Alexander Alniemi, CEO at Brandprojektering.

Brandprojektering shows how the pace of digital development is accelerating. More and more builders, contractors and architects are asking for paperless projects. However, its own industry is lagging behind.

"Fire protection data must keep up," states Alexander Alniemi. "It's about competitiveness; being able to deliver quality, do the right thing, avoid misconceptions and revisions. BIM is a given when we consider the added value and increased customer value that digital development brings to both us fire consultants and our customers."

Added value in collected and updated fire protection data

With the Bimfire Tools application, fire protection can also be digitised and integrated into the model-based working methods. This means that the consultants at Brandprojektering can participate fully in the BIM process.

"We no longer send only fire protection descriptions and fire drawings to architects and others who need to translate and enter our information. Now we do it ourselves - in the same tool as all other parties in the project."

Reliability increases without intermediaries in reporting. The likelihood that errors won't occur increases when everyone working on the project has access to accurate fire protection data directly in the 3D model. Any design flaws can be rectified in the design, and not only when they end up in production at the construction site.

Fire consultants participating in design and execution control

"It also increases our presence and participation in the projects" Alexander Alniemi continues. "As soon as conditions change or if something has gone wrong, we can update this immediately, as often as it needs and straight into the basic document. Everyone working on the project always has access to the correct information in the 3D model".

There are numerous extra values with all the information gathered and updated. In addition to fewer errors and revisions, it will also be easier to calculate the right quantities, plan, and keep to the schedule. This saves both extra work and costs in all parts of the construction process. Ultimately, the vision with Bimfire Tools is to create a more sustainable construction process. However, to get there, the entire fire sector needs to become much better at taking advantage of the opportunities of digitalisation.

"It really is not difficult. However, you have to dare to simply cross the threshold. In our case, the consultants at Bimfire Tools were a huge help, together with our own, Robert Johnsson and Sebastian Du Rietz."

Find the enthusiasts who want to work in a BIM environment and start from there

Alexander's recommendation is to find those in the organisation who want to work in a BIM environment and start from there. The working method does not suit everyone - and not in all projects. By organising the work in the right way, it is still possible to bring the entire company with you. This is important because fire protection design in 3D and BIM environments is still relatively new. 

Alexander states that "We need to be able to sell the benefits and explain that architects can now pass the responsibility of fire protection to us and completely focus on their speciality. The construction contractor is guaranteed updated 3D drawings that are easy to include in; for example, joint inspections, or at the construction site, which makes it possible to rectify errors in the early stages. The client can easily see how the fire protection works and can update all the information in operation and maintenance when the project is ready."

Fire consultants takes greater responsibility

At Brandprojektering, it is felt that the work in the BIM environment has taken the fire consultants to a higher level in the projects, from design to execution control.

"Initially, digital design means an investment; with new licences, training, changed routines and so on. But it quickly becomes worth investing in. Today we are more involved in the projects, we have taken back the responsibility and the assignments are growing." 

"What do I think about the future? That this is just the beginning! More and more people are asking for fire protection in a BIM environment. The next step is Virtual Reality (VR) design," Alexander Alniemi adds. "Bimfire acts as a plug into the 3D model that makes it possible for us to enter the future 'for real'."

Challenges

  • Outdated fire protection data.
  • Inefficient workflow processes.

Solutions

  • Digitising fire protection.
  • Implementing Bimfire Tools into their working methods.
  • Create a more sustainable construction process.

Benefits

  • Everyone can fully participate and access an accurate and up-to-date fire protection data directly in the 3D model.
  • Any design flaws can be rectified in the early stages of the design process leading to fewer errors.
  • Faster and optimised working methods.
  • Increased customer value.

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