• Bouwpunt initiative on Digital Building together with ThorbiQ


    As a wholesaler, Bouwpunt guarantees its excellent service and is characterized as much more than just a supplier of building materials and tools. Even now, the company goes a step further and is taking a unique initiative to put Digital Building on the map in Flanders. Together with ThorbiQ as a technology partner, the company has gathered together a group of construction producers of building materials and construction professionals to demonstrate in a new standardization, MatBiM, with a ‘proof of concept’ project that a digital connection between the links in the supply chain of building materials is possible.

Christophe Van der Gucht, managing director at Bouwpunt Van der Gucht, explains this initiative in more detail: “By definition, the building materials trader has more materials under one roof than any construction producer and is also a lot more neutral. In this way, apart from the logistics role, the trader has an important connecting and coordinating role between construction producers and contractors. We also want to assume this role in the digital BIM context with a view to increasing the efficiency of the entire construction process. ”

A successful BIM, or Building Information Model, stands or falls by making standardized (product) information available, which is often lacking in current practice or is not organized efficiently and effectively. In order to further evolve the digital construction process and thereby further guide the construction industry into the future, a number of pioneers in the field of Digital Building in Flanders have gathered around this project. On the side of the construction producers we find companies such as Coeck, Connecton, Derbigum, Foamglas, IKO, Ploegsteert, Recticel, Trespa and Vandersanden and on the side of the construction professionals we find Bureau Bouwtechniek, Cordeel, Democo and Vandenbussche.

Wim Tas, Product Manager and CTO at ThorbiQ, sees important similarities between this project and an earlier standardization initiative, but in the field of technical installation products: “This Bouwpunt initiative is part of MatBiM, which, based on the example and success of TechBiM, deployed in the world of (building) materials. We involve all stakeholders in this project and it is clear that the ambition is to demonstrate that the two huge gaps can be bridged, namely those between the design and implementation on the one hand and those between the manufacturing and construction industry. on the other hand. In practice, a contractor usually does not work further on the architect’s design model because the methodologies are not standardized and are moreover not coordinated with each other. Another observation is that the construction producer’s BIM content is rarely used by the contractor and even less by the designer. Again, this concerns standardization and alignment of the content to the needs of the receiving party. These challenges are fully addressed in this project. ”

Robert Landsman, IT & Supply Chain Manager at Veris, also has high expectations and emphasizes the importance of its international character, given the relationship between Bouwpunt and Veris, the largest purchasing group in the Benelux: “We start small, but have high expectations for this pilot. The collaboration between Belgium and the Netherlands creates unique opportunities; we can immediately start sprouting to roll out MatBiM in the Netherlands in order to offer a cross-border solution that can only benefit the various stakeholders. Previously, we jointly advocated ETIM as an industry standard, now we are building on this foundation. No party in the chain can do this alone, so we are committed to an open standard that everyone can join internationally. ”

After all, open standards are extremely important to make digitization a success in the construction industry. By providing a uniform data set with which different construction manufacturers of building materials can link their database, the exchange of information that takes place in the different phases of a building’s life cycle (concept – design – implementation – management – demolition or renovation) will be more efficient and effective. Rudy De Smedt, BIM Manager at Democo, general contractor, is absolutely certain that collaboration is also necessary in this project and that an open mindset is also required: “Cooperation in construction mainly has to do with the mindset to reach a consensus with different actors, beyond the limits of the importance of the own discipline.”

Finally, the importance of such projects also plays an indispensable role for construction producers. Frank Vanhove, Managing Director Benelux at Foamglas and chairman of the federation of Belgian Building Materials Producers (BMP), explains this further: “BIM and FOAMGLAS insulation go hand in hand because limits have to be pushed in the construction process. Initiatives such as these should be supported by the building material producers, and this as broadly as possible, hence the cooperation in the initiative with various parties within this ‘proof of concept’ project. ”

The project will run in six months, after which the results will be made public in November. This is a first phase where a “proof of concept” is delivered. It is the intention of the initiators to then move on to an MVP phase (minimal viable product), also 6 months, in which the project will be opened to the Benelux and to other BIM modeling software.

If you would like to be kept informed of the progress and results, follow the hashtag #MatBiM or #PoCBouwpunt on Twitter and LinkedIn! This first 6-month phase is limited to this first group of participating pioneers, but after that other parties can join. This is also an appeal to federations representing construction producers or construction professionals to join this initiative. If you would like more information about this project, please contact the initiators.