Dura Vermeer is a family-owned Dutch company with more than 160 years of experience in construction, engineering, and related services. The company’s core activities are residential and non-residential building, infrastructure, industrial construction, renovation, and consultancy. Its corporate aspiration is to become one of the Netherlands’, “top three highest performing and digitized construction companies by 2020,” according to Dura Vermeer Directory Board member Ronald Dielwart.
In order to achieve this goal, Dura Vermeer is focusing on improving operational results, achieving excellent customer experiences, creating an agile and innovative organization, and leveraging more digital solutions that include ways of working focused on Building Information Modeling (BIM).
Dura Vermeer’s Building division (residential and non-residential) develops, realizes, renovates, and operates projects commissioned by design and construction contractors. As a result, project margins are largely dependent on the subcontractor’s performance during various stages of the project lifecycle.
With the implementation of Autodesk® BIM 360 Design®, Dura Vermeer Building manages the collaboration around 3D-Information models with subcontractors during the project stages. This has not only improved communication and decision-making, but also has led to a significant reduction in time to mature the design before physical construction work starts. Dura Vermeer Building mandates the subcontractors deliver their designs, known as production models, within the BIM 360 platform—avoiding data doubling, misinterpretations, and legal conflicts.
Image courtesy Dura Vermeer: Huis van Delft in Delft, the complexity of the design is managed by BIM 360 Design
A key element of projects is controlling coordination and risk in an organized and transparent way. For each new project, team leads went through a time-consuming process of setting up and training new users on the Autodesk® Revit® server. The level of communication and coordination required for uploading and sharing the subcontractor’s models and related information also took up significant time in the workflows that led to misinterpretation of versions or mixing up different aspect models (Architecture-MEP-Structural).
Teams also lacked the ability to track changes to the model while understanding why changes were made. These mix-ups led to costly and time-consuming re-work and became even worse when a “forgotten” mistake was discovered during construction, counting for the failure costs of that project.
One of Dura Vermeer’s corporate goals and focuses is to reduce failure costs by ten percent each year, knowing that this number directly impacts the company’s overall profit margin. Another essential goal is to improve Dura Vermeer’s project win rate, which contributes to overall revenue and is strongly influenced by positive customer journeys and overall client satisfaction.
Dura Vermeer saw an opportunity to improve collaboration with its subcontractors while controlling the work that occurred between different disciplines. It was important that the solution reduce re-work and time spent on 3D-Information model control and coordination. The team also wanted to ensure the solution was simple and repeatable, enabling quick implementation and training for Project Managers, BIM champions, engineers, and modelers.
In April 2016, Dura Vermeer began researching the new capabilities of BIM 360 Design (formerly Collaboration for Revit). After an intensive testing period, the team decided in October 2016 to begin fully implementing BIM 360 Design across the divisions.
Dura Vermeer leveraged the benefits of is Enterprise Business Agreement (EBA), combining the Autodesk BIM application set, Customer Success Services, and its own in-house team of BIM experts. Collaborating as a united team, Dura Vermeer and Autodesk executed a Proof of Concept. This was a first project test in BIM 360 that would demonstrate minimum viable functionality compared with the actual systems and way of working. After a successful Proof of Concept demonstration, Dura Vermeer and Autodesk scaled up the solutions to a full project.
Upskilling users on BIM 360 Design was essential to streamline implementation of the software across the various teams. Key users now have knowledge and skills to guide the implementation of BIM 360 Design on each new project Dura Vermeer takes on. Training and guiding the subcontractors was done in a hands-on environment on live projects.
“According to our data analytics, Dura Vermeer is by far the highest and most mature BIM 360 Design and Revit adopter in the AEC industry. It’s incredible how quickly they can turnaround a full supply chain and mandate a standard way of work.”
– Giso van der Heide, Autodesk Success Leader NL
The BIM 360 Design implementation resulted in highly positive project outcomes, including reduced design re-work and reduced failure costs across the projects. With faster design iterations that quickly led to a high quality and matured result, Dura Vermeer successfully decreased time to construction by 25 percent average per project—achieving construction readiness.
With the BIM 360 cloud environment, projects can now be set up in real-time, saving the IT department and project office weeks of effort each year. The new solution seamlessly integrates with current Revit capabilities and Autodesk® BIM 360® Docs. Project teams with new members or subcontractors can now implement the solution in only a few days due to the ease of use and reduction of complexity. Previously, this process took several weeks to complete.
“A better understanding of the work, faster decisions, all building partners sharing the same information, and a reduction of failure costs: overall, digitization leads to improved building processes and thus to satisfied customers. Because we want to scale up these benefits, we are driving the roll-out of BIM throughout the entire chain. This requires drastic changes. The most important driver behind change is that everyone understands usefulness and necessity. With our 1-9-90 rule of thumb, that goes fast: one initiator inspires nine colleagues, who then convince the other 90 percent of the organization.”
– Ronald Dielwart, Directory Board, Dura Vermeer
“We definitely experience the value of using Autodesk solutions, and the partnership we have in place through the enterprise contract. BIM 360 Design is now mandated and a ‘no brainer’ within our building division. The organization would like to switch completely to the BIM 360 platform and our current document management solution will be phased-out.”
– Hans Aalbers, IT Director, Dura Vermeer
While Dura Vermeer’s BIM implementation resulted in—and will lead to—valuable cost savings, the team also came away from the engagement with some key learnings, mainly discovering that BIM is as much about organizational transformation and change management as it is about technology.
Throughout this process, Dura Vermeer—a frontrunner in BIM—shared a significant amount of feedback and input with Autodesk’s product development group. Based on continued, valuable contributions to the improvement of Autodesk BIM products, Dura Vermeer was invited to become a member of Autodesk’s “Strategic Seven” companies.
“We significantly reduced a large number of changes, increased the speed of a construction-ready design and completely eliminated the IT efforts for project initiation.”
– Sander de Zee, BIM Manager, Dura Vermeer