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Nikken Sekkei BIM Implementation
As noted earlier Nikken Sekkei’s BIM experience extends back for a decade. As they move forward in this new agreement, the company has two key departments helpful to their ongoing BIM adaption and standardization.
3D Center (Digital Design Development Center) is a group responsible for unifying BIM design support and training and for aiding in implementing BIM in the design development stage. Their DDL (Digital Design Lab) implements research and development of new technologies and utilizes applications for computational design and simulations.
For the DDL BIM becomes a platform and the importance of interoperability cannot be under-stated. Application connectivity is vital. From the sense I got from the various questions presented to Mr. Yamanashi, a key part of the work that his firm may wish to have happen out of the agreement is the further development of API level support of interoperability between various applications and ArchiCAD.
Judging from their body of work (see images in this article and here) I can easily imagine GRAPHISOFT advancing the firm’s original converter applications and building them into the native ArchiCAD software, as well as further supporting tools like Rhino and Digital Project and furthering the abilities of ArchiCAD to do clash detection at higher and higher levels of sophistication.
Nikken Sekkei has a track record with ArchiCAD and its BIM Server. They currently have 7 Teamwork servers (BIM Servers) in Tokyo serving approximately 100 architects (per floor) on seven floors inside their main office. And at each of their other Japanese offices they have a Teamwork BIM Server at Nagoya, Osaka and Kyushu.
In looking to the future Mr. Yamanashi noted that Nikken Sekkei sees their growing experience in BIM projects as having a big data aspect. With so much experience in the hands of one organization, BIM can help the firm statistically learn about design from its vast amount of data from previous projects. The information in BIM therefore becomes a rich data store that can be leveraged in ways not yet fully realized. And this can provide the firm with additional services for their clients in the future.
Another point Mr. Yamanashi noted was that as they progress into final standardization steps around BIM they envision greater efficiencies in the workload naturally transferred to the beginning of the normal architectural process, communicated famously in the MacLeamy Curve. In other words, as they learn and as their skills go up, the BIM process up front gets even faster, bringing about greater overall firm efficiency.
For the time being, what is clear is that Nikken Sekkei is realizing its investment in BIM, has made an important agreement with a major BIM software provider, and is moving forward aggressively to advance its agenda in architectural consultancy.
(disclosure: GRAPHISOFT SE paid for all air travel, hotel for the event days, and some meals).